Sorry, Labradors. After 31 years, America has a new favorite dog.
The American Kennel Club has crowned a new favorite.
The sweet-faced, loveable 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 The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.
According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.
The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.
The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.
The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.
The breed earned 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 in 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 in a dog heist. He recovered from his injuries, and the dogs were later returned.
The French Bulldog's complicated past took them from brothels (yes) to royals.— American Kennel Club (@akcdoglovers) March 16, 2023
Listen to their full history and more in the Uniquely Urban podcast episode of Down & Back: https://t.co/Jx2jPNCVMbpic.twitter.com/wBQd9fsRlt
They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.
“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”
They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.
The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.
An adorable French Bulldog
French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.
Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.
Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.
1 French Bulldogs
2 Labrador Retrievers
3 Golden Retrievers
4 German Shepherd Dogs
10 German Shorthaired Pointers
This article originally appeared on 03.17.23
Before you click 'send' on anything else, read this comic. It's important.
Everyone seems to be clicking "send" a bit too early nowadays.
We officially live in a world where internet trigger-happy world leaders can send massive populations into a devolved tail spin with erratic tweets, posts, and subsequent responses. These posts can have far-reaching consequences, and in the haste to respond in kind we've forgotten that we've normalized this kind of attitude.
Boulet is a French comic artist who has been writing about this for 15 years.
Originally he started writing an autobiographical series, but when he realized how accessible it was to his readers, he decided to make it fictional. "So it's mostly 'drawn stand up comedy,'" he explains. "I'm the main character, but in the same way comedians are there own character when they are on stage. The purpose is not really to talk about me but about situations of everyday's life everyone can relate to."
In his words, "The comic (below) was an anecdote about a Facebook mistake, I had basically two choices: Use it as a Facebook status to make my friends laugh or try to dramatize the whole process into an internal crisis to make it a story."
Comic by Bouletcorp, where it originally appeared. Used here with permission.
That "internal crisis" is something Boulet is very interested in.
Boulet enjoys using the accessible medium of cartoons as a way to explore complex issues. He loves learning about and studying consciousness and neuroscience. His fans enjoy this.
"There were fun discussions in the comments about how the brain works ... the very idea that we have a parallel process that can interfere, overlap or get in conflict is actually a thing. What I found most intriguing about this story was to literally feel my hand freeze BEFORE I could put an explanation on the WHY it froze."
He also had a great suggestion as to figuring out the motivations behind certain posts. "We should always go on social networks with EEGs on. We would learn a lot."
After what we've seen on social media over the last few years, it's hard to disagree.