There’s a new top dog in town.
For the first time ever, the French Bulldog has become the most popular dog breed in the U.S., according to the American Kennel Club.
The mini but mighty breed knocked the Labrador Retriever out of its historic reign as the nation’s top dog breed for the past 31 years.
Known for its playful and adaptable nature, the Frenchie looks like a miniature version of a bulldog — except for its erect "bat ears," which are a distinctive feature of the breed.
While French Bulldogs don’t bark much, they are alert in nature, making them great watchdogs, says the AKC. They get along well with other dogs and don't need much outdoor exercise.
The French Bulldog climbed in popularity ranks over the years, moving up from the 14th slot in 2012. The Labrador Retriever has been pushed down to second place.
"The French Bulldog has seen a surge in popularity over the years, and for good reason," AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo said in a press release. "Frenchies are playful, adaptable, loyal and outgoing. They make wonderful companions for a variety of people, but it's extremely important to do your research to not only find the right breed for your lifestyle, but to ensure that you're getting a well-bred dog from a responsible breeder."
The AKC's list of top dog breeds for 2022 also includes the beloved Golden Retriever in the top three.
Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.
1. French Bulldog
2. Labrador Retriever
3. Golden Retriever
4. German Shepherd Dog
10. German Shorthaired Pointer