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puppy love for labs; Breed tops among Ulster dog owners.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE BY PATRICK SCOTT

LABRADORS are Northern Ireland's favourite breed of dog.

They accounted for 13.2% of pedigrees registered in the BT postcode district between 2005 and last year - the highest for any breed.

Miniature schnauzers came second, accounting for 8.2% of dogs registered over the same period of time.

Cocker spaniels were third on 7.3% while English springer spaniels came next with 7.1% and Yorkshire terriers rounded out the top five on 6.1%.

The figures come from the Kennel Club, the charity responsible for acting as a governing body for canine activities in the UK.

The statistics, which were released to coincide with the club's Discover Dogs event this week, show the Labrador is the most popular dog breed in the UK followed by the cocker spaniel and the springer spaniel.

The figures also show the French bulldog has gained in popularity more than any other breed over the past decade with over six times as many being registered with The Kennel Club between 2010 and 2014 compared to the previous five-year period.

The presence of dogs on social media site Instagram has also meant increases in popularity for some breeds.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi, which is on the Kennel Club's list of native dog breeds that are "At Watch" because their numbers are so low, has increased in popularity by 54% in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

This coincides with almost quarter of a million people following four top dogs on Instagram, including @LaCorgi and in the UK Winnie the Corgi, who has amassed nearly 10,000 followers since February this year.

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: "We are not only seeing celebrity dog ownership influence dog choice, but are now seeing dogs who are celebrities in their own right through their Instagram fame, leading to huge increases in dog breed popularity.

"People can meet some of the UK's most popular Instagram dogs at our Discover Dogs event in London next week, and find out more about what these breeds are like to live with and who they would be suitable for.

"It is important to remember that every breed is different and one of the reasons dogs end up in rescue is because people make rash choices."

irish@mgn.co.uk

13.2% of pedigrees registered from 2005 to 2014 were Labradors

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furry friend Labradors pups have proved very popular

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2015
Words:409
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