This Is the Most Popular Dog Breed to Ever Live in the White House

Presidential pets have long been a staple in American pop culture. Think about it — where would we be had we never known Sunny and Bo, the Obamas’ Portuguese water dogs?

Not too surprisingly, there’s a long line of canines who’ve called the White House home, and we’re counting down to the No. 1 most popular dog breed among the U.S. presidents.

15. Mastiff

The Bullmastiff is a powerfully built animal with great intelligence and a willingness to please.

These gentle giants are great pets, but not many presidents have had one. | F8grapher/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Two

Quite possibly the first English mastiff Americans ever knew, Duke was the beloved family pet of Rutherford B. Hayes. A gentle giant, the mastiff was loving yet powerful, requiring light exercise and little grooming.

In addition to Duke, there was Blaze, a 135-pound English bullmastiff that belonged to Franklin Roosevelt’s son, Elliott Roosevelt. However, when Elliott was serving in the military, his duties overseas made it impossible for him to keep Blaze by his side. So, the dog was sent back to the states, where he briefly lived at the White House. Then, Anna Boettiger, Elliott’s sister, was able to send Blaze to Elliott’s wife in California.

Next: It’s hard to resist these little guys.

14. Bulldog

American bulldog

Laddie Boy overshadowed Old Boy. | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Two

Warren Harding’s lesser-known pup, Old Boy, arrived at the White House after Harding’s other dog, Laddie Boy (more on Laddie Boy later). When Old Boy first arrived, he was kept in the stables, to avoid upsetting Laddie Boy. However, once they met, they got along just fine and remained good friends throughout their time at the White House.

Another bulldog, Boston Beans, belonged to Calvin Coolidge. But he was just one of the many animals the Coolidge family had running around the White House. He was hardly the most famous, but who can resist the adorableness of a bulldog?

Next: These dogs are stunners but often need a colder climate. 

13. Siberian husky

Siberian Husky in front of a lake

Warm D.C. weather isn’t very suitable for huskies. | Lisa_Nagorskaya/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Two

Yukon was the blue-eyed Siberian husky gifted to Herbert Hoover from Fairbanks, Alaska. But not too surprisingly, the dog didn’t fair well in the warmer D.C. climate, so he was eventually sent to a friend to live up north.

The other presidential Siberian husky, named Taca, belonged to Ronald Reagan. However, because the Reagans had so many dogs in their brood, the family determined that Taca would be better suited if he had ample space to roam. Thus, the dog lived out his life on the family’s ranch.

Next: Prim and proper, this breed was beloved by a very famous first lady. 

12. French poodle

White poodle dog on green grass field

Jackie O. had a dog fitting of her personality. | Disqis/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Two

Leave it to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to have a dog as dignified as she was. Even before the family moved into the White House, Jacqueline had her beloved French poodle named Gaullie. The pooch’s name carried more of a story than most: Jacqueline was so impressed with French President Charles de Gaulle’s efforts during World War II that she thought it fit to name her poodle after him.

The other French poodle to call the White House home, Vicky, belonged to Richard Nixon. And Vicky pretty much lived the life, splitting her time between the luxurious confines of the White House and a dog run located outside the West Wing. She even had her own heated doghouse.

Next: These dogs are big but gentle. 

11. St. Bernard

St Bernard lying in a field

Both of the St. Bernards were one of many dogs on the property in their day. | Dennismesias/iStock/Getty Images Plus

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Two

Grover and Frances Cleveland had a number of dogs running around during both of the terms they served in the White House. One of these canine companions came in the form of a prize-winning St. Bernard named Kay. While Kay did spend a good amount of her time living in the White House, she often accompanied the first lady to the family’s homes located in Massachusetts when she needed some privacy.

Rollo was the other St. Bernard to have lived in the White House. He belonged to Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most well-known animal-loving presidents of all time.

Next: These two pups are among the most famous to have ever lived at the White House. 

10. Portuguese water dog

Bo and Sunny Obama

Bo and Sunny were the first of their kind. | Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Two

Although these Portuguese water dogs lived in the White House during the same presidency, they’re famous in their own right. Therefore, they’ve earned their spot on our list. Bo was the first of the two pups to arrive, although his journey to the White House wasn’t exactly direct.

Interestingly, given Obama’s presidential campaign slogan, Bo was originally named “New Hope” by Texan breeders and avid Obama supporters Art and Martha Stern. New Hope originally went to a different family, but he was soon returned to the breeders. Then, in April 2009, Senator Ted Kennedy and his wife gifted the dog to Sasha and Malia Obama, at which point they promptly changed his name to Bo.

Then, in 2013, the first family welcomed another pup of the same breed into the White House. Sunny, who was named for her cheerful disposition, fit in effortlessly.

Next: These pups can grow to be over 100 pounds. 

9. Sheepdog

Purebred Shetland Sheepdog

There were several types of sheepdogs over the years. | Yanjf/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Three

Calvin Coolidge was well-known for his love of collies, but his love for dogs didn’t end there. Calamity Jane was a Shetland sheepdog, a breed that looks like a miniature collie but was newer to the American public than the typical collie at the time. This sheltie, in particular, got dirty so often that Coolidge had a special bathtub built for the dog.

Another sheepdog to live in the White House was of the English variety, and he belonged to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The name of this English sheepdog was quite ironic, seeing as the breed can weigh more than 100 pounds. His name was Tiny.

The third and final sheepdog to have lived in the White House was Fuzzy, a Belgian sheepdog belonging to Ronald Reagan. Although Fuzzy, along with most of Reagan’s other dogs, spent most of his time on the family’s ranch, we can assume that he was happier there than at the White House, considering how energetic Belgian sheepdogs usually are.

Next: A dog for the racing enthusiast

8. Italian greyhound

Portrait of a female Italian Greyhound dog in a home setting.

Even the president’s dogs can get into mischief. | Rauluminate/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Three

In 1844, President John Tyler surprised his wife, Julia, with an Italian greyhound. The young racing pup named Le Beau, which means “beautiful one” in French, was said to have been rough on the White House’s furniture and rugs. However, he was still a keeper.

Grim, a greyhound belonging to Rutherford B. Hayes, apparently stole each of the family members’ hearts. Additionally, there’s one more well-known greyhound worth mentioning. Although Woodrow Wilson’s greyhound, Mountain Boy, never actually lived in the White House, he was certainly well-loved.

Next: We wonder how much this dog shed all over the White House. 

7. Newfoundland

Beautiful Newfoundland puppy

People often compare these giant dogs to bears. | Rzoze19/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Four

During a time when the breed wasn’t too popular in the U.S., President James Buchanan had a trusty companion in his Newfoundland, Lara. She weighed a whopping 170 pounds, and people often compare her look to a bear.

Faithful, the Newfoundland belonging to Ulysses S. Grant’s youngest son, Jesse, was also a well-loved family pet who called the White House home. Another Newfie, Hector, lived in the White House during President Rutherford B. Hayes’ term. And Veto, the Newfoundland belonging to President James Garfield, also lived in the White House for some time.

Next: These dogs often work with police.

6. Shepherd

German shepherd in a summer day

Three of them were German shepherds. | Keleny/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Five

The zoo of Calvin and Grace Coolidge continues on with a Belgian shepherd named King Cole, who was a bit shy and sometimes reserved. And Coolidge wasn’t the only president with an affinity for dignified pet names.

In fact, Herbert Hoover also had a famous Belgian shepherd, King Tut. Unfortunately for the dog, the stress of the White House was too much. So, King Tut was eventually sent away to live in a quiet home. Sadly, the dog’s health did not improve, and he earned himself the distinction of being the presidential dog who “worried himself to death.” Additionally, Hoover also had a lesser-known German shepherd named Pat.

In addition to the shepherds already mentioned, Franklin Roosevelt had a German shepherd named Major who stirred up quite a bit of controversy among the White House staff. And lastly, the Kennedys had a German shepherd named Clipper who famously stayed by the first lady’s side.

Next: These are some of the most popular dogs in America. 

5. Retrievers

Golden Retriever

They are some of the most popular breeds in the country. | Jonathandavidsteele/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Five

Retrievers are family dogs — there’s no denying that. For good reason, a handful of presidents called a variety of retrievers their own. Theodore Roosevelt had a well-loved Chesapeake Bay retriever named Sailor Boy, while Gerald Ford and his family got their golden retriever, Liberty, when she was just a puppy. Furthermore, the Ford family also kept one of Liberty’s puppies, Misty, who was born in a room inside the White House.

Last but not least, President Ronald Reagan had a golden retriever named Victory, and Bill Clinton had a Labrador named Buddy.

Next: These dogs were well-loved by a handful of presidents. 

4. Setter

Close-up of Dog, Irish Setter

Six setters made their way to the White House. | Samlentz/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Six

The roots of this breed date back to hunting, but setters had no problem making themselves right at home in the White House’s lap of luxury. In fact, several presidents had setters as their own, including Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

Next: This dog was famous well before Lassie

3. Collie

Sable rough Collie dog standing outdoors around fallen maple leaves in autumn

Calvin Coolidge had four collies himself. | Eudyptula/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Nine

As we well know, Calvin Coolidge had a collection of collies — totaling four. But he wasn’t the only president to love the breed. Other collie lovers include Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harris, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter.

Next: The Bush family, in particular, sure loves this breed.

2. Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel Portrait

English Springer Spaniels were big with the Bush family. | Barneybonner/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Nine

There’s a long list of presidents who loved their spaniels, so we’ll get right to it. Here’s a look at the presidents who welcomed spaniels into the White House: The first one belonged to Maria, James Monroe’s daughter. Rutherford B. Hayes also had a cocker spaniel named Dot. Among other cocker spaniel-loving presidents are Grover Cleveland, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy.

Furthermore, Ronald Reagan had a cavalier King Charles spaniel named Rex, while both of the Bush presidents had spaniels, all of whom were from the same family. George H.W. Bush had an English springer spaniel named Millie, along with one of Millie’s puppies, Ranger. And George W. Bush had another offspring of Millie’s named Spot.

Next: And the most popular dog to ever grace the White House is …

1. Terrier

Brown Airedale Terrier Dog Close Up

Several presidents had Airedale terriers. | Bruev/iStock/Getty Images

  • Number of dogs to have lived in the White House: Fifteen

Claiming the No. 1 spot, a variety of terriers have taken up residence in the White House over the years. Interested to hear what kinds, in particular? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick rundown of which presidents had what.

James Buchanan had a toy terrier named Punch. Theodore Roosevelt had a bull terrier named Pete and a Manchester terrier named Blackjack. Woodrow Wilson had an Airedale terrier named Davie, along with a bull terrier named Bruce. Warren Harding had one fairly famous Airedale terrier named Laddie Boy, while Calving Coolidge, unsurprisingly, had an Airedale terrier named Paul Pry along with another terrier named Peter Pan.

President Herbert Hoover had two fox terriers named Big Ben and Sonny, while Franklin Roosevelt had two Scottish terriers named Meggie and Fala. John F. Kennedy had a Welsh terrier named Charlie. And Nixon had a terrier named Pasha. Finally, President George W. Bush had a Scottish terrier name Miss Beazley.

Read more: The Best Reasons Donald Trump Should Have a Dog at the White House

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