The French Bulldog Is America's Most Popular Dog Breed, Dethroning the Labrador Retriever After 31 Years
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The Labrador retriever—America's most popular dog for over three decades—has been dethroned. Welcome to the Frenchie Renaissance.
Yes, the petite, lovable French bulldog is now the most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club's 2022 rankings released Wednesday. After 31 years at the top, the Lab dropped to the No. 2 spot.
The Frenchie has reached the summit after years ascending the rankings, which are based on the AKC's registration statistics. In 2012, French bulldogs were the 14th-ranked breed in America. Since then, the breed's registrations increased by 1,000 percent, according to the AKC.
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French bulldogs earned the No. 2 spot on the 2020 list and held steady in 2021. It's easy to see why. They're small and don't need as much exercise as larger breeds, making them great for city apartments. They'll thrive in a suburban house, too—just as long as they get to spend plenty of time with you.
"Frenchies are playful, adaptable, loyal, and outgoing," AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo said in a statement. "They make wonderful companions for a variety of people."
They are, however, a brachycephalic breed. We've bred the cute, flat faces into them, but that construction makes it hard for Frenchies to breathe, especially if it's hot or they're exercising. They can also be prone to skin allergies, heat stroke, and eye problems.
That's why you should always make sure any Frenchie you buy comes from a reputable breeder and not a puppy mill.
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The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in 2022
The 10 most popular breeds for 2022 are the same from 2021—just in a different order. Here's the 2022 list with the number of positions gained or lost in parentheses:
French bulldog (+1)
Labrador retriever (-1)
Golden retriever (0)
German shepherd (0)
Further down the list, some lesser-known breeds have made some big strides in popularity, including:
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)
Anatolian shepherd (No. 88 in 2021; No. 79 in 2022)
The American Kennel Club currently recognizes 200 breeds, excluding hybrid breeds like the Labradoodle. It most recently recognized the Bracco Italiano.