United States presidential pets

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Socks at the White House Press Briefing Room lectern in 1993
Grace Coolidge with Laddie Boy, an Airedale Terrier, and Rob Roy, a white Collie
Controversy resulted from a 1964 photo of Lyndon B. Johnson pulling his dog by its ears.

United States presidents have often kept pets while in office, or pets have been part of their families.[1] Only James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson, and Donald Trump did not have presidential pets while in office.[2] The pets are often known as "First Pets" of the United States.

List of First Pets[change | change source]

President Pet(s)
George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
  • Old Whitey – horse[key 2] Taylor's wartime mount
  • Apollo – Pony;[key 2] formerly a "trick pony" from a circus, a present for Taylor's daughter Betty and resided in the White House stables with Old Whitey[32]
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Old Bob caparisoned in a mourning blanket at Abraham Lincoln's funeral
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Whiskers pulling a cart at the White House, with Russell Harrison and his children
Dash in front of his doghouse
  • Whiskers ("His Whiskers," or "Old Whiskers") – goat,[11][45] kept at the White House for the president's grandchildren; may have belonged to Russell Harrison[46]
  • Dash – collie[7]
  • Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection – opossums,[47] named from the 1896 Republican party platform,[48] which includes: "Protection and reciprocity are twin measures of Republican policy and go hand in hand."[49]
  • Two alligators – According to one account, Russell Harrison kept two alligators in the White House conservatory[50]
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Archie riding Algonquin
Roosevelt family with Skip
Illustration of Slippers, the White House cat[f]
William Howard Taft
  • Caruso – dog,[key 2] a gift for Taft's daughter Helen from opera singer Enrico Caruso; after a White House performance, he decided that cows were not appropriate pets for a little girl[65]
  • Mooly Wooly[key 2] and Pauline Wayne – Cows. Pauline (or "Miss Wayne") was a Holstein of considerable fame; she "went missing" for two days.[66]
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Laddie Boy
Calvin Coolidge
Portrait of Rob Roy and Grace Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover with King Tut
Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR and Fala (1940)
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy family and dogs
Lyndon B. Johnson
LBJ with Him
Richard Nixon
King Timahoe, Vicki and Pasha looking out the window in the White House
Gerald Ford
Susan Ford & Shan the Siamese cat
Susan Ford, daughter of Gerald Ford, and the family's siamese cat, Shan, in 1974
Ford and Liberty in the Oval Office
Ford and Liberty in the Oval Office
Jimmy Carter
Amy Carter with her cat Misty Malarky Ying Yang
Ronald Reagan
Reagan family pet spaniel, Rex
Rex
Ronald Reagan on El Alamein
Ronald Reagan on El Alamein
George H. W. Bush
Millie
Bill Clinton
Socks
George W. Bush
India
Barack Obama
Bo and Sunny
Donald Trump None[120]
Joe Biden
Biden with Champ and Major
Key

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Washington was an avid dog breeder; he called the breed that he was developing "Virginia Hounds"; which eventually became American Foxhounds[5][6]
  2. Some sources reference the name "Polly"[12]
  3. The East Room was still under repair following the 1814 burning of the White House by the British, and was primarily used for storage. During the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette to the United States, Lafayette acquired several tons of gifts (including the alligator) that was stored there.[24][25] much to the consternation of visitors.[26] Possibly sent to France aboard the USS Brandywine
  4. See: Conveying Marquis de Lafayette to France
  5. Number uncertain, perhaps received as many as seven. "Pierce was thought to have kept one dog, and he gave the other to his Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis. Davis was particularly pleased with the dog and was known to have carried it with him in his pocket."[33]
  6. Illustration from St. Nicholas (1908); original caption: "With an amused bow, the President escorted the Ambassadress around 'Slippers' and kept on his way toward the East Room."[51]
  7. Checkers died in 1964, before Nixon became president, but had played a major role in his electoral career

References[change | change source]

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