French Bulldog now most popular dog breed in U.S.

After decades as the most normal dog, Labradors cede the throne of canine popularity to French Bulldogs. America's most prevalent purebred breed in 2022, the smaller, snubber, more "comical" creatures are nonetheless a worry to critics: they are also genetic disasters.

The British Veterinary Association has urged people not to buy flat-faced breeds, such as Frenchies. The Netherlands has prohibited breeding very short-snouted dogs, and the country's agriculture minister aims to outlaw even owning them.

"French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic," says Dr. Carrie Stefaniak, a Glendale, Wisconsin-based veterinarian who's on the Frenchie club's health committee.

She has treated French bulldogs with breathing difficulties, and she stresses that would-be owners need to research breeders and health testing and to recognize that problems can be expensive to treat.