Sorry, Labradors. After 31 years, America has a new favorite dog.

The adorable and sweet Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban French Bulldog.

According to American Kennel Club, for 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. Rankings are based on nearly 716,500 newly registered dogs in 2022, of which approximately 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were registered in the United States in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by more than 21,000.

The popularity of the French Bulldog has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the 14th most popular race in 2012and since then, registrations have increased by 1,000%, putting them at the top of the breed popularity charts.

The AKC says the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.

The French Bulldog was famous among the American upper class at the turn of the 20th century, but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is based in part on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan you stallionAlexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all have French bulldogs.

The breed has received a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and first at the national dog show.

The breed made national news in early 2021 when Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest while walking two of her Frenchies during a dog heist. He recovered from his injuriesand the dogs were then returned.

They have also become popular due to their unique appearance and personality.

“They are comical, friendly and loving little dogs,” Patty Sosa, spokesperson for the French Bull Dog Club of America. told the AP. She said they’re city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “offer a lot in a small package.”

They are also popular with apartment dwellers. According to at the AKCFrenchies don’t bark much and don’t need a lot of outdoor exercise.

The French Bulldog stands out from other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears which are its trademark. However, their popularity is not without controversy. “French Bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.

via Pixabay

An adorable French bulldog

French Bulldogs were bred to have abnormally large heads, which means large litters usually have to be delivered by Caesarean section, an expensive procedure that can to be dangerous for the mother. They are also subject to multiple health problems including skin, ear and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerances.

Frenchies are also more prone to spinal deformities and nerve pain as they age.

Here are the AKC’s ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.

1 French bulldogs

2 labrador retrievers

3 Golden Retrievers

4 german shepherd dogs

5 poodles

6 bulldogs

7 rottweilers

8 beagles

9 dachshunds

10 german shorthaired pointer

This article was originally published on 17.03.23

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