The Labrador retriever has been dethroned as America’s favorite dog breed, replaced by the French bulldog with its stout legs, bat-like ears and smooshed face that has stolen America’s heart.

The American Kennel Club does an annual ranking of purebred dog breed popularity based on their registration statistics from the previous year. The cute and compact bulldog has many characteristics that caused the breed to break the Labrador retriever's 31-year-long streak as most popular.

The organization said the breed's popularity owes a lot to its low barking and high trainability levels. About the breed, the group said, “They happily adapt to life with singles, couples or families and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise. They get on well with other animals and enjoy making new friends of the human variety. It is no wonder that city folk from Paris to Peoria swear by this vastly amusing and companionable breed.”

There are few dog breeds as popular amongst celebrities as the Frenchie. Proud owners of the breed include A-list celebrities such as Megan Thee Stallion, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga.

According to US Weekly, out of the three French bulldogs that Lady Gaga owns, her eldest, Asia, has had her own time in the spotlight. Asia was on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar with Gaga and was also part of a 2015 Coach campaign.

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These photogenic pups, although cute and friendly, have a long list of potential health issues. The French bulldog falls under the brachycephalic breeds that can be identified by their shortened snout and flat face, the American Kennel Club said. Because of the strange structure of their skull, the breed struggles to regulate their temperatures when overheated due to their narrow nose and small airways.

When debating whether or not the French bulldog is the right pup for you, the club said, “It is extremely important to seek out a responsible breeder when looking for a flat-faced puppy. Responsible breeders do health testing and breed healthy, happy brachycephalic dogs with little to no issues.”

The top 5 most popular dog breeds of 2022, according to the kennel club’s statistics, are:

  1. French Bulldog.
  2. Labrador retriever.
  3. Golden retriever.
  4. German shepherd.
  5. Poodle.