Obama Pup: Ages-Old Breed, or Trendy New Hybrid?

Obama reveals the dog hunt is down to two breeds - but which one works better with his political image?

Prez-Elect Barack Obama told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' This Week that the first family had narrowed down their dog hunt to two (hypoallergenic) breeds: a Labradoodle and a Portuguese Water Dog (well, he said "Water Hound," but the guy's got a lot on his mind these days).

Let's consider the background of these two breeds, and what they'd do for his political image. The Portuguese Water Dog has a centuries-old, American Kennel Club-recognized pedigree. Portuguese explorers supposedly used the seafaring dogs to retrieve fishing nets. Vasco De Gama might have had one, for crying out loud! They have slightly webbed feet, good for swimming. And bonus fact: they're actually the ancestor of the poodle.

In contrast, there's the Labradoodle, a Labrador-standard poodle hybrid that's relatively new on the dog scene, and can cost in the low four figures from breeders, but isn't yet recognized as an official breed by the AKC. The 'doodle is wildly trendy, too - it's the flashy, all-American Mustang convertible to the Portie's sturdy, age-old, decidedly European Volvo. And it's a mutt - just like (by his own admission) the Prez-Elect - albeit a high-end, on-purpose mutt. So we're going to call it for the 'doodle.

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