Correction (April 15): A previous version of this text called Portuguese water dogs hypoallergenic, which was inaccurate.
April 14, 2009—Today the Obamas' new six-month-old puppy, named Amigo's New Hope—aka Bo—is scheduled to make his public debut and officially move into the White House.
Shown on a test run with President Obama in the White House on March 15, 2009, the black-and-white Portuguese water dog is a gift to President Obama's daughters Malia and Sasha from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who also owns Portuguese water dogs.
Despite their lapdog looks, Portuguese water dogs are classified as working dogs. That means the pups seem to enjoy being given jobs that allow them to display their intelligence, strength, and stamina.
"This breed possesses a lot of energy, so without training or a job to do, the dog may entertain itself by running full-speed down the West Wing or barking at Republicans," said animal behaviorist Mary Burch of the American Kennel Club in a statement.
At least the Obamas might not have to worry about Bo aggravating Malia's allergies, as the breed sheds less fur than the average breed—a fact that has led many to inaccurately dub "Porties" hypoallergenic.
The new First Dog has triggered the most publicity that Portuguese water dogs have ever had since the breed's introduction into the U.S. in the late 1960s.
"While the PWD is a wonderful family pet, we want to use the increased interest in the breed as an opportunity to educate people about it," said Stu Freeman, president of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. "We encourage those who may consider adding a Portuguese water dog to their lives to do the proper research to ensure that this breed fits their lifestyle."
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