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The Duchess Of Cambridge Effect Sends People Into A Cocker Spin

Just as clothes fly off the shelf after Kate has worn them, now interest in the Cocker Spaniel breed has skyrocketed since William and Kate bought Cocker Spaniel, Lupo, at the end of last year.

New figures released by the Kennel Club show that the number of searches for Cocker Spaniels on the Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy service has increased by almost 50 percent in January and February this year, when compared to November and December last year.  Overall the number of searches for all dogs in the comparable period has increased by 32 percent (from 538,000 to 713,000 searches).
But as Crufts approaches the Kennel Club is warning people not to be influenced by celebrity dog choice when picking a breed or crossbreed dog and to look take the time to learn about a breed’s characteristics and care needs before they buy.
New Kennel Club research has found almost a quarter of all dog owners surveyed said that they did absolutely no research or very little research before they bought a dog (23 percent), often buying their dogs on a whim because of the latest fashion. People admitted that they did not find out information about their chosen breed’s likely temperament, exercise needs or grooming.
Despite the ‘Kate effect’, the Kennel Club is hopeful that not all of the interest in Cocker Spaniels will translate into sales, as its research has found pedigree owners are the most likely to do their research, with nine in ten researching their chosen breed before they buy. This is compared to one in five owners of crossbreeds such as the Labradoodle, owned by the likes of Jennifer Anniston, who admitted that they did no research before they bought their dog.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said, “We are concerned that the popularity of particular pedigree or crossbreeds can go through the roof after they have been pictured with a celebrity owner. Kate and William have chosen a working line from the Cocker Spaniel breed, which needs lots of attention and activity and so may not be suitable for all people.
“Thankfully many owners of pedigree dogs tend to do research before they buy so we hope that this will hold true now that people have seen Kate with Lupo. We have a Discover Dogs area at Crufts, taking place this week, and information on our website to help people choose the right dog for them, so that they don’t contribute to the already large population of rescue dogs.”
The Kennel Club’s research has also shown that almost one in seven people said that their dog did not turn out at all, or very little, like they expected. That is why it is crucial that people go to a breeder who will ask as many questions about the new owner’s lifestyle as the new owner should ask about the breed.
Angela Hunter, a Kennel Club Assured Breeder of Cocker Spaniels, said, “Disreputable breeders will jump on the bandwagon and try to sell their pups by advertising the names of famous owners, such as Kate and William. A good breeder will not encourage you to buy a puppy based on a celebrity name tag and will ask lots of questions to determine if the breed is right for you.
“Working Cocker Spaniels, as Kate and William have chosen, are highly active and need constant stimulation so they will not be suitable for everyone.”

Crufts takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 8-11th March 2012. There will be a Discover Dogs area where people can learn about more than 200 breeds of dog. For more information visit

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