What is the most popular dog breed in the US in 2023?
After three decades, the Labrador retriever has been ousted as the United States’ favorite purebred dog. Its replacement? The flat-faced French bulldog.
The American Kennel Club has put the word out: 2023′s top dog is the French bulldog, which has eased out the Labrador retriever as the United States’ favorite purebred canine.
The short-faced, sturdy, compact dog is not only the most popular breed, one of its kind was also the number one show dog in the country at the Kennel Club’s events.
According to AKC, the dog has a lot of positive qualities, including playfulness, friendliness, and being affectionate. They also handle change well and are good with children.
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The rise of the French bulldog’s popularity
Frenchies are a low-maintenance pet, as they have a short coat and don’t require a lot of grooming. They also do not shed a lot. They have gained a lot of popularity among people who live in apartments due to their relatively small size.
The dog’s popularity is apparent in (and probably propelled in part by) the breed’s appearances with celebrities. Some famous people who are proud owners of French bulldogs include Lady Gaga, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, and Hugh Jackman, some of who post photos of their pets in their social media accounts.
The French bulldog’s health problems
However, not everyone is in favor of the rising popularity of the French bulldog. The breed falls into a category of dogs which are considered brachycephalic, or having shortened skull bones that give the face and nose a smashed-in appearance. The shorter bones can cause physical problems for the affected dog, including difficulty breathing, eye ulcers, and spine abnormalities. The Royal Veterinary Society found that Brachycephalic dogs are generally less healthy than other breeds.
Because of these health and welfare concerns, the British Veterinary Association has encouraged people not to buy flat-faced breeds, including French bulldogs.
The Netherlands announced a ban against breeding short-muzzled dogs a few years ago. Norway issued a similar prohibition but it was overturned by a court last year.
Animal welfare advocates argue that breeding brachycephalic dogs so that they acquire features that are considered cute can result in more health problems for the dogs. Animal protection groups believe that there should be a focus on how to make these breeds healthier.
For some veterinarians and pet advocates, the most important thing for people who intend to acquire dogs is to know the breed’s potential health problems and how these could relate to their daily care.
The French bulldog has a lot of qualities that make it an ideal pet. But for the sake of the breed, it might be better for prospective pet owners to adopt a dog instead of buying from a pet store or breeder.