February 25th, 2009
05:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama family chooses dog

One of the most intense guessing games of President Obama’s new administration is finally over: the choice of first dog.
One of the most intense guessing games of President Obama’s new administration is finally over: the choice of first dog.

(CNN) – One of the most intense guessing games of President Obama’s new administration is finally over: the choice of first dog.

First Lady Michelle Obama told People magazine that her family has decided to adopt a Portuguese water dog, pointing to the breed’s medium-sized and good-natured reputation. The breed is also hypoallergenic — a must, given daughter Malia’s allergy to dogs.

The first lady said her daughters will have to wait until the end of April to get the dog, since her family is planning on going away for Spring Break.

The only thing left to pick is the name, and Mrs. Obama said she is not a fan of her daughters’ choices.

“There are names floating around and they're bad," Mrs. Obama said in the interview. "You listen and you go – like, I think, Frank was one of them. Frank! Moose was another one of them. Moose. I said, well, what if the dog isn't a moose? Moose. I'm like, no, come on, let's work with the names a little bit."

Since Obama announced on Election Night that his daughters had “earned” a dog, there has been a lot of speculation and input from dog-lovers around the country. The president has said for months that he was looking for a shelter dog that was hypoallergenic.

Mrs. Obama said she took some advice from Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, who owns two Portuguese water dogs and had lobbied the first family to choose the breed. But overall, she said found the level of excitement about the family’s dog “surprising.”

"It's all great and gracious attention,” Mrs. Obama said, in the edition of people that hits newsstands Friday. “People are just being as helpful as you can imagine. So I know that we will find the perfect breed. And we'll find people who are caring folks who will help us find the dog of our dreams.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • President Obama
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. RHYS

    Name the first dog Rhys..Thats my name. He will be a great dog.

    February 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. KD in Texas

    Watch the "adoption fee" for this breed shoot through the roof. Now everyone's gonna want to own a "first dog" breed.

    February 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse NY

    How about Barry for a name. Or Pelosi.

    February 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Janice Hough

    Well, at least he's delivered on his first campaign progress – a puppy. Give the guy a break, it's only been a month.

    February 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. donna

    Sissyboy, whats all your yack about his speech got to do with their dog?

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Mike S., New Orleans

    Uh, Sissyboy, the article is about a dog.

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. K. Owe

    That's great that they are adopting .... the challenge will be to locate that breed for adoption. They should name the dog SAM...for Sasha & Malia. Universal for male or female. :-)

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Susan

    Boo for not getting a shelter dog.

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Splurge

    Dogs? We're talking about dogs now? People losing their jobs, their homes, their life savings for retirement and we're talking about Obama's dogs? Good god almighty.

    February 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. PJP

    And this is news, we got a puppy lost May and now he is the size of a pony, now that's news!!! LOL!!

    February 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Jacqueline in Missouri

    The Portie is a great choice, I am happy for their pick.

    February 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. pakuna

    So obama is going away again. Sounds like he thinks he is still in the Senate.

    February 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. C W

    Cool that the Obama's have chosen a dog! I was raised with a dog, and they are great companions for kids, as well as an opportunity to learn about responsibility (I had to take care of my dog, too).

    Regarding names, the best strategy is to stand on the back porch and yell the name loudly (like you would to get the dog to come back inside). If it's a yellable name that carries around the neighborhood well, go for it!

    This strategy also works when picking a child's name ... :)

    February 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Harry Wang

    Sissyboy: They are all support structure that need repair to right the underlying wrongs.

    February 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. KR

    PRESIDENT CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE. SORRY!!!!

    February 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Art Vandalay

    This is news? Do we really care what kind of dog they chose? That's not going help us during these tough times.

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Obama supporter

    Sissyboy

    Pres Obama is throwing education, infrastructure etc.. into his speech because he is trying to let us know what the 787 billion dollars will be used for. Since the repubs are so against he is letting us know how he plans to spend the money. The money is being used for the economy, but if we people working on our infrastructure that will put people back to work and thus helping the economy.

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. AlohaSpirit

    re: "then we can address these issues as need be"
    - These needs do now be, Sissyboy in CA

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. MJ

    I think they should name him Shades, because from the photos I've seen of the breed, it looks like they can't see through all that hair!

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Steve

    And this is newsworthy because.......??

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Michael in PA

    Perhaps I have not followed this "story" close enough. But does anyone know if he is adopting the dog from a shelter or from a puppy farm.

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Chris S

    They are such a happy, beautiful family and should be an inspiration to the rest of us.

    February 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Mary Lou

    This is a terrific breed of dog. Can I suggest the name "Kona"

    February 25, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Ajay

    Yeah !!!!

    Economic crisis solved.

    On a serious note now.----–
    Altough I voted for McCain, I feel that now Repunlicans are hell bent to destroy the country in order to regain power. The only way they come back to power is that Obama performs miserably.

    Jindal's statements were horrible. He should think of the COUNTRY FIRST. I am ashamed to call him that he shares the same roots as do I.

    February 25, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Zach

    Well sissyboy all these things will help the economy recover. Its not a simple fix, i think that is what he is trying to say

    February 25, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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