Bo The Dog
January 11, 2012 by staff
Bo The Dog, Bo (born October 9, 2008) is the pet dog of the Obama family, the First Family of the United States. Bo is a neutered male Portuguese Water Dog. President Barack Obama and his family were given the dog as a gift after months of speculation about the breed and identity of their future pet. The final choice was made in part because Malia Obama’s allergies dictated a need for a hypoallergenic breed. The White House has referred to him as the “First Dog”, a US cultural term occasionally used during recent administrations.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a fairly rare breed; only 48 Portuguese Water Dogs were entered for Britain’s Crufts competition in 2009 and the author of The New Complete Portuguese Water Dog, Kitty Braund, believes there are about 50,000 in North America. Due to its fleecy coat, the Portuguese Water Dog is considered a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Bred by Julie Parker of Erie County, Pennsylvania, Bo is the son of Watson of the Rader family in the Pittsburgh suburb of Ambridge, Pennsylvania and of Penny who belongs to Art and Martha Stern of Boyd, Texas. One of Bo’s nine litter mates is the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s Portie named Cappy (Amigo’s Captain Courageous); the litter was named “Hope and Change” in honor of Obama’s victory. Bo was purchased by a person unknown to the public, but eventually the new owner returned him to the Stern family; when buying the dog, the original purchaser had signed a contract requiring him to return the dog to the breeder if things did not work out. Bo was enrolled on January 5, 2009, with Kennedy’s obedience trainer Dawn Sylvia, in Hume, Virginia.
Bo has a brother named Rico, that is owned by a couple in Houston, Texas.
At his first press conference as President-elect, Obama was questioned by reporters as to which breed the family was looking to acquire; he replied, “Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me.” He also noted “Malia is allergic, so it has to be hypoallergenic. There are a number of breeds that are hypoallergenic.”
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