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French Bulldog Becomes America's Top Dog

French Bulldogs ("Frenchies") are small, playful dogs and make great pets!
French Bulldogs ("Frenchies") are small, playful dogs and make great pets!

There was big news in the dog world this week, as the American Kennel Club announced the French Bulldog has passed the Labrador Retriever as the Most Popular Breed, a position the Lab has held for 31 years!

     The French Bulldog, often called the “Frenchie”, is a distant relative of the English Bulldog, which usually weighs in at around forty to fifty pounds.  Frenchies are smaller dogs that generally weigh about half that, making them a good choice for apartment dwellers and folks who live in smaller homes. 

There are good reasons why the French Bulldog is such a popular pet.  For a start, they are cute, playful, and affectionate, and come in a wide variety of colors.  They are not very athletic so a walk and a little bit of play makes them happy.  This is a dog that wants to sit in your lap instead of going jogging with you.  That is partly due to their stubby nose which makes it more susceptible to breathing problems and overheating, and puts it at risk for heatstroke when too active, because the dog can’t take in air quickly enough to keep itself cool.

Frenchies like to be the center of attention.  They are smart, eager to please and pretty easy to train.  This is not a good guard dog but it might bark to alert you if someone is at your door.  And they do not like to be left home alone.

One sad statistic for the French Bulldog is the high rate at which they are stolen.  Their small size and popularity make them an easy target for thieves who know they can resell the dogs.  Frenchie owners often microchip their pets and spay or neuter them so they can’t be used for breeding.

If you have a Frenchie, you know this is a dog that is sweet, gentle, affectionate and eager to please its human.  If you are looking for a small playful companion, the French Bulldog, now at the top of the American Kennel Club list, might be first on your list, too, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.