The French Bulldog has dethroned the Labrador Retriever as America's most popular dog breed after 31 years


For more than three decades, the Labrador retriever was America's most popular dog. Hello and welcome to the Frenchie Renaissance.

Yes, according to the American Kennel Club's 2022 rankings, the small, charming French bulldog is now the most popular dog in the United States. After 31 years at the top, the Lab has fallen to second place.

The Frenchie has ascended to the top of the rankings, which are based on AKC registration records. French bulldogs were the 14th most popular breed in America in 2012. According to the AKC, registrations for the breed have surged by 1,000% since then.

Related: Winston, the top-ranked French Bulldog, wins Best in Show in the National Dog Show 2022.

The French bulldogs were ranked second in 2020 and kept that position in 2021. It's easy to understand why. Because they are little and do not require as much activity as larger breeds, they are ideal for city apartments. They'll thrive in a suburban home as well, as long as they have lots of time with you.

"Frenchies are playful, adaptable, loyal, and outgoing," stated AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. "They make wonderful companions for a variety of people."

However, they are a brachycephalic breed. We've bred them to have adorable, flat faces, but that construction makes it difficult for Frenchies to breathe, especially when it's hot or they're exercising. They are also susceptible to skin allergies, heat stroke, and vision difficulties.

That is why you should always acquire a Frenchie from a reputable breeder rather than a puppy mill.

Related: 206 French Bulldog Names for Your New Mr. or Mrs.

The Top 10 Dog Breeds to Expect in 2022

The top ten most popular breeds in 2022 are the same as in 2021 but in a different order. The following is the list for 2022, with the number of positions gained or lost in parentheses:

  • (+1) French bulldog
  • (-1) Labrador retriever
  • (0) Golden Retriever
  • (0) German shepherd
  • Poodle (nothing)
  • (0) Bulldog
  • (+1) Rottweiler
  • hound (-1)
  • (+1) Dachshund
  • (-1) German shorthaired pointer

Some lesser-known breeds have grown in popularity farther down the list, including:

  • American hairless terrier (number 135 in 2021; number 120 in 2022)
  • Gordon setter (113th in 2021; 99th in 2022)
  • The Italian greyhound (number 73 in 2021; number 63 in 2022)
  • Anatolian shepherd (88th in 2021; 79th in 2022)

Currently, the American Kennel Club recognizes 200 breeds, excluding hybrid breeds such as the Labradoodle. It recently acknowledged the Bracco Italiano.

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