The Dog House: A Tradition of Dogs in the White House

Americans have always loved and had pets in their homes so the White House has also always had pets. Pets humanize their owners, especially when they are the President of the United States. President Trump has been the first president in over 100 years to not have a dog in the White House. But, come January, President-elect Biden will be restoring the tradition with his two German shepherds, Champ and Major. Red or blue, we can all agree dogs are great! 

The Biden family got a German shepherd puppy from a breeder once he was elected Vice President in 2008. They named the dog Champ since Biden’s dad would always tell him “Get up, Champ” when life handed him challenges. Then, in 2018, they adopted another German shepherd from the Delaware Humane Society, naming him Major. He is the second President, after President Lyndon B. Johnson, to have an adopted dog in the white house. Johnson had a mixed-breed dog that his daughter had found at a Texas gas station.

Although Mr. Trump was offered a golden doodle puppy named Patton after the World War II general Mr. Trump has said he admires, a dog never made into the White House over his four years. He claims he did not have time for a dog and did not want to simply get one for political reasons and wasn’t sure what he would look like walking a dog on the White House lawn. 

On the other hand, Mr. Biden’s adopted dog Major is reflective of the current America. There has been a broader trend of Americans adopting their dogs from rescues and shelters, concerning themselves with animal rights. Just like many Americans post about their dogs on their social media pages, even making pages dedicated to their pets, Mr. Biden occasionally posts about his dogs as well.

There was even a campaign “Dog Lovers for Joe” that advocated for placing a dog-lover back in office. Pets have been a tradition in the White House for so long, and some people are eager to keep that tradition. And, pets don’t just mean dogs. President Theodore Roosevelt had dozens of animals, including snakes, horses, kangaroo rats, snakes, and a one-legged rooster. Another odd pet was a raccoon Mr.Coolidge pardoned from a Thanksgiving dinner to keep as a pet. 

Dogs can definitely help with a president’s image. President Herbert Hooverhad a very rigid image, but was seen as much more approachable once he released an image of him with German shepherd. The last time there was a dog in the White House was during President Obama’s two terms. They had two beloved Portugese water dogs, Bo and Sunny. One time Sunny knocked over a two year old girl after getting excited and trying to greet her. Seems like Sunny needed some CBD oil for dogs to help calm him down before visitors enter the house!

If you were to become President, would you bring your dog to the White House with you? I know I definitely would!

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