In light of the election being less than a month away, I thought it prudent to look at the history of some of the most beloved inhabitants of the White House – the Presidential Dogs. While living the life of luxury in DC has its perks (lots of space to run around in and dog treats that are checked by the Secret Service), there is a certain dignity and air of sophistication that a Presidential Pooch must project. Here’s a look back at the First Dogs since our country began.
As our first President, George Washington was also the first to have a First Pet. While his dogs didn’t get to live in the White House, one can assume they had plenty of time to run around. George Washington had seven dogs – three Staghounds (Sweet Lips, Scentwell, and Vulcan), and four Black and Tan Coonhounds (Taster, Tipler, Tipsy, and Drunkard). It’s safe to assume that his Coonhounds liked to get into the Presidential liquor.
Continuing the tradition of the First Dog, John Adams only had two dogs while President, though they were the first to stay in the White House. While the breeds have been lost to time, we’re sure that he loved his two dogs (Juno and Satan) despite their naming.
We know that Thomas Jefferson had two Briards, and while one’s name has been lost to time, the other, Buzzy, probably got to enjoy his time at Monticello.
Picking up where Thomas Jefferson left off, James Monroe was the proud owner of a Spaniel. While the type of Spaniel and the name are lost to us, one can only hope that it got to enjoy some type of primitive bully stick.
Featuring an Italian Greyhound with a French name, Le Beau was the only dog of John Tyler.
The proud owner of seven oriental dogs, we don’t know the exact breeds or names, but one can assume it was hard to turn a corner in the White House without finding one.
Bringing two dogs with him, James Buchanan was the proud owner of Lara, a Newfoundland and a Toy Terrier named Punch.
While some say he was the greatest President, one can question his choice in naming thanks to his choice of the name “Fido” for the First Dog.
Ulysses S. Grant
Owner of numerous horses, but only two dogs, Rosie (breed unknown), and Faithful, a Newfoundland. One can assume that Faithful was the more popular of the two.
Rutherford B. Hayes
One of the most prolific dog owners in the White House, Rutherford B. Hayes owned six dogs during his time in office – Dog (Cocker Spaniel), Hector (Newfoundland), Duke (English mastiff), Grim (Greyhound), June and Shep (Hunting Dogs), and Jet (breed unknown).
James A. Garfield
While James A. Garfield only owned one dog while in office, the choice of name for his dog might give insight into his Presidency. Veto.
President Cleveland only owned only dog in office, a poodle whose name has been lost to time.
Harrison owned a single dog during his time as President, a Collie named Dash. One hopes the dog was quick on his feet.
Another prolific dog owner, Teddy Roosevelt was the proud owner of 8 dogs – Pete (Bull Terrier), Skip (Rat Terrier), Blackjack (Manchester Terrier), Manchu (Pekingese), Rollo (Saint Bernard), Sailor Boy (Chesapeake Bay Retriever), and Gem and Susan (Breeds unknown). Clearly he had an taste for the terriers.
William Howard Taft
Taft had only one dog, Caruso, whose name and breed are lost to us.
Wilson had two dogs, a Greyhound name Mountain Boy and a Bull Terrier named Bruce.
Warren G. Harding
Harding had only one dog that we know of, an Airedale Terrier named Laddie Boy that was a bit of a celebrity during his time in office. Harding apparently threw birthday parties for his dog and invited other neighboring dogs.
Another prolific dog owner, Coolidge owned six during his time in office – Rob Roy and Prudence Prim (White Collies), Paul Pry (Airedale Terrier), Calamity Jane (Shetland Sheepdog), Boston Beans (Bulldog), and Palo Alto (Birddog)
Hoover loved pets, having 10 dogs – King Tut and Pat (German Shepherds), Big Ben and Sonnie (Fox Terriers), Glen (Scotch Collie), Yukon (Eskimo Dog), Patrick (Irish Wolfhound), Eaglehurst Gillette (Setter), and Weejie (Norwegian Elkhound)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
While not owning as many dogs as the other Roosevelt, FDR had his fair share…seven to be exact – Fala (Scottish Terrier), Major (German Shepherd), Meggie (Scottish Terrier), Winks (Llewellyn Setter), Tiny (Old English Sheepdog), President (Great Dane), and Blaze (Mastiff).
Harry S. Truman
Taking a step back from FDR, Truman only kept two dogs while in office, a Cocker Spaniel named Feller and an Irish Setter named Mike.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Keeping only a single dog, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the proud owner of a Weimaraner named Heidi.
John F. Kennedy
One of the best known political families is also known as being the most prolific dog owners in the White House, keeping nine dogs through JFK’s term. They were: Charlie (Welsh Terrier), Shannon (Irish Cocker Spaniel), Wolf (mutt), Clipper (German Shepherd), Pushinka (mutt), and Butterfly, White Tips, Blackie, and Streaker (all offspring of Pushinka and Charlie).
Lyndon B. Johnson
Keeping a handful of dogs on hand, LBJ had four Beagles (Beagle, Little Beagle, Him, and Her), a White Collie (Blanco), and a mongrel dog (Yuki).
No matter his faults, Nixon loved his pets, keeping four – Checkers (Cocker Spaniel), Vicky (Poodle), Pasha (Terrier), King Timahoe (Irish Setter).
Taking over where Nixon left off (in many regards), Ford owned two dogs in the White House – Liberty (Golden Retriever) and Misty (Liberty’s puppy born in the White House).
Carter only owned one dog while in office, a dog named Grits.
George H. W. Bush
The first Bush had two dogs in the White House, a Springer Spaniel named Millie and one of her puppies named Ranger.
The Clinton’s only had one dog, a Chocolate Labrador Retriever named Buddy.
George W. Bush
And finally, we have W. The second Bush family has 3 dogs, a pair of Scottish Terriers named Barney and Miss Beazley and another of Millie’s puppies named Spot Fetcher.
So there we have it, a history of the First Dog. What will the next President bring with him? Only time will tell.