There is a new top dog in town, and it's not the Golden retriever or German shepherd. The small but mighty French bulldog has just been named the most popular dog breed in the U.S., surpassing the Labrador retriever, which has held the position for 31 impressive years.
The results were announced by the American Kennel Club, which releases data on registered purebred dogs each year. In their recent statement, they noted that the Frenchie shot up in popularity over the past decade by a whopping 1,000%. By 2021, they achieved the No. 2 spot, and finally, in the summary of 2022, they reached the coveted No. 1 ranking. “Breaking the Lab’s top-dog status of over three decades is no small feat,” the AKC writes. “The Frenchie is a smart, compact breed, and they can fit into various different lifestyles, perfect for people all across the country.” The rest of the top five is rounded out by the Lab, Golden retriever, German shepherd, and the poodle.
To some, the popularity of the French bulldog is not as much of a surprise. Their diminutive size and low-exercise requirements make them an easier companion for smaller living spaces and cities, where there is less space for large breeds. “I think COVID kind of helped increase the popularity of smaller breeds that are good for apartments,” Luis Sosa, a French bulldog breeder in Louisiana, comments. However, because these pups are purebred, they tend to cost a pretty penny. In fact, the average price for a Frenchie ranges between $1,500 and $4,500, but can also reach much higher depending on the color of the coat and eyes, and the reputation of the breeder.
And while the French bulldog's distinct looks are certainly a factor for its popularity, it also comes at a cost. As a brachycephalic breed—which means its face and nose are pushed in to give it a flattened appearance—these pups have a considerable amount of health problems. They have trouble breathing and cannot swim due to their front-heavy bodies. In fact, the breeding of bulldogs has already been banned in Norway for this reason; and other countries, like the Netherlands, are thinking about following their example.
No one can doubt the Frenchie's lovable personality though, and for that reason alone, they are already number one in our hearts. If you are looking for a new furry friend, there are countless pets looking to be adopted. You can check Petfinder to find a loving, adoptable friend who needs a forever home.
French bulldogs have surpassed the Labrador retriever to become the new No. 1 most popular dog breed in the U.S.
h/t: [Buzzfeed News]