What do King Edward VII, Albert Einstein, and Tintin have in common?
Tintin made his little white furry friend Snowy famous and the answer to the question is that they all owned this same breed of dog, the Wire Fox Terrier!
And what a fine little bean box he is too!
What’s the drama?
The Kennel Club has just dropped the mic with some shocking and sad news. This breed is in distinct trouble and is at risk of extinction.
There are 94% fewer Snowys running around than there were in 1947 when there were 8000 registered births; this has fallen dramatically to just 281 in 2023.
It is very bad news indeed as they are set to join The Kennel Club’s ‘at watch’ list accompanied by 8 other species including the Old English Sheepdog, the Jack Russell Terrier, and the Bullmastiff. (This includes all species with between 300-450 registered births in any given year)
But why? Why does it have to be this way?
Popular culture, celebrities, and social media create trends and influence dog ownership. There is no doubt that the renowned Tintin comic released in 1929 brought this breed of dog into the spotlight. This and other shows such as The Thin Man and Poirot were partially responsible for the Terrier’s rise in popularity.
Think about the celebrities you follow today and the programmes you watch on TV. When was the last time you saw one of these beautiful dogs featured or celebrated?
The Wire Fox Terrier is not being represented in the media and there is almost nothing promoting this breed.
It is worth mentioning that the Wire Fox Terrier is notoriously high-maintenance. These dogs were bred to hunt and have a famously energetic temperament. Barking loudly, getting into everything, and running fast over long distances would have been a massive advantage considering this mission.
But is it all doom and gloom for the Wire Fox Terrier?
However, I did say ‘almost’ nothing. This dog remains a firm favourite with Crufts year after year. This year Blanca the Wire Fox Terrier made it to the finals of Crufts yet this has done nothing over the years to impact the popularity of owning this type of dog.
Perhaps both popular culture and this dog’s single-minded, determined, and energetic nature might explain their deteriorating popularity.
It is indeed a very sad day for Snowy.