A RARE dog from the East is setting up a new dynasty in West Wales, thanks to a Pembrokeshire breeder.

Alison Darley is the first person in the UK to import the Chinese Chuandong Hound - an ancient breed that has been brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to a conservation programme.

With nearly 40 years of experience in the dog world - including championship showing and obedience - Alison, who lives near Narberth, is going forward into the future with her new Chuandong family at her long-established Cymrygold Kennels.

"I'm very proud that I am the only person outside China to have this wonderful breed," said Alison, 57.

"I first saw Chuandong Hounds on Facebook and was originally fascinated by their history, which goes back more than 2,000 years.

"In the early 1990s, its numbers in China dropped to around 200 and that is when the conservation programme was set up."

Following years as a successful breeder and exhibitor worldwide of the Dogue de Bordeaux - the French Mastiff-type breed which many people will recognise from the Turner & Hooch film - Alison is now concentrating her efforts on the Chuangdongs.

She now has two males - Dynasty and Yogi - and a trio of bitches - Kaishi, Chang and China. Since 2017, they have had a total of 15 puppies, with the last two of the latest litter on sale for £900 each.

Although the Chuandong (pronounced Chandong) Hound is not yet recognised by the Kennel Club of Great Britain, they can be shown in the Republic of Ireland and the Continent under their Kennel Club of China (CKU) registration.

"I'm certainly planning on showing them, but my main aim is to responsibly promote this unique breed as the most marvellous pet and companion," said Alison. "Everyone who meets the dogs is absolutely blown away by them - they are very fit, athletic and intelligent; they adore people - particularly children - and love playing.

"Due to having a single, sparse coat, they don't moult and they can have a life-span of between 16 and 20 years.

"I just cannot fault them.....except they don't like the rain!

"I'm really looking forward to the future with this wonderful breed."

For more information, see chuandonghound.co.uk