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Bo (dog) facts for kids

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Bo official portrait.jpg
Official White House portrait of the First Dog
(May 2009)
Other appellation(s) First Dog of the United States
Charlie (by previous owner)
Species Canis lupus familiaris
Breed Portuguese Water Dog
Sex Male
Born Amigo's New Hope
October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09) (age 12)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Nation from United States
Known for Pet of the Obama family
Training Dawn Sylvia (Hume, Virginia)
Can sit, present paw/shake, lie down, roll over, get off, wait
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)
Breeder: Julie Parker
Appearance tuxedo/black and white
Named after Obama girls' cousins' pet cat
and also Bo Diddley

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

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. 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". In August 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female dog of the same breed.


Obama family walks with First Dog Bo 4-14-09
The Obamas walking with Bo
The Obamas with First Dog Bo Obama
The Obamas with Bo

The Obamas originally wanted to adopt a dog from an animal shelter, but made no promises. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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