Breed of HMV dog Nipper is on the 'brink of extinction'

The breed of the HMV dog Nipper is on the 'brink of extinction' as just 80 Smooth Fox Terriers were born last year, new figures by the Kennel Club show.

The famously known HMV dog, Nipper, was born in Bristol in the late 19th century and was owned by Mark Henry Barraud.

He earned his name from his tendency to 'nip' the back of people's legs.

Nipper found fame three years after his death in 1898 when his final owner, Francis Barraud, painted a picture of Nipper next to a gramophone and called the painting 'His Master's Voice'.

Today, the painting is best known as the logo of entertainment retailer HMV.

He was believed to have been a Smooth Fox Terrier, which is a breed suffering from a 97 per cent decline in its annual birth registrations since 1926, according to data by the Kennel Club.

This is the biggest change in dog breed rates since the organisation first began 150 years ago, The Telegraph reported.

Nipper's use in advertising following his death may have been the answer as to why the Smooth Fox Terrier became increasingly favoured in the early 20th century as it became the most popular dog in the UK during the 1900s.

The Kennel Club revealed that their peak for the breed was reached in 1926 when 2,840 puppies were registered that year.