January 27, 2010 / 7:12 PM / 9 years ago

Labrador Retriever top dog in U.S. for 19th year

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) -The Labrador Retriever was named the top dog in the United States on Wednesday for the 19th consecutive year by the American Kennel Club.

The German Shepherd came in second place for 2009, due to its increased visibility as a preferred breed for law enforcement, followed by the Yorkshire Terrier, the Golden Retriever and the Beagle.

But the Labrador Retriever’s long run at the top may not last too much longer.

“For the first time in nearly three decades the German Shepherd dog finds itself in the number two position, displacing the Yorkshire Terrier,” said American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson.

Boxers, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Poodles and Shih Tzu rounded out the top 10 most popular dogs in the list of 164 breeds. The ranking is based on the number of registrations for the breed with the American Kennel Club.

Over the past decade, the Havanese went from 92nd most popular breed to 32nd and the Portuguese Water Dog jumped to 60th from 80th place, thanks in part to being President Barack Obama’s family pet.

Officers from the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s K-9 unit, who train with either Labradors or German Shepherds, said the dogs were essential to fighting terrorism.

“The dogs are the best thing that we have, they’re the best thing that’s out there.” said William Morange of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“We know the one thing that really works is the K-9 unit, it keeps the transportation system running.”

Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Patricia Reaney

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