December 16th, 2008
06:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Americans divided on Obama puppy, poll says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Obamas are debating what dog will succeed Barney as the White House pet."](CNN) - Most Americans think President-Elect Barack Obama should buy his girls a new puppy from an animal shelter or pound, but there is no widespread consensus on what kind of dog should be the next occupant of the White Doghouse, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

Two thirds of Americans say the Obamas should adopt a dog from an animal shelter while just 30 percent favor the next first dog coming from a breeder or a pet store, the new poll said.

Discussing the matter with reporters last month, President-elect Obama said it was his preference to adopt a dog from a shelter, but said the fact that his daughter Malia is allergic could complicate the matter.

"Our preference is to get a shelter dog, but most shelter dogs are mutts like me," Obama said.

But the public's advice on what kind of dog to get is widely scattered (more than 70 different breeds were suggested), with Labrador retrievers topping the list with 13 percent.

Nine percent suggested getting a mutt or a mixed breed dog, making that the second-most popular suggestion, along with poodles, also mentioned by 9 percent of the public.

Next on the list were various terrier breeds, followed by German shepherds and golden retrievers.

While no breed of animal is completely hypoallergenic, some breeds spawn fewer allergic reactions than others - especially dogs with shorter hair.

There wasn't much consensus on whether the Obamas should get a male puppy or a female puppy - Americans were equally split on that subject.

But whatever the Obamas decide, their daughters will be joining a very large club - nearly nine in ten Americans have owned a dog at some point in their lives.

The poll comes days after Vice President-elect Joe Biden acquired a new puppy of his own - deciding to go with a three-month old German shepherd.

Biden’s wife, Jill, promised the future VP a dog if he and Obama got elected. Biden found the as-yet-unnamed pup in a breeder’s kennel in southeastern Pennsylvania, the area’s Daily Local News reported.

The poll surveyed 1,096 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Chi Town

    With Hillary in the Whitehouse Bill will be around... isn't he a big enough dog for everyone?

    I know... lame... but needed to be said...

    I like Yorkipoos for little girls... you can keep the hair short... it's hair not fur... they are pretty smart, loyal and don't bite. Might be a nice choice... dogs are awesome... especially for children.

    December 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I'm starting to think that "warm and fuzzy" stories just don't work with folks on the far right. They find most anything to whine about when it comes to Obama. Must be sad to be so bitter.

    by the way it would be nice if he got a puppy shelter. Just don't come up with some expensive bred dog because the righties will NEVER get over it.

    December 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Charles Atlanta

    Please... leave the personal matter alone... The news media need to focus on national issues.

    December 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Patman

    This is news!!??

    December 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    More left-wing baiting by CNN. Who cares where Obama gets a dog for his children? Either way, a dog gets a home. Non-shelter dogs are living creatures as well.

    December 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. laura

    I still think the Obama's should go for a feist. These are small, intelligent loyal dogs who are excellent rodent killers. And everyone knows about the rodents that infest Washington. Both in the park across the street from the white house (rats, the real ones) and the ones down the street in the houses of Congress (rats, the Republican ones). A good feist could entertain the girls, make life easier for the White House exterminators, and keep life simple for President Obama. If the dog doesn't like somebody, he (the person) probably should be evicted from the White house.These dogs are bright, and not mislead by soft words or political agendas. It's unlikely a human rat could get past one without an alert being issued.

    December 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. jenny

    what a worthless topic.. who cares about what kind of dog the obamas will have.. what i care about is obama and the chicago thug club....

    December 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Chris in MI

    Clinton Basher: What a dispicable thing to say.. you're an idiot.

    December 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. willowood

    Having had two rescue dogs there is no other way to go. It speaks to a nation that cares for their own.

    December 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Dorothy in NC

    I think the Obamas should get a golden retreiver from a rescue group. They have the best personalities and are loving, gentle, loyal, and kind...four attributes that the white house needs after the past eight fact our entire country needs to have that feeling again.

    December 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Fred NH

    Greyhounds are hypo-allergenic.
    Thye can be purchased from a rescue kennel.
    Thye are very gentle animals.
    Great with children.
    The world's fastest couch potatos.

    December 16, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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