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How to be top dog in Downing St!

With changes afoot in the leadership of all the major UK political parties, latest research shows the contenders should all be going to the dogs to bone up on how to succeed in the top jobs.

The advice for Gordon Brown is, if you're going to be the next Prime Minister you'd better start behaving like a Labrador.

Because that's the breed that would make the best job of running the country, according to the survey by leading pet food company, Burgess Supa Dog. Runners-up as top dog at Number 10 are the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.

Looking longingly into your master's eyes, chasing sticks and just being an all-round lovable character are the main attributes a determined Labrador imitator should concentrate on. Oh, and swimming.

According to the Kennel Club's web site, a perfect Lab should be "strongly built, short-coupled, very active; broad in skull; broad and deep through chest and ribs; broad and strong over loins and hindquarters. Good-tempered, very agile. Excellent nose, soft mouth; keen love of water. Adaptable, devoted companion. Intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. Kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness".

David Cameron on the other hand should be cultivating the butch toughness of a Dobermann, which came top of the list as the best canine leader of the opposition. The Bulldog and the German Shepherd took silver and bronze in the voting.

A top Dobermann says the Kennel Club is "medium size, muscular and elegant, with a well set body. Of proud carriage, compact and tough. Capable of great speed. Intelligent and firm of character, loyal and obedient. Bold and alert."

Patrick Corr and Peter Collett of brandaffinity directed the survey. Top psychologist Dr Collett, who is consultant to the Big Brother television show, commented: "This poll shows that the British public expects the prime minister to show the loyalty, trustworthiness and all round gentle and friendly canine characteristics that make Labs one of the most popular dog breeds in the country.

"David Cameron should be practising these traits in private just in case he ever gets the keys to number 10. In the meantime people expect a tough, no nonsense approach which is aptly demonstrated in the top three breeds in the leader of the opposition poll."

The survey was carried out among 700 dog owners on behalf of Burgess Supa Dog.