What should the Obama family look for in a new pet dog? – Part 10

In early January of 2009, President-Elect Barack Obama received a question from his daughters, delivered by George Stephanopoulos, during his interview on ABC News. Malia and Sasha Obama asked their father what kind of dog will they be getting and when. President-Elect Obama said he is interested in two breeds. The first family plans to adopt either a Portuguese water dog or a labradoodle. Having a family member with allergies has influenced this decision. The Obamas are going to adopt their first dog as soon as they find a suitable Portuguese water dog or labradoodle at an animal shelter.

Doodle dogs are created by mixing poodles with other breeds. The labradoodle was created by people who were interested in developing a hypoallergenic breed to train as service dogs. Poodles and Labrador retrievers were bred together to create what is now called the labradoodle.

Labradoodles may inherit the curly hypoallergenic coat from their poodle side or a coat that is more like a Labrador retriever. People with allergies need to make sure they are getting a doodle dog with a hypoallergenic coat. If the Obamas find a labradoodle in a shelter, they should have a veterinarian or dog expert examine the dog to make sure the coat is hypoallergenic, like a poodle.

Portuguese Water Dogs are an ancient breed that have worked with fishermen along the coast of Portugal for centuries. They are excellent swimmers and seafarers. These agile dogs can dive under water and retrieve fishing gear. This medium size breed stands 17 to 23 inches at the shoulders and weighs between 35 and 60 pounds. They are a fun breed with their own water sports, titles, and trials. The people from the Portuguese Water Dog Clubs are some of the friendliest people I have met at dog shows. This breed is hypoallergenic, intelligent, and loves water. A Portuguese water dog would make an excellent first dog. Although this breed is considered hypoallergenic, the experts from the The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America suggest people spend some time with the breed to make sure you are not sensitive to the coat. To learn more about the Portuguese Water Dog go to www.pwdca.org/.

The Obamas should consider adopting an older dog rather than a puppy. Adopting an adult dog from a shelter has advantages. When you adopt an adult dog you know how big the dog will be. Adult dogs are often trained and housebroken. Having a mature dog in the White House who is less likely to chew and destroy things would be good. The first dog will be a role model for all the dogs in America and should be well behaved, confident, and friendly.

The Obamas’ decision to adopt a dog from a shelter rather than purchase a dog from a pet store will help the dogs of America. The first family will be setting an example that will help educate people about the need to adopt from shelters. The decision of the first family to avoid purchasing a puppy mill puppy from a pet store could help all the dogs who are victims of the cruel puppy mill industry.I

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