Obama Puppy Choice UpdatePublished January 15, 2009
The Obama family has narrowed down their choice for the next "First Pet" to two dog breeds: The Portuguese Water Dog and the Labradoodle, a mix of the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. President-Elect Barack Obama announced the decision Sunday on ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Obama did not say how long before a dog would be moving in to the White House but did say, "We're now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up." The President-Elect has previously stated that he would prefer to adopt the dog from a shelter than get one from a pet shop or breeder. He also joked that picking a breed has been much harder than he anticipated saying, "We're closing in on it. This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary." Obama's first choice for that position, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, recently withdrew his nomination for commerce secretary. Both dogs are hypo-allergenic, which is an important aspect of the family's choice because daughter Malia, age 10, has allergies to dogs. The Portuguese Water Dog was once an important part of fishing in Portugal before modern methods made them obsolete. But the dogs have gained popularity because of their non-shedding coat and lively spirit. For more on the Portuguese Water Dog read their full breed profile. The Labradoodle is a designer breed, a mix of the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. The Labradoodle was initially bred in Australia as a hypo-allergenic guide dog, but was not consistently hypo-allergenic enough for the job. However, this mixed breed turned out to be very attractive and well-natured and continued to be bred as a companion dog. You can read more on designer dogs such as the Labradoodle here. For more on the Obama Dog Choice check out: Picking the Obama Puppy.