Lakeland Terrier raises profile of endangered breed.... and qualifies for Crufts

Ginger with JohnA local dog has brought some much needed attention to a breed that is teetering on the brink of extinction, by winning a major Championship Show and qualifying for Crufts.

Ginger, a two-year old Lakeland Terrier from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, fought off competition from more than 1,000 other dogs to win the Best in Terrier Group title, at the Birmingham National Dog Show at the weekend and has now qualified for next year’s Crufts.

The tenacious Terrier has won a string of other successes at Championship Shows throughout the year, including the Best in Show at West England Ladies Kennel Society, the National Terrier Club and Boston and District Canine Society and won Best of Breed at this year’s Crufts.

The Lakeland Terrier is on the Kennel Club’s Native Irish and British Vulnerable Breeds list because the breed has less than three hundred puppy registrations with the Kennel Club each year. It is hoped that his dog show success could help to raise the profile of the breed after the Sealyham Terrier, another vulnerable breed that won this year’s Crufts, saw a 55 percent increase in enquiries about the breed in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.

John Averis, who owns Ginger, said: “Ginger is really flying the flag for Lakeland Terriers and for Uttoxeter and I am so proud of how well he is doing this year. I have no doubt that he won because the judge saw what a happy, healthy dog he is and how much he loves life, both in and outside of the show ring.

“His success is doubly good news as the more shows he wins the more he is helping to raise the profile of the breed, which is teetering on the brink of extinction. By winning at dog shows, where members of the public come along to see all the different dogs, we are giving people a chance to see what wonderful characters Lakeland Terriers really are.

“I am just hoping now that this will be Ginger’s lucky year and that he can go on to have a win at Crufts – that really would be the icing on the cake.”

John’s mother and Ginger’s breeder, Judy Averis, added: “As a member of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme I always give my dogs the best possible start in life and this shows when they go on to achieve success in the show ring.

“Ginger is a healthy and well adjusted dog and I hope that people will see the importance of buying their own dog from a responsible breeder, if they want their dogs to be healthy and stand out from the crowd.”

The Birmingham National Dog show is one of 37 General Championship Dog shows throughout the year that enable dogs to qualify for Crufts, in March 2010. The Birmingham National Show celebrated its 150th anniversary this year.