Labradors have been overtaken as Britain’s favourite dog by the French bulldog, following the breed’s popularity with celebrities like Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman, who parade their pooches on social media.
The Kennel Club have indicated that there were 8,403 pedigree French bulldog registrations between January and March 2018 compared to 7,409 for Labradors. These figures show that Labradors have fallen off the top spot they previously occupied for nearly 30 years.
TV presenter Ben Fogle, who owns a Labrador, commented that it was unfortunate people were jumping on the fashion bandwagon – rating the French bulldog’s looks above having the right lifestyle to suit the dog.
The Kennel Club issued a warning against people buying the breed on a whim. They fear that this could bring about a welfare crisis and suggest that puppy buyers consider other breeds that might suit them more. Other breeds that are similar which might be better include the Miniature Schnauzer, Border Terrier, Beagle and Welsh Terrier.
As Kennel Club registrations only make up around 30 per cent of the UK’s total dog population, there are fears that many more French bulldogs might exist in reality, including those illegally brought in from Europe. Also, unscrupulous breeders may mass-produce puppies for sale with an eye to making money rather than their safety. It is therefore important to buy a puppy from a responsible breeder or consider a rescue dog.
French Bulldogs can be bred with very flat faces, which can cause health issues. Many owners don’t know about this issue, which can involve the emotional stress of repeated trips to the vet and high bills. It is therefore crucial to buy from a responsible breeder. Identifying a suitable kennel for when you go away is also important. For information on Dog Boarding in Surrey, see https://nestledownboardingkennels.co.uk/.
The Kennel Club stresses the importance of doing research: this may include going to the relevant breed club and getting a puppy whose parents both had a clean bill of health. For more on the French bulldog’s welfare see https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/french-bulldogs-overtake-labradors-as-the-nations-most-popular-dog-a3865366.html.
The Kennel Club website has a Breed Information Centre which gives information, including details on care and exercise, which lifestyle will suit the breed and health issues. It’s worth looking at these things before making a decision.