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American Presidents And Their First Dogs

American Presidents And Their First Dogs
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From squirrels to dogs, racoons and lots of ponies, the White House, the official residence of all sitting American Presidents have seen it all.

The 45th American President Donald Trump (2017- Incumbent) has so far bunked this tradition and it seems he has got no plans to bring any pets to the White House.

Take a look at some of the Presidential pets for history and pet lovers alike.

President Barack Obama

barack obama american presidents and dogs



Presidential Tenure – 2009-2017

Pet Name – Bo Obama

Breed – Portuguese water dog




It was President Obama’s two daughters who convinced their dad to get an animal at the White House. Bo, a wonderful and delightful water dog, seems to be lucky enough to live with the First Family in the White House.

When he won the election, Senator Ted Kennedy gifted a Portuguese water dog on 2009. The water dog acquired a new name Bo named after Obama’s father-in-law.

Interesting Trivia

Bo Obama gained more popularity by starring in many books

  • Beth Zappitelo and J. Patrick Lewis’s First Dog
  • Koji Kondo’s Bo Obama: First Dog of the United States of America

President George W. Bush




Presidential Tenure – 2001-2009

Pet Name – Spot Fetcher

Breed – English Springer Spaniel




Spot Fetcher, a cute English Springer Spaniel, walked, lived, jumped, and shared a bedroom with former American President George Bush during his tenure.

Called “Spotty”, he was courteous, obedient, affectionate, and kind to help his humans. Spot also accompanied the Presidents Bush during important meetings and briefings.

 Interesting Trivia

In the year 2000, Barney, an energetic Scottish Terrier was received as a gift from Christine Whitman, New Jersey Governor.

President Bill Clinton




Presidential Tenure – 1993-2001

Pet Name – Buddy

Breed – Labrador Retriever





When Buddy, the charming Labrador Retriever first arrived,  the official spokesperson told reporters that it was Clinton’s longing to have someone loyal at the Oval.

The Labrador Retriever has named Buddy after Bill Clinton’s uncle Grisham whom the President described as his major inspiration in his life. Buddy’s fight with Socks, the cat became very famous and he behaved very softly after that.

Interesting Trivia

Buddy died in 2002 when he was accidentally hit by a car in New York.

President George H.W. Bush




Presidential Tenure – 1989-1993

Pet Name – Millie

Breed – Springer Spaniel





President H.W. Bush’s Springer Spaniel “Millie” is the most popular First Pet amongst American households. Millie’s typical day includes attending meetings in the White House mixed with quick short getaways for squirrel hunting.

Named after H.W. Bush’s longtime companion, Mildred Kerr, Millie gained the distinction of being Spot’s and Ranger’s mother, both owned by George W. Bush while he was in office.

Interesting Trivia

  • Millie was so famous that she appeared in the world famous American TV show “The Simpsons.”
  • The Bush family named their 15-acre park Millie Bush in her honour in 2004.

President Ronald Reagan




Presidential Tenure – 1981-1989

Pet Name – Rex

Breed – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel





William F. Buckley, a commentator gifted Rex, a Charles spaniel to the then American President Reagan in 1985 as a Christmas present.

The puppy was named Rex in honour of Scouten, the usher who served in the White House at that time.

Interesting Trivia

  • Rex’s main work involved switching on the power switch during Christmas time.
  • He is now buried in California’s Rancho del Cielo after he passed away in 1989.

President Jimmy Carter




Presidential Tenure – 1977- 1981

Pet Name – Lewis Brown

Breed – Afghan Hound





The 39th American President Jimmy Carter owned a lovely Afghan hound between 1977 and 1981. It was an era without any Facebook or Twitter and people believed he lived happily with President Carter and Rosalynn Carter.

Interesting Trivia

These breeds, Afghan hounds are known for their curled-up tails, silky coats, and robust energy.

President Gerald Ford




Presidential Tenure – 1974- 1977

Pet Name – Liberty

Breed – Golden Retriever





After President Nixon’s resignation, Ford took over as 38th U.S President in 1974. President Ford’s  Golden retriever, Liberty gained more fan following and ended up robbing many American hearts.

Liberty’s popularity further soared when she gave birth to five males and four females at the White House.

Interesting Trivia

  • Ford did not allow the puppies to be photographed until they were not less than two months.
  • Liberty, the Golden retriever passed away at age of 11 in 1986.

President Richard Nixon




Presidential Tenure – 1969- 1974

Pet Name – Vicky

Breed – Poodle





In 1969, Vicky, the poodle joined the First Family at the White House. The family already had a terrier dog named Pasha and they were greeted by another Irish Setter named King Timahoe.

During Christmas and New Year celebration, Vicky could be seen in the Presidential quarters mingling with the guests and family members.

Interesting Trivia

  • Vicky, the poodle received a rare honour of attending a VIP wedding, Tricia Nixon’s marriage at the White House.
  • She passed away in 1976.

President Lyndon B. Johnson




Presidential Tenure – 1963- 1969

Pet Name – Him and Her

Breed – Beagle





The 36th U.S. President Lyndon Johnson simply adored dogs. In return, they too loved him. In 1963, he rebuilt the doghouse that was located inside the White House.

In 1964, the Life magazine published a photo where he was seen pulling Him by his ears earning him a bad name amongst countless dog lovers. The American President also expressed his apologies after the controversy reached unseen heights.

Interesting Trivia

  • He and Her received widespread support and they enjoyed their time at the White House.
  • The late President Johnson took them with him for official meetings and He once pissed in a chair.

President John F. Kennedy




Presidential  Tenure – 1961- 1963

Pet Name – Clipper

Breed – German Shepherd





Clipper and Shannon were Jackie Kennedy’s and JFK’s favourite dogs.  The First Family received Clipper, a German shepherd, as a gift and it remained close to Jackie at all times.

This dog also received special training through a famous dog training school. The training did help Clipper became even more obedient and resilient.

Interesting Trivia

  • When a press reporter asked Jackie what her dog loved eating, she replied by saying, “Reporter.”
  • Joseph P. Kennedy gifted Clipper to Jackie Kennedy who once served America as an Ambassador.


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