For the first time in more than 30 years, the Labrador Retriever is not the most popular breed in the US.
This year that honor went to the adorable French Bulldog, according to the American Kennel Club’s annual ranking. Known for being well-behaved, intelligent, and goofy, it’s no wonder Frenchies have stolen the hearts of Americans.
“The French Bulldog has seen a surge in popularity over the years, and for good reason,” AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo said in a statement. “Frenchies are playful, adaptable, loyal and outgoing. They make wonderful companions for a variety of people.”
Related: The Frenchie Is Gaining Ground on the Most Popular Breed in America
Plus, its adaptable nature and it’s compact, yet hardy, body makes them great for those living in small homes, in apartments, or city dwellers.
While there’s every reason to be obsessed with French Bulldogs, it’s important for potential Frenchie owners to know this breed is prone to a few health issues. The flat face, smooshed in nose, and short skull, make it a brachycephalic breed. Pugs, Brussels Griffons, and Bull Mastiffs, among others, also fall under this umbrella. Because of their face shape, they are susceptible to breathing problems, with some requiring a nose job or other procedures to open up tight nostrils.
They are also more prone to skin issues, allergies, knee and hip problems, obesity, and eye problems, along with other ailments. Frenchies are more sensitive to anesthesia, too.
By being aware of the potential conditions a French Bulldog could face, dog parents interested in welcoming one into their family can adequately prepare for life living with this popular breed.
Related: Love the French Bulldog But Worried About Health Issues? Here Are 5 Alternative Breeds to Consider.
Because the breed is prone to overheating, short, more frequent walks are needed vs. one long walk, especially when it is hot out. They also may overheat when playing with dogs, so it’s important to keep an eye on a Frenchie during playtime.
For potential health issues down the road, some may want to consider investing in health insurance (though read the fine print) and/or put a small amount of money each month into a bank account for dog health emergencies.
It’s also imperative to for dog parents to do their homework. There are a ton of amazing Frenchie rescues all over the country. If inquiring about a potential pup looking for a new home, make sure to ask questions about disposition, any health issues they may already have, and what to expect based on age, background, and personality.
If choosing to go down the breeder route, be diligent when choosing where to purchase your dog from. Because Frenchies are such a hot commodity (and expensive), there are nefarious and irresponsible breeders out there who put profit over the health and wellbeing of their dogs.
To avoid these breeders, make sure you are able to meet your potential new bestie at the location, know how many dogs they breed, if they are registered with reputable organizations, what their health policies are, if they have run tests on the mom and dad, what references they can provide, and how long they have been in business, among other questions. (Here is a few other articles to help you with breeders and questions.)
And if sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The AKC recognizes approximately 200 breeds. The ones rounding out the top 10 list are as follows:
- French Bulldogs
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepherd Dogs
- German Shorthaired Pointers
Related: Here’s What Makes French Bulldogs So Damn Irresistible