LOS ANGELES - Dogs are coming back to the White House.
Joe Biden was elected 46th president of the United States on Saturday, beating out incumbent president Donald Trump, according to projections by FOX News and the Associated Press, which means dogs will soon roam the White House halls once again.
The last time pooches set their paws in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was when former President Barack Obama’s two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, resided there. Obama famously promised his daughters a dog during the presidential election in 2008.
Presidents owning dogs is an American political tradition that dates back to the first U.S. President George Washington, who was also a dog lover and breeder. Washington even coined his own unique breed, according to History.com.
Washington wanted a speedier hunting dog, and hoped to breed that speed into the hounds he already owned, according to Andrew Hager, historian-in-residence of the Presidential Pet Museum.
“When his [Washington’s] good friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, heard about this, he sent General Washington a group of French hound dogs in the care of young John Quincy Adams,” Hager said. “These dogs were much more aggressive than Washington’s usual hounds, and were eventually bred with them. This created the new breed, although it’s important to note that Washington wasn’t thinking about the breed in any sort of legacy way. He just wanted to improve his personal collection of hunting dogs.”
Trump and first lady Melania did not own pets during their four-year tenure in office.
Joe Biden’s two dogs, Champ and Major, are German shepherds, and will join first lady Jill Biden and staff members in the White House in January after Biden is inaugurated.
Dr. Jill Biden photographed with the Biden family's two dogs Major and Champ. (Dr. Jill Biden via Twitter)
Champ, who was purchased from a Pennsylvania breeder, has been with the Bidens since 2008. The pooch was welcomed into the family on Christmas Day and named Champ by Biden's granddaughters.
Major joined the family in 2018, 10 years after Champ. Major is set to make history as the first rescue dog to reside in the White House. The Bidens fostered and adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Society.
The rescue organization posted the news to their Facebook page, stating, “The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official.”While Vice President-elect Kamala Harris does not currently own dogs, she has welcomed them into her Senate office.
Champ and Major have been frequently featured on Biden’s social media accounts during the 2020 presidential election cycle. During Biden’s campaign, he signaled the the desire to bring dogs back to the White House.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.