Bo (dog)

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Bo (dog)
Bo official portrait.jpg
Official White House portrait of the First Dog
(May 2009)
Other appellation(s) First Dog[1][2][3]
Charlie (by previous owner)
Species Canis lupus familiaris
Breed Portuguese Water Dog
Sex Male
Born Amigo's New Hope[4]
October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09) (age 9)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Nation from United States
Known for Pet of the First Family of the United States
Training Dawn Sylvia (Hume, Virginia)
Can sit, present paw/shake, lie down, roll over, get off, wait[5]
Predecessor Barney
Owner Obama family
Parents Dam: Penny
(Amigo's Phor What Its Worth)
(Boyd, Texas)
Sire: Watson
(Valkyrie's Dr. Watson Is Here)
(Ambridge, Pennsylvania)[6]
Breeder: Julie Parker[7]
Appearance tuxedo; black and white
Named after Obama girls' cousins' pet cat
and also Bo Diddley

Bo[8] (born October 9, 2008) is a pet dog of the Obama family, the former First Family of the United States.[2] Bo is a neutered[9] male Portuguese Water Dog.[2]

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.[10] The final choice was made partly because Malia Obama's allergies made a hypoallergenic breed necessary.

Bo was occasionally given the title "First Dog of the United States of America".[1][2][3] In August 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female dog of the same breed.[11]

Adoption[change | change source]

"Michelle Obama and her oldest daughter walk a small black dog whilst Barack Obama and their youngest daughter walk a short distance behind them"
The Obamas walking with Bo

The Obamas originally wanted to adopt a dog from an animal shelter, but made no promises.[12] In the summer of 2008, Best Friends Animal Society, an animal welfare organization, gathered 50,000 signatures on a petition asking the family to adopt a shelter animal.[13]

Bo is a gift through a breeder and is not a shelter dog. Dog expert Cesar Milan said Bo was part of a larger group known as "rescue dogs". He was unsuccessful in his first home when plans for him to be friends with an older female dog did not go well.[14] The Obamas pledged a donation to the DC Humane Society in a show of support for shelter dogs.

Some animal welfare supporters criticized The White House for not adopting a shelter dog.[13] The Humane Society of the United States released a statement thanking the Obamas "for taking in a second-chance dog," but also discouraged going through breeders.[15]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dave, By (April 20, 2009). "Vigilant press spots Bo, the first dog, out for a walk |". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The White House – Blog Post – Meet Bo, the First Dog". Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cooper, Helen (April 12, 2009). "One Obama Search Ends With a Puppy Named Bo". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2009. "Other Web sites, which have been tracking the saga of the selection of the first dog, were in a frenzy over the weekend."
  4. Silva, Mark (April 12, 2009). "Obamas' dog Bo:'Amigo's New Hope'". Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  5. "Obama Dog Trainer: Bo Already "Sits, Shakes, Rolls Over"". Us Weekly. April 15, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  6. "The Obama Dog Blog: Cappy's Breeder Rejects Obama Dog Connection". April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  7. Sostek, Anya (April 14, 2009). "First dog's father from Ambridge". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  8. "Bo Obama gets a playmate! Obamas adopt another dog". Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  9. Hess, Amanda (April 13, 2009). "PETA Encourages Obamas to Neuter Neutered Dog". Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  10. "World | Obama family 'picks first puppy'". BBC News. April 12, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  11. Feldmann, Lindie. "New little girl arrives at White House. Meet Sunny Obama. (+video)". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  12. Greene, Nick (April 15, 2009). "Obama's criticized for breaking promise of adopting dog from shelter". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Obama's will adopt, rather than buy, a dog". San Jose Mercury News. 11 May 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. Visitant, Carol (April 16, 2009). "5 Things You Don't Know About First Dog Bo – Barack Obama". People.,,20272856,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  15. "The HSUS Congratulates First Family on New White House Dog". Humane Society of the United States. April 12, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
George W. Bush's Scottish Terrier
White House pet dog
April 14, 2009–January 20, 2017
Served alongside: Sunny
Succeeded by