Labradors have been the leaders in pet competition for the past three decades. Recently, French Bulldogs raced up to second place in the American Kennel Club’s rankings. Thus, these two are among the most popular dog breeds.
However, French Bulldogs seem to be charming the audience with their smushed faces and stocky physiques. Brandi Hunter, the AKC spokesperson, said that Frenchies aren’t the kind of pets that you take hiking with you.
However, if you want a dog that snuggles with you and is adaptable, you should opt for a French bulldog. Plus, these dogs require minimal grooming and are ultra-cute. Let’s take a look at the most popular dog breeds in the US and where Frenchies stand.
Top Most Popular Dog Breeds
While Labradors are on the top of the list, French bulldogs are secure in second place. After these breeds, the other top-rated dog breeds include German shorthaired pointers, bulldogs, golden retrievers, German shepherd, bulldogs, and Dachshunds.
In the past year, 98,300 labradors were registered in the AKC’s registry. The breed broke the record for staying in the first place for the longest time. In the second place, there were 65,000 Frenchies in the AKC’s registry.
At the moment, German Shepherds are in the leadership position since President Joe Biden’s German Shepherds were living a lavish life in the White House. Recently, they went back to the president’s Delaware home after one of them injured an agent from the Secret Service.
Like German Shepherds, poodles are slowly making their way to the top. Siba, a standard poodle, recently won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Another breed that quickly moved up the ranks is the cane Corso. The guard dog was on the 51st rank about ten years ago but has made a halfway leap to be in the 25th position at the moment.
The Rise Of The Frenchie
The Labradors came to the first position in 1991 and since then have retained their rank. Back then, the French bulldogs were at the 82nd position, far behind the second place that they are at right now.
Their rise began in the late 90s, and by 2017, the breed had reached the fourth position.
The breed became popular due to the exposure given to it by celebs, such as Dwayne the Rock Johnson, Lady Gaga, and Martha Stewart. Additionally, the dog has moderate exercise requirements, compact size, and an easy-to-manage coat.
Owing to these features, people started inclining towards French bulldogs.
Nicole Denny is a professional dog handler who has bred Frenchies for over a decade now. She says that French bulldogs are ‘farting little love machines.’
According to her, their rise is a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, she wants people to enjoy this breed since it’s so lovable. However, on the other, she says that the rise of French bulldog popularity has led to the increase in irresponsible dog breeders.
People who love Frenchies should know that the breed is susceptible to the following conditions:
- Back problems
- Breathing issues
Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer at the AKC, says that all dogs, whether mixed breeds or purebreds have some sort of health conditions. So, there’s no way to say that a breed is 100% free of problems.
Therefore, fanciers should be aware of what they’re getting into.
General Appearance of French Bulldogs
The French bulldog has a muscular appearance with a compact build and smooth coat. The structure ranges from small to medium, and the breed is quite active, curious, and alert.
It’s a well-established fact that the English bulldog was one of the ancestors of the Frenchie. Moreover, the distinctive features of a Frenchie include:
- A half-domed and half-flat skull
- Bat ears
Initially, the breeders wanted to replace the bat ears of the breed with rose ears to create a miniature English bulldog. However, the American fanciers did not approve of the idea. Hence, the bat ears of the Frenchies.
Although French bulldogs were originally bred to be pets, they can also be good watchdogs since they’re notably intelligent.
Shifting the Ranks
In the past few years, there has been a major shift in the popularity of different dog breeds. While some have made their way to the top, others are out of the competition altogether.
Currently, the AKC recognizes over 190 breeds minus the ‘designer’ hybrids.
They recently recognized two new breeds in 2020, named barbet and Dogo Argentino. While the barbet ranked at 145th place, the Dogo Argentino came at 93rd place in terms of popularity.
At the moment, the rarest breed in the AKC’s ranking is the Norwegian Lundehund. It’s a modest-sized dog that’s not very common in the US. Some distinctive features of the dog include:
- Unusual flexibility
- Hunting puffins
- Climbing abilities
- Six-toed feet
What’s the Verdict On Dog Breeding?
The verdict about dog breeding differs from one group to another. Animal rights advocates say that people are interested in purebred dogs. Due to this, other puppies are not picked up from the shelters.
However, the AKC says that conscientious breeding leads to the production of dogs that are specialized for certain works, like bomb-sniffing. Thus, pet owners can choose dogs according to the requirements they have in mind.
In both cases, it’s important to remember that you should not merely choose the most popular dog breed. The AKC recommends doing your research and choosing a dog according to your lifestyle.
From the looks of it, the popularity of the French bulldog seems to be on the rise. Will the Frenchies become the most popular dog breed in the near future? That’s a bit hard to say, considering the Labs are still staunch in their first place.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you should not merely pick a pet based on the most popular dog breeds. Make sure that your lifestyle is suitable for the breed you’re choosing to make the relationship good for yourself and the pet.