Dog lovers in Northampton are more likely to buy a puppy based on their favourite Instagram dog or celebrity than ever before, according to new Kennel Club registration statistics show a rise in ‘fashionable’ dogs in the area.
The figures, released by the Kennel Club ahead of its Eukanuba Discover Dogs event, show a number of dog breeds have dramatically increased in popularity since being photographed with a celebrity or acquiring a canine celebrity ambassador on the social networking sites.
From French bulldogs to the Chihuahua, dogs favoured by celebrities and made famous on social media are taking Northampton by storm.
In the last five years, the fastest rising dog breed in the town is the Smooth Coat Chihuahua, owned by celebrities including Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, and the popularity of this so-called ‘handbag dog’ has been boosted by 706 per cent.
‘Insta-famous’ breed, the French Bulldog, has increased in Northampton by 489 per cent in the last five years. Famous pets, such as Mannie the French Bulldog, have tens of thousands of followers on social media networks and celebrities who own the breed, such as Lady Gaga, Jessie J and Leonardo DiCaprio, are boosting the popularity of the breed.
Other trending dog choices in Northampton include the Pug, owned by stars such as Kelly Osbourne, Gerard Butler and Paris Hilton, which is up by 140 per cent, the Bulldog, up 125 per cent, and the Miniature Smooth-Haired Dachshund which has gone up in popularity by 96 per cent.
In line with the rest of the UK’s preferences when it comes to pedigree dogs, the Kennel Club statistics also reveal the Labrador Retriever as the most popular dog in Northampton, with other breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog and Staffordshire Bull Terrier gracing the top 10 most popular breeds over the last ten years.
People can take selfies with London-based Instagram sensations Bruno the Miniature Dachshund, Noodle the Dachshund, Winny the Corgi, Elle the French Bulldog and Mika the Husky, who has almost 70,000 followers, at Eukanuba Discover Dogs – where people can also learn about the breeds and their unique characteristics.
In light of the findings the Kennel Club and ‘Insta-dog’ owners are keen to remind people about selecting the right dog for your lifestyle.
Speaking about the statistics ahead of Discover Dogs, Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko, said: “We are not only seeing celebrity dog ownership influence Northampton’s choice of dog, but are now seeing dogs who are celebrities in their own right, leading to huge increase in dog breed popularity in the UK.
“This can result in people making the wrong choice when it comes to dog ownership, choosing a dog that is not right for their lifestyle simply because it is cute or popular on social media. 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 without doing the proper research and then realise that they can not care for the dog properly.
“People can meet some of the UK’s most popular Instagram dogs at our Eukanuba Discover Dogs event in London and find out more about what these breeds are like to live with and who they would be suitable for.”
Lindsay Sanders, owner of Instagram sensation, Bruno, said the UK research left her concerned people may not know enough about the breeds they were purchasing.
She said: “We are shocked by how quickly Bruno has acquired a mass following on Instagram, which seems to be growing every day.
“Whilst we are really pleased that people are loving his photos we also want to make sure that people understand what owning a Dachshund is all about before they make the decision to get a Bruno of their own.
“This is why we will be chatting to people about the breed at the Discover Dogs event in London.”
The view an interactive map of the most popular breeds in the UK, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/populardogs