Sign up FAST! Login

Endangered Dog Breeds and the Market Forces Behind Them

Endangered Dog Breeds and the Market Forces Behind Them


Want one? Better act fast: the breed could go extinct in your lifetime.

Skye terrier breeders are doing their best to change the tide, but things don’t look good. The global population is between 3,500 and 4,000, making the once-common breed one of the rarest in the world. Skye terriers are rarer than red pandas. In the UK, there were only 17 puppies of the Skye terrier breed registered in 2013. Breeders say they need 300 births a year to maintain a healthy population and avoid complications from inbreeding.

How did this happen?

For most of human/canine history, dog breeds evolved gradually, alongside human society, to fill different functional roles as they were needed. If a society or economy shifted, and the role was no longer needed, the breed ceased to exist. Those dogs were either bred for a different purpose or were subsumed into the general dog population. 


We live in a world of post-functional dog breeds. Even the best dogs out there might face extinction within our lifetimes. If, that is, they’re unlucky enough to fall out of fashion.

Stashed in: Dogs!, Freakonomics, Darwin

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Sounds like natural selection to me. 

You May Also Like: