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Australian Shepherd is France’s favourite dog...again

The Australian Shepherd has become the French public’s favourite dog for the third year in a row, beating the Belgian Shepherd and new podium entry, the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The ranking comes from dog society la Société Centrale Canine (SCC), which manages national register of dog breeds and origins, le Livre des Origines des Chiens (LOF).

The Australian Shepherd is medium-sized, and strong but affectionate. It can also have attractive multi-coloured markings, and different-coloured eyes.

In 2019, the SCC recorded more than 15,000 registrations of this breed, a rise of 14% year-on-year.

Shepherd breeds have been the French public’s favourite since 1946. The German Shepherd was in the lead from 1946 to 2015, when it was overtaken by the Belgian Shepherd from 2016 to 2017.

In 2017, the Australian variety took first place, where it has stayed since.

Shepherd breeds saw 55,010 LOF registrations in total in 2019, representing a quarter of total pedigree dog births in France.

The Belgian Shepherd is still in second place, at 11,763 registrations for 2019; followed by the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, coming in third for the first time, with 11,315 registrations.

Yet, last year, animal welfare charity La Spa France warned that Australian Shepherds were “victims of their own success”, as their popularity and needs meant that they were at increased risk of abandonment.

In a Tweet, it wrote: “These dogs are too often abandoned by their masters, who have jumped on this trend without thinking about the needs of this very dynamic breed.”

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