US Presidential Dogs: 10 Dogs Who Lived In The White House


Most presidents of the United States, while in office, have kept pets including dogs. From John Adams's Juno, Mark, and Satan to Joe Biden's Commander, dogs have long kept US Presidents company. Out of the 46 presidents who lived in the White House since John Adams moved in in 1800, only three did not have any presidential pets while in office: James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson, and Donald Trump. Even though US first President, George Washington, never lived in the White House, he was known to have owned many dogs including Sweetlips, Scentwell and Vulcan at his home in Mount Vernon. Because the White House was not completed before George Washington left office, US second President John Adams is credited with owning the first Presidential dog.

US Presidential Dogs

According to The Post, at least 31 dogs have called the White House home. And like many future Presidential dogs, the dogs on this list not only witnessed history in the making, they were part of it! In addition, it is also worth knowing that 29th U.S. President Warren G. Harding's dog Laddie Boy was the first White House dog to receive constant newspaper coverage. That said, below is the list of the top ten most popular dogs who lived in the White House.

1. Fala: The Most Famous U.S. Presidential Dog

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his dog Fala

Fala the dog was a black Scottish Terrier owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fala was soon credited for helping win a presidential election after Roosevelt made his famous Fala speech in 1944 during a campaign dinner. The 32nd President defended his dog’s honor after the canine had been the victim of a Republican political attack. Roosevelt had taken Fala to many places during his time in office. 

Minutes after Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945, Fala behaved very strangely. After attending Roosevelt's funeral, Eleanor Roosevelt took the dog to Val-Kill. On April 5, 1952, Fala was euthanized after suffering from deafness and failing health. In addition to Fala, other dogs owned by Roosevelt included a German Shepherd named Major, a Scottish Terrier named Meggie, a Llewellyn Setter named Winks, an Old English Sheepdog named Tiny, a Great Dane named President, and a Bullmastiff named Blaze.

2. Herbert Hoover’s King Tut

Herbert Hoover’s King Tut

King Tut was a Belgian Shepherd dog who lived in the White House with 31st U.S. President Hoover. The President's affection for the dog melted voters’ hearts during the 1928 presidential campaign. In 1928, the public perceived Hoover as harsh and cold when he was running for office. As a result, Hoover's campaign managers suggested a photo of King Tut, the President's beloved dog. After the photo was widely circulated, The New York Times captioned it, “one of the happiest pictures ever made.” Consequently, Hoover went on to win the election. 

A year later, King Tut sadly died but not after assisting the White House police force as a patrol dog. In addition to King Tut, other dogs owned by Hoover included Pat, a German Shepherd, Big Ben and Sonnie, Fox Terriers, Glen, a Scotch Collie, Yukonan, a Canadian Eskimo Dog, Patrick, an Irish Wolfhound, Eaglehurst Gillette, a Setter, and Weegie, a Norwegian Elkhound.

3. Gaullie, John F. Kennedy's French Poodle

Gaullie, John F. Kennedy's French Poodle
                                                            Gaullie with Jackie Kennedy

Gaullie was a French poodle owned by John F. Kennedy's wife, Jacqueline Kennedy. Jacqueline found that Kennedy loved pets as much as she did after she married him. The First Lady took Gaullie to the White House. Over the year, Gaullie was joined by several other pets owned by the family. 

JFK Family and their dogs

Moreover, JFK was also the first U.S. president to be greeted by White House dogs at his request at the helicopter when he returned to the White House.

4. King Tamahoe, Richard Nixon's Irish Setter

King Tamahoe, Richard Nixon's Irish Setter

During his time in office as President from 1969 to 1974, Richard Nixon and his family enjoyed the company of three dogs: an Irish Setter named King Tamahoe, a Yorkshire terrier named Pasha, and a poodle named Vicky. However, King Tamahoe was Nixon's most beloved dog.

King Timahoe, Vicky and Pasha looking out the window in the White House

5. Liberty, Gerald Ford's  Golden Retriever

Liberty, Gerald Ford's  Golden Retriever

Liberty was a Golden Retriever Presidential dog who lived in the White House with Gerald and Betty Ford. Liberty was given to President Ford by his daughter Susan Ford in the fall of 1974 when the dog was 8 months old. Ford enjoyed taking photos with Liberty in the Oval Office, swimming pool, and on the South Lawn of the White House.

6. Lucky and Rex, Ronald Reagan's Dogs

Dog Lucky with Reagan
                                                                          Lucky with Reagan

During his time in office, from 1981 to 1989, 40th U.S. president Ronald Reagan enjoyed the company of two dogs, a Bouvier des Flandres named Lucky and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Rex. Lucky was given as a gift to Reagan by a 6-year-old March of Dimes poster child. Rex, on the other hand, was given as a Christmas present to First Lady Nancy by her husband Mrs. Reagan. 

Rex with the Reagans
                                                                  Rex with the Reagans

Rex moved into the White House after Lucky had grown too large and had been moved out. Rex was euthanized after suffering from mitral valve disease at the age of 13.

7. Barney and Miss Beazley, George W. Bush's Scottish Terriers

Barney and Miss Beazley, George W. Bush's Scottish Terriers

Barney Bush and Miss Beazley were Scottish Terriers owned by 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush. Born in New Jersey, Barney loved playing in the Oval Office and was often referred to as the "First Dog." Bush adopted Miss Beazley and gave her as a birthday gift to his wife, First Lady Laura Bush. As a ten-week-old puppy, Miss Beazley moved into the White House. Both Barney and Miss Beazley became famous United States presidential dogs. Furthermore, the two dogs appeared in the 2005 White House Christmas video.

8. Buddy, Bill Clinton's Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Buddy, Bill Clinton's Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Buddy was a male chocolate-colored Labrador Retriever kept in the White House by 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton during his time in office. As a three-month-old puppy, Buddy was purchased in December 1997 by Clinton in Caroline County, Maryland. Clinton named the dog after Henry Oren "Buddy" Grisham, his late uncle. Unfortunately, Buddy died in an animal hospital after being hit by a car.

9. Bo, Barack Obama's Portuguese Water Dog

Bo, Barack Obama's Portuguese Water Dog

Bo was a male Portuguese Water Dog owned by the Obama family during their time in office from 2009 to 2017. Sen. Ted Kennedy gave Bo to President Barack Obama as a gift. Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, named Bo after their cousins' cat. In August 2013, Sunny, a female Portuguese Water Dog joined Bo in the White House. On May 8, 2021, Bo died of cancer at the age of 12 in Washington, D.C.

10. Champ, Joe Biden's German Shepherd

President Biden with Champ and Major

Champ was a German Shepherd owned by Joe Biden at the start of his presidency. Biden acquired Champ as a puppy from a breeder in Pennsylvania. On January 24, 2021, Champ and his younger brother, Major, moved into the White House. Unfortunately, Champ passed away on June 19, 2021, the White House announced in a statement. By December 2021, after multiple White House biting incidents, Major was sent to live with relatives in Delaware. On December 20, 2021, a third German Shepherd dog named Commander, owned by Biden, moved into the White House.

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