WASHINGTON (AFP) - Americans have elected a poodle to the White House, the American Kennel Club (AKC) said Thursday. After reports that Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle promised their young daughters that they could have a dog after the presidential election, the AKC polled the US public to find out what kind of canine would be most suitable for the possible first family. More than 42,000 people voted over seven weeks to choose America's top dog, and, love them or hate them, the poodle won by a wet nose after a dogfight with the little-known soft-coated Wheaten terrier. "In a race almost as tight as Hillary Clinton and Obama's run for the Democratic nomination for president, the poodle won by a (dog) hair, with just a few hundred votes separating the top two contenders," the AKC said in a statement posted on its website. Described by the AKC as "exceptionally smart and athletic," the choice of the poodle as the ideal White House dog was no surprise, said AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson. "Poodles are currently the eighth most popular breed in the US, according to 2007 AKC registrations statistics, and spent more than two decades in the top spot - a true testament to their suitability as a family pet," Peterson said. Other dogs in the running were the miniature schnauzer, bichon frise, and Chinese crested. No similar vote was held for John McCain, who is poised next week to be named the Republican Party candidate for the White House. That's because, according to the AKC, McCain already has 24 pets, including four dogs.