French bulldog claims title of top US purebred, dethroning Labrador retriever

A French bulldog receives medical treatment at Al-Rawasi Veterinary Clinic on January 19, 2022 in Benghazi, Libya. — Reuters/File

Soft and very cute French Bulldog The American Kennel Club’s 2022 rankings end the Labrador retriever’s 31-year reign as the king of purebreds, taking the title of most popular dog in the United States.

With his flat face, doe eyes and bat ears, the Frenchman has steadily climbed the rankings over the past decade, reaching No. 2 last year, according to the club, which maintains the club’s largest registry. keeps Purebred dog breeds in the country.

Atlanta breeder Johnny Danley Jr. said, “What’s not to love about them? They’re great companions, sweet and very affectionate.”

Frenchy was ranked 14th in the 2012 ranking. Registrations have increased tenfold since then, the club said on its website.

Danley began breeding French bulldogs as a hobby for about a dozen years before opening his own business, Damn Danley Kennels, in 2018, selling to friends.

But the dogs aren’t cheap, with prices starting at $3,000.

“I’ve heard of some selling for $1 million. But we sell to blue-collar, 9-to-5 people who want to spend a little for a great companion,” Danley said.

French bulldog thefts have increased in recent years due to the breed’s growing popularity and price tag, according to the club. In an incident that made national headlines in 2021, two Frenchies owned by Lady Gaga were stolen in an altercation in Los Angeles that left the singer’s dog walker with a gunshot wound.

Danley acknowledged that some pint-sized Frenchies can have health problems that affect the respiratory system and spine. But the risks are minimal when only healthy dogs are used for breeding.

The former top dog, the smooth-tempered Labrador retriever, still has plenty of fans, as it slipped a notch to No. 2, ahead of No. 3, the Golden Retriever, and No. 4, the German Shepherd. Pulling back on the English Foxhound No. 199.

“These are all. Great dogsaid Arslan Haugen, breeder and co-owner of Royal French Bulldogs in the Atlanta suburb of Union City.

“I love labs, don’t get me wrong,” Hughan said. “But the French are the best. They’re like little people. When they see you, they melt your heart.”

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