Dogs have been a beloved part of the White House for centuries, serving as companions to the President and their families. From George Washington to Joe Biden, many presidents have had presidential pets by their side during their time in office. These furry friends have become part of American history and culture, and have even been featured in newspapers and on television. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most famous dogs to step paw in the White House.
Drunkard (George Washington)
As the first president, George Washington was the first president to have a dog in the white house. His dog was named "Drunkard" and was a black and white hound. Washington loved his hound very much and would often take him on hunting trips. Unfortunately, Drunkard passed away during Washington's presidency, but his legacy lives on as the first-ever presidential pooch.
Fido (Abraham Lincoln)
Abraham Lincoln's dog, Fido, was a mixed-breed dog. A neighbor gifted him to Lincoln. Fido was a loyal companion to Lincoln during the Civil War. Lincoln once said, "Fido is my most constant companion." In 1865, Fido's death was mourned by Lincoln and the entire nation.
Skip & Pete (Teddy Roosevelt)
Theodore Roosevelt's family had a total of six dogs while they were in the White House. One of them, Skip, was a Bull Terrier with a notoriously mischievous behavior. He loved steailng food from the kitchen sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom. Another of Roosevelt's dogs, Pete, was an infamous reactive Bull Terrier. Pete once bit a French ambassador, causing an international incident.
Fala (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
FDR’s dog, Fala, was a Scottish Terrier. Fala was a gift to Roosevelt from his cousin, and quickly became a beloved member of the Roosevelt family. He had great loyalty and companionship, joining Roosevelt on trips and important meetings. Fala was so popular that he even had his own press secretary. As a result, he defined what it meant to be a presidential dog.
Feller (Harry S. Truman)
Harry S. Truman's dog, Feller, was a Cocker Spaniel. Feller was a gift to Truman from his daughter, Margaret. Known for his playful and affectionate nature, he was a favorite to anyone he touched. For both cuteness and to make his presidential appearance stronger, he had his own chair in the Oval Office.
Pushinka & Charlie (John F. Kennedy)
JFK’s dogs, Pushinka and Charlie, were both gifts from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Pushinka was a Russian Spaniel, and Charlie was a Welsh Terrier. Both dogs were well-behaved and well-liked by the Kennedy family and White House staff. Pushinka even had her own litter of puppies while living in the White House.
Yuki (Lydon B. Johnson)
LBJ's dog, Yuki, was a mixed-breed dog who was rescued from a shelter. Yuki was friendly and playful, and an easy favorite of the White House staff. Johnson often referred to Yuki as his "little boy" and would play with him on the White House lawn.
Checkers (Richard Nixon)
Richard Nixon's dog, Checkers, was a Cocker Spaniel. Checkers was a gift to Nixon from a supporter during his vice-presidential campaign. He was known for his loyalty and companionship to Nixon, and was a favorite of the White House staff. Checkers even had his own press conference, during which Nixon famously declared, "the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep him."
Grits (Jimmy Carter)
Jimmy Carter's dog, Grits, was a mixed-breed rescue dog that he adopted while in office. He was born the same day that Cartner won the election. The name "Grits" served as a reminder of the Carter family's Southern roots.
Lucky (Ronald Reagan)
Ronald Reagan's dog, Lucky, was a Bouvier des Flandres. Lucky was a gift to Reagan from his wife, Nancy. He had a regal and dignified demeanor and loved joining the Reagans on official trips and events. Lucky was also a therapy dog and visited hospitals and nursing homes during Reagan's presidency.
Millie (George H.W. Bush)
George H.W. Bush's dog, Millie, was an English Springer Spaniel. Millie was a gift to Bush from his wife, Barbara. Known for her intelligence and trainability, she sometimes followed the Bushes on official trips and events. Millie even had her own book, "Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush", which became a bestseller.
Buddy (Bill Clinton)
Bill Clinton's dog, Buddy, was a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Buddy was a gift to Clinton from his wife, Hillary. Known for his friendly and outgoing nature, he was a favorite of the White House staff and visitors. Buddy loved joining the Clintons on walks around the White House grounds and on trips to their home in Arkansas.
Bo & Sunny (Barack Obama)
Barack Obama's dogs, Bo and Sunny, were both Portuguese Water Dogs. Bo was a gift to Obama from Senator Ted Kennedy, and Sunny was a gift from the Obamas' friends. Both dogs were friendly and playful and were favorites of the white house and nation.
So we see, dogs have been constant companions for U.S. presidents throughout history. Presidents with pets have been brought joy, comfort, and companionship. These presidential pets have become an important part of American culture and history, and deserve to be celebrated equally to their presidential parents.
Join Our Pack
Follow us @NaturVet on social media to fill us in on tips we might have missed. And, check out the rest of NaturVet.com. We’ll keep you up to date on all our latest pet resources, supplements, tips and tricks, and more – everything you need to be the best pet parent possible!