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The Obama dog selection criteria
Good for allergy sufferers
This is the number one criterion, as older daughter Malia Obama suffers from allergies. While there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, some are much less likely to cause allergic reactions than others.
Good with kids
Another no-brainer. This is a pet for a seven- and a ten-year-old. Of course the new pup must be kid friendly.
Good for novice owners
These dogs are typically not the shy, nervous sorts. They bounce back from inconsistency, remain friendly and happy-go-lucky, and don’t seem to mind if their owners don’t exactly know what they’re doing.
Easy to train
We have a feeling the Obamas are going to be pretty busy. They’ll need a dog who quickly learns how to behave, what’s expected, and which way is fastest to the White House lawn.
Dogs thrive on routine. That said, some pups are more flexible than others, and the Obamas will need one who can roll with all the hustle and bustle, throngs of visitor, and general unpredictability of life in the White House.
Best breeds (and breed mixes) for the Obamas
Without further ado, the results!
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
While we generally think of Labradors and Golden Retrievers as the all-American dog, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can be every bit as kid friendly, affectionate, easy-going, and spirited. Often an excellent option for allergy sufferers, the Wheaten is DogTime’s first choice for the Obamas. While they may not be flooding local shelters, there are rescue groups around the country devoted to this breed. At the moment, there are even a few available for adoption in the Washington D. C. area. (Yep, we checked.)
The Poodle is almost as polarizing as politics itself – people tend to love them or hate them. But whether you’re enchanted with or unnerved by their distinct looks and reputation for outsmarting their owners, they make excellent family dogs: They’re great with kids, friendly toward strangers, and quick studies when it comes to training. Bonus feature: Poodles tend not to be big droolers, which can only be a good thing if you think about the fancy White House furniture.
Never used for hunting, guarding, or herding purposes, there’s not a mean bone in the Shih Tzu’s body. He’s a companion dog to the core, so if the Obama girls are looking for a cuddle companion, this pup’s the one. And despite copious amounts of hair, the Shih Tzu is not a big shedder and tends to be easy on allergy sufferers.
Portuguese Water Dog
The fun-loving Portuguese Water Dog can fill the role of energetic playmate for the girls – or loyal running mate (move over, Joe) should the President need a jogging partner. This dog is intelligent, good-natured, and highly trainable, which means he’s a great choice for novice owners. If nothing else, this dog will make for a great impression should the Ambassador from Portugal drop in for a visit.
With her stuffed animal looks and gentle disposition, the Bichon Frise seems tailor-made for a couple of preteen girls. She’s people oriented and delightfully agreeable, happy simply to be part of the family. And thanks to a low SPF (Shedding Potential Factor), the Bichon Frise could be the answer to Malia’s dog allergies.
What type of dog do you think the Obamas should adopt? Post a comment and add to our list.