Town’s favourite dog revealed

A labrador, Wigan's most popular dog over the past decade
A labrador, Wigan's most popular dog over the past decade

THEY’RE man’s best friend but which breed is Wigan’s most popular dog?

Well in times of yore it may well have been whippets but, according to The Kennel Club, there have been more labradors living in the borough than any other since 2005.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier

In fact, they make up almost 15 per cent of the borough’s canine population: that’s more than double than second-placed Staffordshire bull terriers, which account for 6.35 per cent of the total.

Just behind Staffies are springer spaniels (6.22 per cent), cocker spaniels (6.05 per cent) and shihi-tzus (4.05 per cent).

Recent figures based on the number of electronically tagged dogs in the borough had suggested that there were currently more Staffies in Wigan than any other breed.

The Kennel Club has also released details of dogs that have seen a sharp increase in numbers in the last five years.

A Lancashire Heeler

A Lancashire Heeler

There are now 575 per cent more French bulldogs, 275 per cent more smooth coat chihuahuas, and 70.69 per cent more Boston terriers.

The two which have seen the biggest jump in numbers though have been pugs (122.76 per cent) and bichon frises (126.47 per cent).

Details of the vulnerable dogs that have seen an increase over the past 10 years have also been revealed.

One breed which has become much more popular has been the Lancashire heeler.

And it has been some increase too, with a 4,900 per cent increase since 2005.

The Lancashire Heeler is a small breed of dog which was developed for use as a drover or herder of cattle.

At the last head count, there were only 146 in the UK, but that figure could well be lower.

There have also been sharp increases in the past year for some breeds.

In the last year, the number of border collies, German shepherds and, yes, even whippets have all doubled, while there are more than twice as many pugs and three times as many shihi-tzus.