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Published on January 29, 2024
Texas Tail-Waggers: French Bulldog Dethrones Labrador as State's Top Dog BreedSource: Unsplash/ Alexandru Sofronie

The Lone Star State has spoken, and its bark echoes a changing preference in its canine companion of choice. The French Bulldog, with its distinctive bat-like ears and smushed face, is now the most searched dog breed in Texas, indicating a spike in popularity over the traditional American family favorites. This revelation comes from a study by PetLab, which crunched the numbers by using Google search trends for breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

It's not just a Texas phenomenon; these pint-sized pooches are winning hearts nationwide. Climbing the ranks over the past decade, the French Bulldog has dethroned the Labrador Retriever, ending its 31-year run as the most popular dog in the America. According to new data released by the AKC, this marks a significant shift in preference among dog lovers, symbolizing perhaps a larger trend in American living — city dwellers favoring smaller breeds compatible with apartment living. The Reuters report highlighted that their registrations with the AKC have increased tenfold since 2012.

But this popularity comes with a hefty price tag and a darker underside. French Bulldogs can fetch a starting price of $3,000 each, with some selling for significantly more, as noted by Johnny Danley Jr., a breeder from Atlanta. Despite the high cost and surge in thefts of these coveted canines—a fact underscored by the dramatic 2021 incident involving Lady Gaga's stolen dogs—people seem willing to pay for these affectionate companions. "What's not to love about them? They're great companions, cute and show great affection," Danley told Reuters.

Ersylan Hughen, another breeder, echoed these sentiments. Despite a lingering affection for the displaced Labs, Hughen admitted that "Frenchies are the best. They're like little people. When they look at you, they just melt your heart," according to an interview with Reuters. Health concerns for the breed are not lost on enthusiasts, as the dogs can suffer from issues affecting their respiratory system and spinal cord—problems that responsible breeders like Danley combat by only breeding healthy dogs.

Nationally, French Bulldogs claimed the title in nine states, reflecting a shift towards smaller, more urban-friendly dogs across America, as per the research by PetLab. This surge topples the Golden Retriever, which itself had a good run, emerging as the top choice in 38 states. Nevertheless, the French Bulldog’s rise to prominence marks a new chapter in the annals of American pet culture, from the spacious backyards suitable for Labs and Goldens to the cozy living rooms where Frenchies reign supreme. For more information on the most popular dog breeds state by state, visit the Fox San Antonio report.