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AKC Congratulates Obama Family and Welcomes ‘Bo,’ A Portuguese Water Dog to the White House

April 13, 2009

Newest ‘First’ Dog Prepares to Makes Its Mark on Washington

NEW YORK, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Kennel Club congratulates the Obama family on the anticipated arrival of their 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, Amigo’s New Hope, affectionately known as “Bo.” Bo was bred by Art and Martha Stern, long-time breeders who reside near Dallas, TX, and is a littermate of Senator Ted Kennedy’s pup Cappy. The first dog ever owned by the Obama family, as well the nation’s official “First Dog,” this new presidential pup will not only leave a mark on the Obamas’ lives but shine a spotlight on dogs and the importance of responsible dog ownership around the world.

“With one of the American Kennel Club’s primary missions being the encouragement of responsible dog ownership, we are delighted with the wonderful example you have already set in researching the right breed for your family and obtaining a dog through a reputable breeder who is a member of the AKC parent club, The Portugese Water Dog Club of America,” said AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung in a letter to the Obama family today. “We have been highlighting the First family’s quest to find the right dog for them on www.presidentialpup.com and using the unprecedented public interest as a platform for public education.”

“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 Mary Burch, Ph.D, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and CGC Director. “That type of behavior may not make the best impression on visiting dignitaries, so we recommend that the Obama’s enroll Bo in an obedience class such as the new AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program.”

AKC has provided the Obamas with some basic training tips to get them started as well as a list of S.T.A.R. Puppy and CGC evaluators and training clubs in the Washington D.C. area that are ready and willing to assist them with their dog.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy stands for what every puppy needs – Socialization, Training, Activity and a Responsible Owner. Dogs up to one year of age are eligible to enroll in a six-week puppy or basic training class that is instructed by an AKC approved CGC Evaluator. Classes include valuable training tips for puppy owners such as housetraining and lessons on practical skills for puppies such as coming when called. The program is a pre-cursor to the AKC Canine Good Citizen(R) Program, which teaches and rewards dogs with good manners at home and in the community.

As a purebred, the Portuguese Water Dog has a predictable temperament, activity level and coat type, which is ideal for allergy sufferers like Malia. They are loyal and loving companions, cherished by many Americans throughout the country. However, the breed was developed to be a working animal and requires daily vigorous exercise. Historically, the breed spent most of its day swimming, assisting its fisherman owner by retrieving broken nets, diving for fish and delivering messages between ships.

Although currently only the 64th most popular breed in the United States according to 2008 AKC registration statistics, the Portuguese Water Dog’s popularity is likely to rise due to its appointment as First Pup. Therefore, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, the AKC Parent club which monitors the health and well-being of the breed in U.S., has issued a press release of their own to urge the public to be cautious before jumping on any trend that involves a living animal.

“PWDs are classified as working dogs. That means they enjoy being given jobs to do where they can display their intelligence, strength and stamina,” said Stu Freeman, President of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. “Like all dogs, they need positive training and socialization.”

The best way to find a responsible breeder and start a search for a healthy, happy puppy is through the AKC parent club for your chosen breed or local all-breed kennel club in your town. Visit www.puppybuyerinfo.org to locate a local club or breeder.

AKC recommends that prospective buyers educate themselves on the hallmarks of a reputable breeder. Visiting the breeder’s home or kennel and seeing at least one of the puppy’s parents is ideal and will let you know what the future holds for your pup in terms of temperament and appearance.

The American Kennel Club proudly celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2009. Since 1884 the not-for-profit organization has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 20,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

SOURCE American Kennel Club


Source: newswire