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  • Ruby, a 2 1/2-year-old German Shepherd, races in from the water after recovering a tennis ball her owner Oct. 9, 2011, in Chicago. (Chuck Berman/ Chicago Tribune file)
Ruby, a 2 1/2-year-old German Shepherd, races in from the water after recovering…
January 30, 2013|By Jim Walsh, @jxwalsh | RedEye

The Labrador retriever might be the top dog in America, but in Chicago it's all about the German shepherd.

As part of its annual rankings of the most popular canines in the U.S., the American Kennel Club on Wednesday highlighted the pooches with the most street cred in the Windy City. The German shepherd—a favorite for families in addition to police, guard and military personnel, the club says—retained its crown over the No. 2 Lab. It beat out the bulldog, the golden retriever and the one-two punch of the boxer/Yorkshire terrier, who tied for fifth place in the 2012 rankings.

"The German shepherd dog remains Chicago's top dog, with the Labrador retriever close behind," AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson said in a release. "The bulldog is also inching toward the No. 1 spot, replacing the golden retriever as Chicago's third most popular breed."

The Yorkshire terrier, which didn't crack the top five in 2011, overcame the rottweiler in the most recent list. The rottweiler lost ground, dropping from fifth to tenth.

Nationally, the Labrador retriever—known for being playful and family friendly—has held on to the top spot for 22 years and is tied with the poodle for longest reign, according to the club. Rounding out the country's top five are the German shepherd, golden retriever, beagle and bulldog.

Chicago's most popular dog

1. German shepherd

2. Labrador retriever

3. Bulldog

4. Golden retriever

5. Boxer/Yorkshire terrier

America's most popular dog

1. Labrador retriever

2. German shepherd

3. Golden retriever

4. Beagle

5. Bulldog

[SOURCE: American Kennel Club]

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