Scottish Terriers remain popular with members of the London Scottie Club. But they are out of favour again with the general public, according to the latest Kennel Club of Great Britain survey of breeds.

While other breeds have seen huge drops in puppy registrations in 2023 – Pug, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Belgian Shepherd – the Scotties only needed a dip to hit the newspaper headlines again. That is because Scotties have recently been the subject of a precarious balancing act which has seen them “on”, “off” and now again “on” the KC endangered species list.

Keep calm and carry on! We need to see this in context.

The pandemic lockdown was a huge boost to many breeds, especially smaller dogs like Scotties that at-home workers could keep in confined apartments and blissfully think would go on forever. During lockdown there was also a surge of breeding to meet that new wave of demand and the price of a Scottie puppy jumped from around 1,500 pounds to 3,500 pounds. This only encouraged even more breeding. It helped take Scotties off the endangered list.

The Times coverage of Scotties plight, 25 February 2024

With employers increasingly demanding staff return to the Victorian era values of working from a workplace rather than embracing new digital approaches to the life-work balance there have been two major swings in 2023.

Firstly, the cost of Scottie puppies has fallen to around 1,500 pounds again. Secondly, the number of Scotties which our friends at charity STECS must rehome every year, has jumped to around 100 from a low point of 50 just two years ago.

This has turned off breeders’ get-rich-quick business strategy.

But it has also forced us to rethink how we approach the Scotties’ population. With the emphasis on neutering young dogs – regardless of any impending medical reason – we are helping to keep Scotties on the extinction list. Sobering thought.

There are other factors which may also be discouraging puppy-buying and encouraging puppy-rehoming. The rampant rise in the cost of living. UK inflation is slowing, but that is cold comfort to households who still see elevated food and energy bills. Pet food prices and vet bills are also higher than during the pandemic and insurance premiums catch up when vet bills rise. So pet owners are poorer.

Some of these topics – food, grooming and insurance – were the centre of discussion in the latest London Scottie Radio podcast in which STECS Welfare Officer Cath Marchbank took part in February. Cath provided useful budget-saving tips to listeners. You can hear the podcast here.

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