Does Trump have a dog? A history of presidential dogs and White House pets

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

As far as we know, President Donald Trump doesn't have any pets, making him the first president in 150 years not to have one. 

Dog lovers — who apparently tend to be Republican — are urging Trump to get a dog, Bloomberg reports. In an informal survey by Bowser Beer, respondents suggested the president adopt a Goldendoodle, Malinois, Xoloitzcuintli, bulldog or American Staffordshire terrier.

For a little while, it looked like Trump might get a four-legged friend. On Dec. 6, philanthropist Lois Pope from Palm Beach, Florida, told the Washington Post that she had a nine-week-old Goldendoodle, Patton, who would eventually become first dog. She said she wrote to Trump about Patton, and showed him a photo of the pup at Trump's 2016 Thanksgiving event at Mar-a-Lago.

Getting a puppy would serve Trump well, since animals can "boost self-esteem and keep ego in check," Lauren A. Wright wrote for the Washington Post. "Animals don't care whether you spent the last year maligning or humiliating your opponents." 

"It makes no difference to them whether you are the leader of the free world or you've never been a leader at all," she added. 

A history of White House pets 

President Barack Obama greets Bo, his Portuguese water dog.
Source: 
Pool/Getty Images

One of Barack Obama's first promises as president was to get a puppy for his daughters, Sasha and Malia. As a result, Bo, a Portuguese water dog, became first dog. He was later joined by Sunny, another Portuguese water dog.

U.S. presidents may traditionally have pets, but not all have had dogs.

According to the Presidential Pet Museum website, Bill Clinton had a cat called Socks and Labrador retriever named Buddy. 

Bill Clinton with Socks and Buddy
Source: 
Greg Gibson/AP

Jimmy Carter had a collie, an Afghan hound and a Siamese cat whose name was Misty Malarky Ying Yang. In addition to his dogs, President Lyndon B. Johnson had lovebirds and hamsters.

Jimmy Carter with his dog
Source: 
Anonymous/AP

John F. Kennedy had something of a zoo at the White House. He had a mixed-breed dog called Pushinka — a gift from Soviet President Nikita Khruschev — a canary, a pair of parakeets, hamsters, a pony for his daughter Caroline, two horses, a Welsh terrier and a rabbit, to name a few. Dwight D. Eisenhower owned Heidi, a Weimaraner, and Gabby, a parakeet. 

Pushinka, a gift to John F. Kennedy from Nikita Khruschev
Source: 
William J. Smith/AP

If you include horses, according to the Washington Post, every president has owned an animal for at least part of his presidency, save James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson. 

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Robert Valencia

Robert is a news staff writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the World Politics Review, Fusion, and the Miami Herald. He's a frequent guest in English- and Spanish-speaking media, including CNN, Univision, Al Jazeera, Public Radio International, and Voice of America. You can reach him at rvalencia@mic.com

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