istockphoto.com/Tatyana Consaul

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has released its most popular breeds for 2022. If you own a toy pup from Paris who has a stout body, big eyes and pointy bat-like ears, you guessed it: the French bulldog is at the top of the list for both New Jersey and the whole country.

“The Frenchie is a smart, compact breed, and they can fit into various different lifestyles, perfect for people all across the country,” the AKC stated in its ranking. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1898. “They have surged in popularity in cities across the country since their small size and generally quiet demeanor make them good fits for apartments and smaller homes.”

A French bulldog, not to be confused with an English bulldog, is generally 11-13 inches tall, weighs less than 28 pounds and can live up to 12 years. It is playful, smart and adaptable. It ranks extremely high on being affectionate with family, good with young children and good with other dogs. It doesn’t shed too badly, needs monthly coat grooming, but does drool a bit much. Typically it won’t bark too much, has decent energy and is easy to train.

The AKC, which calculates the world’s registry of purebreds, used its statistics to rank the most popular breeds of the past year. Two thousand twenty-two is the first time the French bulldog topped the list, plus it knocked the Labrador retriever out of the No. 1 spot after 31 years!

The most popular dogs in America for 2022 were:
1. French bulldog
2. Labrador retriever
3. Golden retriever
4. German shepherd dog
5. Poodle
6. Rottweiler
7. Bulldog
8. Doberman pinscher
9. German shorthaired pointer
10. Yorkshire terrier

For New Jerseyites, the most popular breeds in 2022 were:
1. French bulldog
2. Labrador retriever
3. Golden retriever
4. German shepherd
5. Poodle
6. Rottweiler
7. Bulldog
8. Doberman pinscher
9. German shorthaired pointer
10. Yorkshire terrier

To compare, in 2021 the top breeds in NJ were:
1. Labrador retriever
2. French bulldog
3. Golden retriever
4. German shepherd
5. Poodle
6. Bulldog
7. Rottweiler
8. German shorthaired pointer
9. Doberman pinscher
10. Havanese

Other breeds that made major jumps from 2021 to 2022 are the American hairless terrier, Gordon setter, Italian greyhound and Anatolian shepherd dog. Over the last ten years, breeds like the cane corso, Belgian malinois, giant Schnauzer and English cocker spaniel have been making their way up the rankings in popularity.

Newly recognized by the AKC in 2022, the Mudi and Russian toy debuted at No. 150 and No. 144, respectively, in their first year.

The Bracco Italiano became the 200th breed fully recognized by the AKC in July of 2022; as a result, it will debut in the registration rankings for 2023.

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