While the start of a New Year often triggers a natural desire for change, this January, the mandate for such change is stronger than ever. Most apparent inside the Beltway, where Washington is making its final preparations to welcome the arrival of a new administration; Barack Obama’s message of change in 2009 has become tangible, providing hope for many around the world.

However, despite all of the positive publicity surrounding our 44th president, there is one final question that has left Americans wondering: What kind of dog will be lucky enough to make it to the White House?

First reported by ABC News earlier this week, Obama has narrowed down his search to two breeds: the Portuguese Water Hound and the Labradoodle. Despite their funny names, both types of pups are perfect for allergy-conscience pet owners, like the Obamas. The announcement has news outlets all over the country scrambling to track down owners of each breed to weigh in on the debate about which dog is better.

Zapwater client and Animal Planet star Jamie Damato visited Fox Good Day Chicago this week to discuss the two breeds.

Like so many White House pets before him, the First Dog will have the important responsibility of being mascot and ambassador for the United States. Let’s compare:

A crossbred between the Labrador retriever and poodle, this type of dog is known for its positive temperament and compatibility with families and children. Very intelligent and trainable, this hybrid could be the perfect fit for the new First Family.

Portuguese Water Hound
Nicknamed by breeders the “portie”, this purebred is a non-shedding dog, sure to keep the Oval Office free of fur. A well-recognized water dog, porties are known for their excellent swimming ability and naturally-webbed feet. Certainly, this type of dog would feel right at home playing in the near-by Potomac.

Either way, given the publicity this lucky pooch is sure to receive; can America come to love a dog that is more purebred than mutt? As Barack so eloquently put it: Yes We Can.

Sarah Marseille