Many people got through the pandemic year, in part, by bringing a dog into their home. The rise in adoptions left few dogs to take away from some animal shelters.
But some people were very picky about what type of dogs they chose. The American Kennel Club has released its ranking of the most popular dog breeds of 2020.
The most beloved? The Labrador Retriever – for the 30th time in a row.
But there was movement in number two, where French Bulldogs ousted German Shepherds.
Frenchies with their wrinkled faces and cheeky bat ears have grown in popularity over the past 10 years, says Brandi Hunter, a spokeswoman for the AKC. “As more people see them and learn more about the breed, they’ll find out what a great breed it is,” Hunter said in an email. “Fun, smart, adaptable, easy to care for and a good companion.”
But the breed is not without its problems. Frenchies are prone to obesity, and being front-heavy means they cannot swim. And like other flat-faced breeds, they are prone to breathing problems and do not get along well in hot or humid weather.
Labrador Retrievers safely stay in first place: More than 98,300 people registered labs in the AKC registry last year. That number was around 66,500 for French Bulldogs.
The AKC only registers purebred dogs. The club says its registrations in 2020 were up 20% from 2019.
Famous dogs can sometimes affect the popularity of breeds. President Biden owns two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. Does that mean a return to second place in 2021?
“The breed has been in the top 5 for a while, so I’m not entirely sure if this additional exposure will add to its popularity,” says Hunter.
Also, popularity is not a smart way to choose a dog: “A dog is a long commitment, and choosing the breed that suits your lifestyle is important.”
Here are the top 10:
You can see the full list – including the Xoloitzcuintli, Spinone Italiano, and Dogo Argentino – here.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.