French Bulldog Takes the Crown as America’s Most Popular Dog Breed, Ending Labrador Retriever’s 31-Year Reign

French Bulldog Takes the Crown as America’s Most Popular Dog Breed, Ending Labrador Retriever’s 31-Year Reign

In an unprecedented twist, the Labrador retriever—longstanding champion of America’s dog breeds for over three decades—has gracefully relinquished its title. A new era emerges with the rise of the French Bulldog.

French Bulldog, Emergence of the Frenchie Renaissance

Witness the ascent of the endearing French bulldog, a petite charmer, now claiming the throne as the United States’ most favored dog breed. The announcement comes from the American Kennel Club‘s (AKC) 2022 rankings, unveiled on Wednesday, marking a monumental shift. After maintaining its supremacy for 31 years, the Lab gracefully descended to the second position, allowing the spotlight to shift onto the French bulldog.

French Bulldog, A Journey to the Pinnacle

French Bulldog Takes the Crown as America's Most Popular Dog Breed, Ending Labrador Retriever's 31-Year Reign

The journey to this zenith has been one of steady progression for the French bulldog, as underscored by the AKC’s registration statistics. Remarkably, in 2012, the French bulldog stood at the 14th spot in the American breed hierarchy. An incredible surge followed, witnessing a staggering 1,000 percent increase in registrations over the years.

The French bulldog initially secured the second place in the 2020 rankings, a position it maintained in 2021. The allure of this breed is self-evident. With a compact size and lesser exercise demands compared to larger breeds, they are perfectly suited for city living or suburban dwellings, as long as they’re showered with ample affection.

Attributes that Make French Bulldog Shine

Gina DiNardo, AKC’s Executive Secretary, extolled the virtues of French bulldogs, describing them as playful, adaptable, loyal, and outgoing companions, capable of forging deep bonds with a diverse range of individuals.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that French bulldogs belong to the brachycephalic breed category. This endearing feature—their flat faces—can also pose health challenges. Breathing difficulties, particularly in hot conditions or during physical exertion, are common among these dogs. Additionally, skin allergies, susceptibility to heat stroke, and eye issues necessitate careful attention.

Vouching for Responsible Ownership

A crucial caveat is to ensure that any French bulldog purchase stems from a reputable breeder rather than supporting puppy mills. This step guarantees the well-being and health of the breed while shunning unethical breeding practices.

The Unchanging Top 10 and Notable Rises

The roster of the top 10 most popular breeds for 2022 remains the same as in the previous year, albeit with some reshuffling. The updated 2022 list, with the changes in positions indicated in parentheses, reads as follows:

1. French bulldog (+1)
2. Labrador retriever (-1)
3. Golden retriever (0)
4. German shepherd (0)
5. Poodle (0)
6. Bulldog (0)
7. Rottweiler (+1)
8. Beagle (-1)
9. Dachshund (+1)
10. German shorthaired pointer (-1)

Notable Shifts Beyond the Top 10

Looking beyond the top 10, lesser-known breeds have made noteworthy strides in popularity, such as the American hairless terrier (No. 135 in 2021; No. 120 in 2022), Gordon setter (No. 113 in 2021; No. 99 in 2022), Italian greyhound (No. 73 in 2021; No. 63 in 2022), and Anatolian shepherd (No. 88 in 2021; No. 79 in 2022).

A Broad Canine Spectrum

The expansive canine landscape recognized by the American Kennel Club encompasses a diverse collection of 200 breeds, excluding hybrid variations like the Labradoodle. The most recent addition to this prestigious registry is the Bracco Italiano.

The French bulldog’s ascent to the zenith symbolizes not just a change in breed popularity but also a testament to evolving preferences and the heartwarming bonds between humans and their four-legged companions.