Dogs of Famous Leaders
It’s human nature to anthropomorphize or attribute human characteristics to non-human entities. Even the most stoic among us can’t help but see our pets as furry little people. In many ways, they’re like family members—constant companions who are always happy to see us, no matter what kind of day we’ve had.
So, it’s not surprising that many of our leaders have been dog lovers – these men (and women) have all had furry friends by their side. Here are ten dogs of famous leaders:
1 – Barack Obama and Bo and Sunny
During his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama’s daughters – Malia and Sasha, first saw Bo and fell in love with him. They begged their dad to bring him home, and he eventually relented.
A Portuguese Water Dog, Bo quickly became a popular member of the Obama family and even became a celebrity (he even has a Wikipedia page). He often accompanied the President on walks around the White House grounds and was frequently seen peeking out from under the Oval Office desk.
Sadly, Bo died of cancer in 2021.
Meanwhile, Sunny became part of the Obama family in 2013. Also, a Portuguese Water Dog (female), she was originally Bo’s “little sister” but eventually became the forever “First Dog” of the Obamas after Bo’s death.
2 – Queen Elizabeth II and her Royal Corgis
The Royal Family’s tradition of adopting Pembroke Welsch corgis is no longer a secret, and the queen currently enjoys the company of five: Emma, Linnet, Monty, Holly, and Willow.
Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, introduced Corgis to the royal household. The first one was called Dookie, while the queen’s first-ever foray as a dog parent came in 1944 when her father gifted her with Susan on her 18th birthday.
Since then, there have been more than 30 royal corgis, most of which have been direct descendants of Susan.
3 – Justin Trudeau and Kenzie
The Canadian Prime Minister is just as well known for his love of dogs as he is for his good looks and progressive politics. He’s even been photographed jogging with his Portuguese Water Dog named Kenzie. The dog came to the family in 2016 after Trudeau’s youngest son, Hadrien, begged for a furry friend.
By the way, what’s with North American leaders and Portuguese Water Dogs? It seems like they can’t get enough of them!
4 – Emmanuel Macron and Nemo
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, is frequently photographed with his black Labrador Retriever named Nemo. The French President’s furry buddy is a griffon crossbreed and had to be rescued from the shelter.
Curiously, it’s the family’s first-ever canine, and Macron has said that he never grew up around dogs. But it seems like the two have bonded quite well, as Nemo is often seen accompanying his owner on walks and even on some official engagements.
5 – FDR and Fala
Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the most well-known American presidents, and he was also a renowned dog companion. During his lifetime, he had several dogs, but his Scottish Terrier named Fala was probably the most famous.
The pup became something of a celebrity with countless appearances along with the President and his wife, Eleanor. Fala is buried beside Roosevelt; he also appears at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
6 – George Washington and his American Foxhounds
While there are no recorded portraits of George Washington with his dogs, we know that the first American President is credited as the father of “American Foxhounds.”
This moniker is with merit because of Washington’s foray into importing English hounds, which started in 1770. He bred those hounds, which eventually became the ancestors of our modern American Foxhounds. Historians say that the first American President owned at least 30 hounds in his lifetime.
7 – Ronald Reagan and Lucky
Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, and he was also the proud owner of a Bouvier des Flandres named Lucky. The pup often joined Reagan on his ranch and even had his room in the White House.
His wife, Nancy, was quite fond of the dog, too. The media always had a field day when Lucky accompanied the President, particularly with the dog’s stubbornness while on a leash.
8 – Lyndon B. Johnson, Him, Her, and Yuki
The 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, was quite fond of his beagles. The most famous ones were named “Him” and “Her,” with the former gaining significant media attention when the President was photographed lifting the dog by its ears.
But there was also another beagle in the family named Yuki, who was adopted from a local shelter. Johnson was so taken with the pup that he later gifted his daughter Luci two puppies sired by Him.
9 – Joe Biden, Major, and Commander
The incumbent President of the United States, Joe Biden, is a self-professed “dog person.” He owns two German Shepherds: Major and Commander.
The four-year-old Major is the first shelter dog to live in the White House. He was rescued from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018 and adopted by the Biden family shortly afterward.
Commander eventually replaced Major in the White House last year after veterinarians recommended that the latter needed a quieter and more peaceful environment.
10 – JFK and his Dogs
John and Jacquelyn Kennedy might have been the most “animal-friendly” presidential couple in American history. They were known to have several furry buddies, the most famous of which were the Welsh Terrier named “Charlie” and a mixed breed called Pushinka (a gift from Nikita Khrushchev).
Aside from those two, the couple also adopted an Irish Wolfhound named “Wolf,” “Shannon” (English Cocker Spaniel), and “Clipper,” a German Shepherd.
Even the busiest and most occupied leaders in history pride themselves in being dog companions. There’s no feeling like coming home to a furry friend at the end of a long day, and the people on this list are great examples of that.