MNN Galleries

Famous presidential pooches

By: Matt Hickman on June 5, 2012, 6:38 p.m.
Pets, dogs

Photo: US Government Employee/Wikimedia Commons

12 of 13

Bo the Portuguese water dog (Barack Obama)

President Barack Obama’s restraint in the pet-keeping department — compared to, let’s say, Theodore Roosevelt who kept multiple dogs, cats, guinea pigs, a pony, a bear, a one-legged rooster and a garter snake named Emily Spinach — has only further elevated the celebrity of Bo, a Portuguese water dog given as a gift to the Obama family from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, because the handsome purebred pooch has no other White House critters to compete with for the spotlight. Although Obama initially expressed interest in adopting a shelter dog as the presidential pet, the first family ended up settling on a non-shedding “Portie” due in part to the fact that the somewhat rare breed is hypoallergenic (Malia Obama suffers from allergies) and are always dressed in party-appropriate formal wear. In addition to crashing Univision TV shoots on the White House lawn, Bo Obama enjoys blogging and occasionally dressing up as the Easter Bunny.

Other presidential pooches:

  • Liberty the golden retriever (Gerald Ford)
  • Pushinka the mutt and others (John F. Kennedy)
  • King Tut the German shepherd and others (Herbert Hoover)
  • Pete the pit bull and others (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • Hector the Newfoundland and others (Rutherford B. Hayes)
  • Faithful the Newfoundland (Ulysses S. Grant)
  • Lara the Newfoundland (James Buchanan)
  • Le Beau the Italian greyhound (Andrew Tyler)
  • Buzzy the Briard (Thomas Jefferson)
  • Various hounds (George Washington)