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Labrador retrieves top dog spot again

IF there were any doubt, the Labrador retriever is the people's choice among purebred dogs for the 18th straight year, according to the American Kennel Club.

The AKC said on Wednesday that more than twice as many Labs were registered in the United States in 2008 as Yorkshire terriers - the No. 2 dog on the list - which means that the breed will probably retain its Most Popular Dog title.

The rest of the top 10 canines are the German shepherd, golden retriever, beagle, boxer, dachshund, bulldog, poodle and shih tzu.

This word comes as US President Barack Obama's family continues to mull over its choice of a dog for the White House.

It appears that none of the purebreds on the AKC list is in the running. Obama has said that his family was considering a Labradoodle, a cross between a Lab and a poodle, or a Portuguese water dog.

Both are low-shedding breeds that won't get hair all over the furniture or cause problems for the Obamas' 10-year-old daughter, Malia, who has allergies.

AKC said the hypoallergenic Portuguese water dog has increased 44 percent in popularity in the past decade and is now No. 64 on its list of recognized breeds.

The bulldog returned to the list as No. 10 last year after an absence of 70 years and has since jumped two notches.

"The docile and adaptive nature of the bulldog is gaining ground as a family favorite," said AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson.

AKC began with nine breeds in 1884 and now recognizes 161. The pointer, the most popular dog in the first yearly survey, is now No. 111. The Chesapeake Bay retriever, No. 2 in 1884, is now No. 48.


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