Abraham Lincoln's Yellow Labrador
Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Terrier
Ol’ TR was essentially a full-on zookeeper, retaining as White House pets 11 horses, five Guinea pigs, two cats, flying squirrels, one badger, one hen, one macaw, one hyena, and two kangaroo rats. And that’s just scratching the surface of Teddy’s 40-plus-pet habit. Roosevelt was known to be fond of mixed-bloodline canines, which he called “Heinz 57” dogs. Perhaps most infamous, however, was Roosevelt’s bull terrier mix, Pete. Though the New York Times reported that Pete’s job was to “keep suspicious characters, newspaper correspondents, and incessant Secretaries of the Interior out of the White House grounds,” it appears he might have gotten carried away in several dramatic instances and chomped some very important legs. In 1906, Pete’s jaws famously found a French ambassador, ripping off his pants in the process as Pete attempted to escape up a tree.
Roosevelt exiled the bull terrier to Virginia for a period of time before he was returned to the White House on a probationary basis. Pete went right back to his old pantsing ways, however, tearing off the trousers of a Navy Department clerk on the White House grounds. He was relocated — this time for good — to the family farm on Long Island.
Warren G. Harding's Airedale Terrier
Herbert Hoover's Belgian Malinois
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Scottish Terrier
John F. Kennedy's Mixed Breed
Him & Her
Lyndon B. Johnson's Beagles
Gerald Ford's Golden Retriever
Once word got out of a presidential pup, the American people wanted to know: who will look after her? No doubt the White House had sufficient staff to cover the job, but the president did not shirk his duty. “I have this feeling… this is one Liberty that is going to cost me some of mine,” he said. “But in a broader sense, that is the true nature of liberty. It comes with both privileges and obligations. Freedom, we all know, is seldom free.”