January 20, 2009 08:29 PM

The Obamas have narrowed their dog search down to two different breeds: the Labradoodle and the Portuguese water dog. The American Kennel Club has endorsed the latter, saying it’s a great breed for kids and for the fast paced life of the White House. Here’s a breakdown of this breed’s vital stats.

BREED: Portuguese water dog
DOG GROUP: Working
WEIGHT: 35 to 60 pounds
LIFESPAN: 8-15 years, varies
BREED: These dogs are very hearty and active. “They’re not the kind of dog that you can leave at home and think it’s going to lay by the fire all afternoon,” says Daisy Okas, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club. “It needs to be with people and it needs to have activities.” Okas says the dog is great with kids, especially because of their size. “They’re medium sized, sort of at a child’s level,” she says.

Ted Kennedy has three and wrote a book about one of them.

They were originally bred to help fisherman along Portugal’s coast. “Swimming is one of their favorite pursuits,” says Okas. “They really want to be with their owners and they want to have a job.”

They have a high activity level, so they’ll need daily exercise. “Once they’re at their full-grown weight and height they can be a great running companion or playmate,” says Okas. “In the White House I’m sure that won’t be a problem. There’s going to be people coming and going, there’s going to be activities, hopefully traveling with the family.”

Portuguese Water Dog Club of America

Portuguese water dogs tend to be very friendly, very affable and they respond very well to obedience training, says Okas. And, they don’t play favorites: “They will bond with all members of the family. This is a dog that’s going to be friendly pretty much with everybody,” she says.

You May Like