Obama narrows it down to Labradoodle or Portuguese Water Dog

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As we discussed yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama has narrowed the selection of incoming First Dog to either a Labradoodle or a Portuguese Water Dog.

He told ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos yesterday that his daughters Malia and Sasha will make the selection soon.

“We’re now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up,” Obama said.

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Breeds

So what kind of dogs are Labradoodles and Portuguese Water Dogs anyway?

After all, for us simpletons at The Vote they aren't the easy-to-define dogs like Joe Biden's new puppy which is a German Shepherd.

Or President Bush's dog "Barney," a Scottish-Terrier who this blogger used to hang out with.

Labradoodle

As you might have guessed a Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle.  And whoever named it must have preferred "Labradoodle" to "Poobrador".

It sounds like a great dog.  They're happy and they don't smell apparently.  That's according to Philip Crammond, a labradoodle owner who calls the breed a "state of the art canine."

"Originally, they were bred to help the blind and others with impaired abilities," Crammond explains. "They are now also quite popular for those with allergies due to the poodle trait of a non-shedding coat."
"There is a small percentage of labradoodles who do shed a little but they still seem to have hypoallergenic properties, although this has not been proved as yet. Labradoodles are also known not to have any body odor."

Portuguese Water Dogs

As for Portuguese Water Dogs, as you might have guessed they're good in water.  So good that Jacques Cousteau used to own one.  They're kinda duck-like.

Dogbreedinfo.com tells us that they have webbier feet than other dogs which helps with swimming.  This is good as the White House has an outdoor pool (the inside pool was converted to the press briefing room during the Nixon administration).

Here's more on the dog:

"The Portuguese Water Dog is a water-loving, lively but sensible, and loyal dog. Affectionate and fun to be around. It is excellent with children and usually gets along with other dogs and pets without any problems.
"They need to get to know cats so that the company of them will also cause no problems. It has a stable, pleasant temperament. Brave, highly intelligent and trainable; keen to work and quick to learn and understand instructions."

Why

Why is Barack Obama going the pound-puppy route anyway?  He's mentioned it often when asked.

"A lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me," Obama said at a recent press conference.

Cover of a magazine

Obama is currently featured on the cover of American Dog magazine with a three-legged dog named "Baby."

According to a press release promoting the new book, "A Rare Breed of Love", Obama was contacted back in 2005 asking for help by Jana Kohl who wanted to end puppy mills.

"It was then Barack Obama promised Dr. Kohl that he would indeed adopt if he was to get a dog for his children. Obama is featured in a compelling and stunning portrait with Baby (who is hypoallergenic), Kohl's 3-legged rescue dog and puppy mill survivor, in the book A Rare Breed of Love (Fireside, Simon and Schuster)," the release says.

We attached a CNN video discussing the dog below.

When?

When will the momentous decision be made?  We don't know.

The constitution does not mandate that First Dog be present by Inauguration Day.

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