Poodle picked as top dog for Obama family: poll

NEW YORK Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:33pm EDT

1 of 4. Callie, a classic poodle, poses for photos at the American Kennel Club in New York August 28, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the Democrats were meeting in Denver this week to crown Barack Obama as their presidential nominee, the American public selected the Poodle as its choice for his family's dog.

In a national poll of 42,000 people, the Poodle narrowly edged past the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier as the top dog for the Obamas, the American Kennel Club (AKC) said.

"It is no surprise the American public chose a Poodle for Obama," said spokeswoman Lisa Peterson, adding the breed is the eighth most popular nationally and the third most common type of dog in Washington, D.C.

Other breeds in the poll included the Miniature Schnauzer, the Bichon Frise and the Chinese Crested. The five breeds in the survey were picked for being hypoallergenic because one of the Obama's daughters is said to suffer from allergies.

The Obamas had promised their daughters, Malia and Sasha, the family would get a dog after the November 4 presidential election.

Peterson said there are three types of poodles -- the toy, the miniature and the classic -- depending on their size.

"It is so important to pick the right breed for your lifestyle," she said, adding that pet owners should make a 10- to 15-year commitment when choosing a dog.

The club also noted that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain already has four dogs, including a Yorkshire Terrier and a Springer Spaniel.

According to the Kennel Club, McCain enjoys a 42 percent to 37 percent edge over Obama among animal lovers.

The Bush family dog, Barney, a Scottish Terrier, has become a celebrity during his eight years in the White House, complete with his own website (www.whitehouse.gov/barney/).

While a pure-bred dog is the most common in the White House, animal rights group PETA last month urged the Obamas to also consider adopting a mixed breed dog to call attention to the plight of the many pets awaiting homes in animal shelters.