Puppy buyers are being urged not to buy a French bulldog on a whim as the breed overtakes the Labrador as the UK’s top dog for the first time.
Figures published by the Kennel Club show that the French bulldog has seen a staggering increase of 2,964 per cent in the last 10 years. It is now set to be 2018’s top dog - a position held by the Labrador for almost three decades.
The organisation is now calling on potential dog owners to consider a wider variety of breeds, including the UK's ‘forgotten breeds’ at risk of disappearing because their numbers are so low.
“We have never seen such a dramatic increase in breed popularity as we have with the French bulldog and so far in 2018, it is the top dog in the UK for the first time,” explained Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary.
“The problem is that rogue breeders are cashing in on this surging demand, which is why it has never been more important that people consider buying from a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder – particularly with this breed, which can suffer from serious health concerns.”
She adds: “The French Bulldog is a wonderful breed for the right owners but people are often surprised to know there are actually 221 pedigree dog breeds, so we urge people to remember that it isn’t always the obvious and fashionable choice that is right for you.”
The Kennel Club is also concerned that lack of pre-purchase research may lead to an increase in the number of French bulldogs being handed over to rescue centres. Between 2012 and 2017, the organisation saw a 107 per cent increase in searches for French bulldogs on its website.
“We are getting more and more French bulldogs coming through our doors from people who haven’t thought through whether they are the right dog for their lifestyle,” said Sue Worrall, Trustee of the French Bulldog Welfare Trust. “People need to be aware that French bulldogs require lots of companionship and training and can suffer from serious health problems.”