All the President's Dogs: America's most 'royal' breeds -

All the President's Dogs: Famous pets in politics

When President Obama and his family were looking for a dog, a national poll was conducted about what breed of dog they should get. The top choice: A poodle. But just like in politics, polls don't guarantee any candidate the White House. It was a Portuguese water dog named "Bo" that moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dogs have had a place in Presidential history from the very beginning. In fact, George Washington was actually a dog breeder and created the American Foxhound. Our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, is here with a profile of Presidential dogs and some thoughts on which of these breeds you might elect for your own house.

More than half of America's 44 Presidents have been dog owners, including the 16th chief executive, Abraham Lincoln.

Often considered our greatest president, Lincoln wasn't particular about a dog's breed. His dog of choice was a floppy-eared yellow mutt named "Fido." Fido had the run of Lincoln's house in Springfield, Ill. but he never stepped paw in the White House. The President worried the long train ride to Washington would be too stressful for Fido and left him in the care of a local family.

"At least half of all dogs in America are mixed-breed or random-bred," says Luciano. "Mixed-breeds vary in size, shape and color. And a lot of people like the fact that mixed dogs often have a unique, one-of-a-kind look. If you're looking for a dog, consider getting a mutt. After all, it was good enough for Honest Abe!"

Dogs have a way of humanizing the leader of the free world … something Herbert Hoover, our 31st president, was well aware of. Hoover enlisted his favorite dog, a Belgian Shepherd named "King Tut," to help him win the White House.

"There are four varieties of Belgian shepherds and I own three of the Malinois variety," Luciano says. "These dogs are very similar to German shepherds, but are smaller and more compact.  Belgian Malinois make great working dogs for police and military. But as far as a family pet, I don't recommend the Malinois. Get a German shepherd. They're much more relaxed and easier to train."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our 32nd president and the only one to win four terms, favored Scottish Terriers; as did George W. Bush.

"Scottish Terriers make good pets, but they can be stubborn and territorial. Scotties were originally bred to hunt and fight badgers, so they're prone to digging. These feisty little dogs are intelligent, playful and very loyal. Black is the traditional color, but Scotties can also be gray, white and brindle, which is a mix of black and brown," explains Luciano.

One of Harry S. Truman's best-known quotes is: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." But the 33rd president was dogged by a canine controversy over a cocker spaniel puppy. An admiring constituent sent the pup to Truman as a Christmas present, who ended up giving him to the White House doctor. Dog-lovers across the country were outraged and criticized Truman for being "anti-dog."

Cocker spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs. They're fast dogs and have a lot of endurance. Cockers are gentle, playful and very good around children. If you're looking for a great family pet, Luciano says the cocker spaniel is definitely a serious candidate.

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president and the first commander-in-chief to have his dogs greet him as he stepped off Marine One. Dogs greeting the helicopter on the White House lawn has been a presidential tradition ever since.

President Kennedy had several dogs including an Irish spaniel, a German shepherd, an Irish wolfhound and his favorite: A Welsh terrier named "Charlie."

"Welsh terriers were first bred for hunting foxes and are believed to be the oldest existing dog breed in the U.K. They're very energetic dogs and need a lot of daily exercise. They're generally friendly, but can sometimes have an attitude and will stand their ground. Welsh terriers become yappy if they're bored. They love to swim, so if you have a pool or live near water, this could be a good dog for you," says Luciano.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president, was well known as a big dog lover. But that image was badly tarnished when he was photographed picking up his beagles by their ears. Animal lovers across the country were outraged and let him know it.

"Beagles are even-tempered and excellent with children," says Luciano. "They also get along very well with other dogs. They don't demand a lot of exercise, but do have a tendency to howl or bay when left alone. So if you have a busy lifestyle, a beagle's not a good choice for you. If you do get a beagle, be sure you don't pick him up by the ears!"

"One of the best things about dogs is that you don't have to be the president of the United States to win their admiration and allegiance," Luciano finishes. "Give your dog a little love and affection and you'll always have his vote."

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Mouse droppings cause disease

    Mouse droppings cause respiratory disease

    Mice are one of the most resilient mammals living on the planet. Some people have them as pets, and they're also used in laboratory experiments. If wild mice get inside your house, they can potentially
    If wild mice find a way inside your home, they can potentially cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your drywall and insulation. They can also transmit a harmful disease which can cause death in humans. 
Powered by WorldNow