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28 President Dog Names: All the Famous Presidents’ Pups

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Dogster Team

chocolate labrador retriever dog standing outdoor

28 President Dog Names: All the Famous Presidents’ Pups

Over half of all U.S. presidents owned one or more dogs during their presidential terms. For some people, having resident dogs in the White House has done wonders for softening the image of some of the most powerful men in history.

If you are curious about just how many dogs have been taken care of by past and present presidents or you are just looking for patriotic name ideas, we have the perfect list for you!

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The 28 Presidents’ Dogs and Their Names

1. George Washington

American Foxhound dog standing on pathway at the park
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock
  • Name: Sweet Lips
  • Breed: American Foxhound

George Washington was a dog lover and owned multiple dogs, including Sweet Lips, which is arguably the most famous one. He had quite a variety of breeds: Dalmatians, Coonhounds, Greyhounds, Briards, and so on. Sweet Lips was an American Foxhound, a breed that originated with George Washington himself when he bred his Black and Tan Coonhounds with French hunting hounds.

Here are a few of the names given to the first president’s multitude of dogs:

  • Captain
  • Chloe
  • Drunkard
  • Forester
  • Lady Rover
  • Madame Moose
  • Mopsey
  • Pilot
  • Scentwell
  • Searcher
  • Taster
  • Tipler
  • Tipsy
  • Trulove
  • Vulcan

2. John Adams

  • Names: Juno and Satan
  • Breeds: Mixed breeds

Juno and Satan were the first dogs to live at the White House with the second president of the United States, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail Smith.

3. Thomas Jefferson

Briard dog
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock
  • Name: Buzzy
  • Breed: Briard

Thomas Jefferson was not a fan of dogs at a younger age, but when he met a Briard while in France, he decided to bring a pregnant female back home with him for breeding. His pet of choice, however, was the Mockingbird.

4. John Tyler

Italian Greyhound dog standing on the grass
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
  • Name: Le Beau
  • Breed: Italian Greyhound

President John Tyler imported an Italian Greyhound for his wife, Julia, followed by two Irish Wolfhounds. However, there is no known information on the Wolfhounds, including their names.

5. James Buchanan

black Newfoundland dog is sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Madeeva_11, Shutterstock
  • Name: Lara
  • Breed: Newfoundland

The 15th president, James Buchanan, owned a 170-pound Newfoundland dog by the name of Lara, who slept next to his bed and was essentially his protector.

6. Abraham Lincoln

Image Credit: Fido (Abraham Lincoln’s dog) , Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Name: Fido
  • Breed: Mixed breed

Abraham Lincoln is well-known for his empathy toward both human and animal rights. His beloved dog, Fido, never resided in the White House because Lincoln was aware of his dog’s inability to handle the stress of living there. However, this is why the name “Fido” became so popular for dogs. In addition to Fido, the President owned other dogs, including Jip, as well as ponies, rabbits, goats, turkeys, and cats.

7. Ulysses Grant

newfoundland dog running at the park
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock
  • Name: Faithful
  • Breed: Newfoundland

President Ulysses Grant was the second president to own a Newfoundland, which went by the name of Faithful. He also had a hound named Rosie, though Faithful was his favorite. However, President Grant preferred horses overall.

8. Rutherford Hayes

black Newfoundland dog
Image Credit: Madeeva_11, Shutterstock
  • Name: Hector
  • Breed: Newfoundland

A Newfoundland makes another appearance as a presidential dog, one by the name of Hector, but President Hayes had multiple dogs and other pets! Among his dogs were Duke (thought to be an English Mastiff), Grim (Greyhound), Otis (Miniature Schnauzer), Dot (Cocker Spaniel), along with Juno, Shep, and Jet. He also had cats (including the first Siamese in the States), goats, mockingbirds, canaries, cows, and horses.

9. James Garfield

newfoundland dog walking in the water
Image Credit: rzoze19, Shutterstock
  • Name: Veto
  • Breed: Newfoundland

This Newfie was called Veto, and the story goes that this dog held the reins of a stampeding horse until help arrived. Veto also barked out an alarm when a barn caught fire.

10. Grover Cleveland

saint Bernard
Image Credit: Siddharth shah, Unsplash
  • Name: Kay
  • Breed: St. Bernard

The 22nd and 24th president of the U.S.A. had a love for dogs and owned quite a few of them! Although we don’t know the names of many, one was a St. Bernard named Kay. Cleveland also had several other breeds, including Dachshunds, Fox Terriers, Collies, Cocker Spaniels, and a Poodle named Hector.

11. Theodore Roosevelt

Saint Bernard dog standing on the shore of the river
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
  • Name: Skip
  • Breed: Mixed breed

President Theodore Roosevelt was a great lover of animals and had a multitude of dogs! Among them were his favorite, Skip, a mixed breed, but there was also Pete the Bull Terrier, Rollo the St. Bernard, Sailor Boy the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Blackjack the Manchester Terrier, and Manchu the Pekingese. He also had a variety of other animals, such as horses, snakes, cats, a macaw, a badger, a rabbit, kangaroo rats, flying squirrels, and guinea pigs!

12. Warren Harding

Image Credit: President Harding and Laddie Boy, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Names: Laddie Boy and Old Boy
  • Breeds: Airedale Terrier and English Bulldog

The Airedale Terrier, Laddie Boy, was the first celebrity presidential dog. There was sometimes daily news about Laddie Boy in the Times and Washington Star. Old Boy was an English Bulldog and more reclusive than Laddie Boy, but both dogs lived in the White House during the president’s term.

13. Calvin Coolidge

Border collie catching frisbee in flower covered field
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
  • Name: Rob Roy
  • Breed: Collie

President Calvin Coolidge was quoted as saying, “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.” Rob Roy was a white Collie and truly beloved, but the following dogs were all well-loved too:

  • Bessie (Collie)
  • Blackberry (Chow Chow)
  • Boston Beans (Bulldog)
  • Calamity Jane (Shetland Sheepdog)
  • King Cole (Belgian Sheepdog)
  • Palo Alto (English Setter)
  • Paul Pry (Airedale Terrier)
  • Peter Pan (Wirehaired Fox Terrier)
  • Prudence Prim (White Collie)
  • Ruby Rouch (Collie)
  • Tiny Tim (Chow Chow)

Coolidge also had cats, birds, raccoons, a donkey, a bobcat, lion cubs, a wallaby, a pygmy hippo, and a black bear!

14. Herbert Hoover

Image Credit: Herbert Hoover and King Tut, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Name: King Tut
  • Breed: Belgian Malinois

President Hoover had several dogs but seemed to favor his Belgian Malinois, King Tut. He also owned:

  • Big Ben (Fox Terrier)
  • Eaglehurst Gillette (Gordon Setter)
  • Glen (Collie)
  • Pat (German Shepherd)
  • Patrick (Irish Wolfhound)
  • Sonny (Fox Terrier)
  • Weejie (Elkhound)
  • Yukon (Siberian Husky)

He also had a pair of alligators!

15. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Image Credit: Fala (dog), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Name: Fala
  • Breed: Scottish Terrier

President Delano Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier, Fala, became one of the most famous of the presidential dogs. FDR had more dogs, like so many other presidents, including:

  • Blaze (English Bullmastiff)
  • Major (German Shepherd)
  • Meggie (Scottish Terrier)
  • President (Great Dane)
  • Tiny (Old English Sheepdog)
  • Winks (Llewellyn Setter)

16. Harry Truman

Image Credit: President-harry-truman-dog-feller, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Names: Feller and Mike
  • Breeds: Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter

Unfortunately, President Harry Truman was not actually a big fan of dogs. Both canines that came into his family were given away. He was quoted as saying, “They preferred to be a pet-free family,” which drew much antagonism from the entire country!

17. Dwight D. Eisenhower

a weimaraner dog shaking hands with a person
Image Credit: Frank J. Triguero, Shutterstock
  • Name: Heidi
  • Breed: Weimaraner

While President Eisenhower didn’t give Heidi away completely, she was sent to live at the family farm in Pennsylvania. She peed on a rug in the White House that would be about $200,000 today!

18. John F. Kennedy

Standard Poodle
Image Credit: Richard Chaff, Shutterstock
  • Name: Pushinka
  • Breed: Mixed breed

President Kennedy was yet another president with a multitude of pets, but Pushinka was the favorite. She was a gift from the Soviet Premier and the daughter of the first dog in space, Strelka.

There was also:

  • Charlie (Welsh Terrier)
  • Clipper (German Shepherd)
  • Gaullie (Poodle)
  • Shannon (Cocker Spaniel)
  • Wolf (Irish Wolfhound)

Pushinka and Charlie’s eventual puppies were named Blackie, Butterfly, Streaker, and White Tips. There were also a cat, birds, ponies, hamsters, a rabbit, and horses in the White House.

19. Lyndon B. Johnson

Image Credit: President Johnson, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Names: Him and Her
  • Breed: Beagles

President Johnson was fond of animals, especially dogs, but courted controversy when he was photographed for Life magazine pulling Him’s ears. This act caused outrage among the American people, and the president had to apologize for his behavior.

Besides that incident, it was well-known that he treated his pets with affection and care. Apart from Him and Her, Johnson owned several other dogs, including Beagles Edgar and Freckles, Collie Blanco, and mixed breed Yuki.

20. Richard Nixon

Image Credit: john-mobbs, Shutterstock
  • Name: Checkers
  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel

Checkers never actually lived at the White House, but he became famous due to a speech by President Nixon, known as the Checkers speech. Nixon also owned a Poodle named Vicky, a Yorkshire Terrier named Pasha, and an Irish Setter named King Timahoe.

21. Gerald Ford

Image Credit: Liberty (dog), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Name: Liberty
  • Breed: Golden Retriever

President Ford’s beloved pet was a Golden Retriever named Liberty, whom he brought to the White House when she was just a puppy. As time passed, Liberty gave birth to a litter of puppies. One of them, named Misty, became the president’s new companion, while another was donated to the Leader Dogs for the Blind organization to be trained as a seeing-eye dog.

22. Jimmy Carter

border collie dog lying on the asphalt wearing shoes
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
  • Name: Grits
  • Breed: Border Collie mix

Grits is another dog that had to leave the White House. Although the reason behind this is not clear, it is believed that the dog didn’t get along with Misty Malarky Ying Yang, the Carter family’s cat. Additionally, there was Lewis Brown, an Afghan Hound, that lived a quiet life in the White House during President Carter’s term.

23. Ronald Reagan

Rex (Ronald Reagan's dog)
Image Credit:Rex (Ronald Reagan’s dog), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Name: Rex
  • Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Reagans had several dogs, but Rex, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was well-loved. There were also:

  • Fuzzy (Belgian Sheepdog)
  • Lucky (Bouvier des Flandres)
  • Peggy (Irish Setter)
  • Taca (Siberian Husky)
  • Victory (Golden Retriever)

24. George H.W. Bush

English Springer Spaniel
Image Credit: onthegoTam, Pixabay
  • Name: Millie
  • Breed: English Springer Spaniel

Millie is widely recognized as one of the most famous dogs in U.S. presidential history. In 1992, she “co-authored” a book with Barbara Bush that became a New York Times non-fiction bestseller. The Bush family also kept one of Millie’s puppies, Ranger.

25. Bill Clinton

Buddy (Bill Clinton's dog)
Image Credit: Buddy (Bill Clinton’s dog), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International
  • Name: Buddy
  • Breed: Labrador Retriever

The Clintons were technically more known for their tuxedo cat, Socks, but after the first term, Buddy, a 3-month-old chocolate Lab, was introduced to the White House. Socks and Buddy were well known for their rather contentious relationship.

26. George W. Bush

black Scottish terrier on grass
Image Credit: Plotitsyna NiNa, Shutterstock
  • Name: Barney
  • Breed: Scottish Terrier

President Bush had a deep affection for his Scottish Terrier Barney, which gained popularity due to a miniature camera attached to his collar. Barney used to capture videos from his perspective, which were later uploaded online. The Bush family had another Scottish Terrier named Miss Beazley and Spot, the offspring of the famous Millie.

27. Barack Obama

Portuguese Water Dog in the water
Image Credit: Lynda McFaul, Shutterstock

When President Obama was in office, he introduced Bo as a new member of the First Family, and Sunny soon followed. The two dogs became so popular that they had to be scheduled for their appearances at the White House.

28. Joe Biden

Major (Joe Biden's dog)
Image Credit: Major (Joe Biden’s dog), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International

Champ joined President Biden at the White House, and shortly after, Major was adopted from the Delaware Humane Association, making him the first shelter dog in the White House. Unfortunately, life in the White House proved to be too much for Major, so he was rehomed with a friend of the family.

After Champ died in 2021, in honor of his 79th birthday, President Biden was gifted a new German Shepherd puppy whom he named Commander.dogster paw divider


Throughout history, American presidents have owned a diverse range of animals, including exotic species like hippos and wallabies, as well as more conventional pets, such as cats and dogs.

The presence of pets in the White House has often been used as a tool to improve the president’s public image. Seeing a president playing and bonding with their pets can make them more relatable to the public, even if for just a moment!

Featured Image Credit: Anna Darahan, Shutterstock

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