French bulldog sat in the snow

The French Revolution: 2021’s Hottest Dog

What is 2021’s Top Dog?

For the last 10 years, if not longer, Labrador Retrievers have held the top spot as the most common pet dog in the UK. Since 2011, over 30,000 new Labradors have been registered every single year in the country, according to The Kennel Club. If we go back to that same year, only 2,771 French Bulldogs were registered. Jump to 2020 however, and they are rivalling Labradors for popularity, both sitting in the 39,000 range. If this trend continues, they could snatch the top spot when the end of 2021 rolls around. Just how did they do it?

Affectionately called Frenchies, these debatably so-ugly-they’re-cute pooches (though I disagree, I think they’re just cute!) have a lot of pros for a modern lifestyle:

Low energy
Low exercise needs
Minimal grooming
Minimal shedding
Minimal barking

When considering these factors together, it quickly becomes clear why the French Bulldog’s popularity has skyrocketed:

They’re Perfect for City Living

While Labradors dominated the decade, they need space! And on our densely packed little island, most city dwellers don’t have any outdoor space, or much space at all. In times past, this may have ruled out the possibility of having a dog for many households.

Then, the rise of the Frenchie opened up the opportunity for more people to become a dog owner! These adaptable animals can live quietly and contentedly in a small indoor space, like an apartment, as long as they get a short walk a day. Don’t let their size fool you though, they overflow with individual personality! They’re affectionate without being imposing, playful while not energetic, friendly even with strangers, and often only bark if there’s a real problem.

The Downsides

While this is all well and good – and we love more people having the chance to become a pet owner! – they’re not as low maintenance as they may first appear. First of all, they can be harder to housetrain than many other dogs, requiring a lot of work when you first bring them home. They’re also not the best with small children or other animals. And like many other breeds, they have some destructive chewing tendencies.

Health problems are another consideration, as these cute canines are prone to quite a few. In particular, breathing problems, issues with their spines, and difficulty reproducing are not uncommon. Additionally, their delicate disposition requires them to live indoors with the family, as they can struggle to regulate their own temperatures, so walking them in the heat of the day or keeping them outdoors overnight are big no-no’s. Of course, if you live in a flat, that won’t be a problem!

In light of these difficulties that come along with the breed, many have expressed concern over the drastic increase in the number of Frenchies being adopted, particularly worrying that they’re adopted because they’re trendy, not necessarily because they actually suit the owner’s lifestyle.

For example, despite being quiet, they are still very social animals, and will struggle if left alone all day, every day. Therefore, while they may seem perfect for someone who lives alone and works full-time, they may actually become even lonelier than other breeds would in that situation. Of course, people with this lifestyle can still ensure their bulldogs are taken care of by making use of services like ours that can check in and play with their dogs during the day.

What’s The Verdict?

If you are thinking of snapping up the hottest dog of 2021, by all means do so! As long as new owners are aware of the unique challenges these pups present, they can make sure they receive all the care they need to live long, happy lives.

Honorable Mentions

While the French Bulldog might be rising to the top, these other breeds were also ranked among 2021’s most pup-ular choice!

• Mixed breed
• Labrador Retriever
• Cockapoo
• Cocker Spaniel
• Daschund
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• Jack Russell Terrier
• Border Collie
• Chihuahua