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Labrador retriever loses crown after 31 years on top as America’s most popular dog

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Step aside labrador betriever, a new top dog has taken the lead! The dog breed has lost its crown after 31 years as America’s most popular dog, according to the American Kennel Club.

The dethroning comes after three decades, with the US’ favourite now being the “playful” and “adaptable” French bulldog.

The sturdy and droll-like faced animal has become one that many have come to love – as the club announced its winner on Wednesday.

“The French Bulldog has seen a surge in popularity over the years, and for good reason,” said the club’s executive secretary, Gina DiNardo.

To many, it may come as a surprise that the Labrador retriever came out on top for so long, but the French bulldog had slowly been making its way to top spot.

Picture of a french bulldog, taken on 16/06/17 in Frankfurt | usage worldwide Photo by: Jan Haas/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The club said the Frenchies had gone from 14th place in 2012 to No 1 in 2022, adding that registrations for the new lovable animals had increased by “over 1,000%” in that period.

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“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,” Ms DiNardo added.

According to the club, other breeds also climbing up the ladder include the American hairless terrier, the Gordon setter, the Italian greyhound, and the Anatolian shepherd.

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Although the perky-eared breed has knocked the labrador retriever from its perch, there have been instances where these Frenchies were met with much criticism and concern.

In 2017, the British Veterinary Association put out a statement that said it “strongly recommends potential owners do not buy brachycephalic breeds; instead we encourage potential owners to talk to their local vet before buying a dog to better understand what may be the best breed for them, learn more about responsible ownership and how to better understand a dog’s needs”.

Brachycephalic dogs are flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, and French bulldogs. These dogs may have a short skull shape, which gives them a flat appearance, the British Veterinary Association states.

Other animals can also be affected by brachycephaly; these species include dogs, cats, and rabbits, among many others.

Many health defects come with brachycephaly, such as breathing difficulties, eye disease, natural birth, skin infections and dental issues.

According to VioVet, a pet supplies company, the French bulldog’s weakness is optical disorders and cherry eye; however, the animal is known to have a steady and easy temperament.

The website also states that Frenchies display “loyalty and devotion towards its master and family, whilst acting fearlessly to safeguard its loved ones in the event of perceived threat”.

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