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 The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.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
Original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter becomes a superhero for the LGBTQ+ community
The actress recently defended the character as a gay icon.
Once a superhero, always a superhero.
For many, Lynda Carter is the definitive live action Wonder Woman. The actress first brought the comic book heroine to life in the '70s, and even makes an iconic cameo appearance in the modern-day films starring Gal Gadot. She’s got Wonder Woman action figures made in her likeness, for crying out loud.
All that to say, I think we can feel confident in dubbing Carter a Wonder Woman expert. She’s certainly poured a lot of heart and passion into the role over the years, and fans love her for it.
To kick off Pride Month for 2022, Carter tweeted a variant Wonder Woman comic book cover created by artist Paulina Ganucheau, which was released the previous year. The cover depicts the Amazon warrior smiling while brandishing her signature golden Lasso of Truth in front of a vibrant rainbow backdrop.
The sweet moment was cut rather short after someone commented, in all caps no less, that “Wonder Woman IS NOT A SUPER HERO FOR GAYS.”
In true Wonder Woman fashion, Carter was quick with a defensive comeback.
Carter replied, “You’re right. She’s a superhero for bisexuals!”
She attached a 2016 Polygon article where Greg Rucka, a major writer for the contemporary Wonder Woman comics, confirmed that Diana is, without a doubt, canonically queer. He added that considering the entire island of Themyscira where Diana lives was filled with only other Amazons for centuries upon centuries, “it makes no logical sense otherwise.”
Objectively, even the original conception of Wonder Woman had LGBTQ+ roots. When William Moulton Marston created her in 1941, she was inspired by both his wife Elizabeth and their polyamorous partner Olivia Byrne. Their story was depicted in the 2017 film “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote.
Carter later posted: 'I didn't write Wonder Woman, but if you want to argue that she is somehow not a queer or trans icon, then you're not paying attention.”
She also shared the the importance of keeping the character a queer icon so that others can be empowered to express themselves authentically. “Every time someone comes up to me and says that WW helped them while they were closeted, it reminds me how special the role is,” she wrote.
She then posted a photo from her Wonder Woman TV show days along with the caption: “Love seeing all the love from LGBTQ+ fans today! Now here’s one I’d like to call the ‘ready to fight your homophobic relatives’ pose. Just kidding. (Or am I)?”
This was followed by encouraging others to support LGBTQ organizations such as Trans Lifeline, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and PFLAG, which is geared specifically toward parents and families.
You know what they say … not all heroes wear capes. But they do all fight for humanity in their own way. Carter might have retired her magical tiara, but she’s still a queen.