27 photos of some of the most adorable dogs to live in the White House

GettyPresident Barack Obama and his dog Bo were very close.
  • Dogs are the most popular pet for a president to have during his time in the White House.
  • President Donald Trump broke the presidential tradition when he didn’t bring a dog into the White House, saying after two years in office that he would feel “a little phony doing so.”
  • President-elect Joe Biden is poised to reset the tradition of dogs in the Executive Mansion with his two German shepherds, one of whom would be the first shelter rescue dog to live in the White House.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dogs have been the most popular pet for a president to have during his time in the White House — 30 of the 45 presidents have had at least one dog in the West Wing.

The first to have a dog during his presidency was George Washington, and the last was Barack Obama with two dogs.

After President Donald Trump became the most recent president to not have a dog in the White House since William McKinley more than 100 years ago, President-elect Joe Biden is poised to reset the tradition of dogs in the Executive Mansion.

One of Biden’s German shepherds, Major, will be making history as the first shelter dog to live in the White House. He’ll be following in Champ Biden’s Washington, DC, footsteps after the dog spent eight years in the former vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory.

Here are 27 photos of some of the most adorable and well-known canines to grace the Oval Office.


Grover Cleveland’s cocker spaniel named Gallagher had a brown coat and ears of “inconvenient length.”

APGrover Cleveland with his dog

Source: America Comes Alive


Warren Harding’s terrier, named Laddie Boy, was six months old when he moved into the White House.

APLaddie Boy, President Warren G. Harding’s terrier is shown, Aug. 1, 1922.

Source: America Comes Alive


Calvin Coolidge’s collie Rob Roy was named after the popular cocktail.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesPresident Calvin Coolidge stands outdoors with his wife Grace, their two sons, and their pet white collie Rob Roy in the 1920s.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Herbert Hoover had a Belgian shepherd named King Tut, who would patrol the gates of the White House on a nightly basis. He also helped Hoover get elected, appearing in a campaign photo.

APPresident Herbert Hoover and first lady Lou Henry Hoover actually had several dogs, but King Tut was the most famous.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum, The Hoover Presidential Library


Franklin Roosevelt’s German shepherd, Major, used to chase the White House maids around.

APFranklin D. Roosevelt with pet dog, Major, a German shepherd, shown in this undated photo at the president’s home at Warm Springs, Ga., known as the Little White House.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


FDR also had a Scottish terrier named Fala that would often accompany the president on his travels.

APPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt lifts his dog Fala as he prepares to motor from his special train to the Yacht Potomac at New London, Conn., Aug. 3, 1941.

Source: BarkPost


Harry Truman gave away his dog, a cocker spaniel named Feller, to a family physician because he was not a dog lover.

White House photo

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave John F. Kennedy a dog named Pushinka as a gift.

APPushinka stands her ground on the White House lawn, Aug. 14, 1963, while the rest of the family’s dogs vacation with the first family at Cape Cod.

Source: BBC


Other than Pushinka, JFK had eight dogs, including his German shepherd named Clipper.

AP‘Clipper’ a German shepherd supervises as eight of the nine known dogs of President John F.Kennedy’s household pose for impromptu press conference at Squaw Island, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts on August 14, 1963.

Source: JFK Presidential Library and Museum


Two of Lyndon B. Johnson’s beagles, Him and Her, were frequently on the receiving end of the president pulling their long ears.

APU.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson holds his dog ‘Her’ by the ears as White House visitors look on, April 27, 1964, on the White House lawn, Washington, D.C. At left is President Johnson’s other dog, ‘Him.’

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


One of Lyndon B. Johnson’s beagles named Kimberly was given to his daughter Luci.

APKimberly, one of President Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, sticks his head through a partially-opened window of an automobile where he waited while Luci Johnson and Pat Nugent attended Mass, July 3, 1966 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Source: America Comes Alive


Luci also got another one of his beagles named Freckles.

APPresident Lyndon Johnson poses with Freckles, mother of five Beagle pups at the White House in Washington, Nov. 4, 1966.

Source: America Comes Alive


LBJ found his fifth dog, a terrier mix named Yuki, at a Texas gas station on Thanksgiving in 1966.

APPresident Lyndon Johnson trots after Yuki, the White House pet, in an effort to coax the dog abroad the presidential plane on Sept.19,1968 at Andrews Air Force Base.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Richard Nixon’s three dogs were an Irish setter named King Timahoe, a poodle named Vicki, and a terrier named Pasha.

APThe three dogs of the Richard Nixon in Washington on Nov. 23, 1972.

Source: America Comes Alive


Gerald Ford and his daughter Susan had a golden retriever named Liberty. Susan got Liberty as a surprise for her father when she was a puppy. Years later, Liberty had nine puppies of her own.

APPresident Gerald Ford and his daughter, Susan, are seen on the South Lawn of the White House with their dog, Liberty, Oct. 7, 1974, Washington, D.C.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Jimmy Carter had a border collie mix named Grits that was born on the same day Carter was elected president.

APPresident Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter play with their dog ‘Grits’ on the south lawn of the White House in Washington D.C. after returning from church on Sunday, August 6,1978.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Ronald Reagan had two White House dogs. The one seen here was a Bouvier des Flandres named Lucky that Nancy Reagan received as a gift in 1984.

APPresident Ronald Reagan is pulled along by his pet dog Lucky while he and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher take a stroll in the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 1985 in Washington.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Reagan’s other dog in the White House was a Charles Spaniel named Rex.

APPresident Ronald Reagan, right, and First Lady Nancy Reagan, centre, walk with their dog Rex on the South Lawn of the White House after they returned by helicopter from Camp David, Md. where the first family has spent the weekend, March 16, 1986, Washington, D.C.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


George H.W. Bush had two Springer Spaniels, Millie and Ranger.

APPresident George Bush gets down on his knees to show off his dogs, Millie and Ranger, May 2, 1991 in the White House Oval Office to his guests at Washington, Neera Khurana, age 4, and her sister Sonia, age 6, right, who is the 1991 poster child for Better Hearing and Speech Month.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Bill Clinton named his chocolate Labrador retriever Buddy after his great-uncle.

APPresident Bill Clinton is greeted by his dog Buddy as he returns to the White House Wednesday morning, Aug. 12, 1998, after a two-day fund-raising trip.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


George W. Bush and his first dog in the White House, an English Springer Spaniel named Spot, was one of Millie’s puppies.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesPresident George W. Bush waves as he walks toward the Oval Office with his dog Spot September 23, 2002 in Washington, DC.

Source: Presidential Pet Museum


Bush also had two Scottish Terriers named Barney and Miss Beazley, who were separated in age by four years.

Evan Sisley-Pool/Getty ImagesPresident George W. Bush waves as he arrives on the South Lawn of the White House with his dogs, Barney and Miss Beazley, August 13, 2006 in Washington, DC.

Source: George W. Bush Presidential Centre


The Obamas had two famous Portuguese Water dogs named Bo and Sunny.

APPresident Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia (L) and Sasha (R) pose for a family portrait with their pets Bo and Sunny in the Rose Garden of the White House on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.

Source: The Washington Post


Bo often exercised and played with the president.

Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaPresident Barack Obama runs down the East Colonnade with family dog, Bo, on the dog’s initial visit to the White House, March 15, 2009. Bo came back to live at the White House in April.

Source: White House


Bo and Sunny were so popular that they apparently had official White House schedules for all of their appearances.

President Barack Obama and Bo in the Oval Office.

Source: PBS


Donald Trump bucked White House tradition when he went four years in office without a dog.

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty ImagesTrump returns to the White House after receiving his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre on February 8, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Trump told a crowd in February 2018 that though he “wouldn’t mind having one,” he doesn’t have any time and getting a dog to improve his image would feel “a little phony.”

Associated Press/Susan WalshPresident Donald Trump speaks during a rally in El Paso, Texas, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

Source: Business Insider


When Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was projected to win the 2020 election, dog-lovers noticed that Major would be the first shelter dog in the White House.

Delaware Humane Society/Facebook

Sources: Insider, Delaware Humane Association


The Bidens adopted Major in November 2018, and he joined Champ as the family’s second German shepherd. Major was the last rank Biden’s son Beau held in the US Army JAG Corps before he died from a brain tumour in 2015.

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesVice President Joe Biden’s dog, Champ, lays down during speeches at a Joining Forces service event at the Naval Observatory May 10, 2012, in Washington, DC

Sources: Delaware Humane Association, The Washington Post, Town & Country


The Bidens have long been dog-lovers. When she was the second lady, Jill Biden created the Family Heritage Garden at the vice president’s residence, which memorializes all past residents and their dogs on stone pavers.

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesThe Family Heritage Garden, where occupants and family members, including pets, are memorialised around a fountain as seen on October 28, 2016.

Source: Business Insider

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