June 06, 2023   9:05am

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Now that the inauguration is over and Obama can focus on what’s really important, here’s some practical advice on how to handle the First Puppy …


If you read “The First Pooch: The World is Watching,” you’ll know I recommended the Poodle part of the Labradoodle the Obama’s are now considering.  This post provides more practical advice on how to handle that little puppy — and better yet, how to handle the first daughters …

Who’s responsible?

Yes, it is important for the girls to be responsible for the pup … THEY should do the feeding, the bathing, the wetting/minding training, the whatever-ing. Ask my son. His parents didn’t insist he take this on, and now he self-righteously lectures me on having not “trained” the dog [and obviously him] appropriately. My mantra was, “I didn’t train them; they trained me,” which at the time worked and kept peace in the house. Later it didn’t seem so smart.  Plus having a not-so-well-trained pooch is not happy for the dog either.  (Same for your kid.)

The book to read

Definitely have your kids read (or read to them) the “The Tao of Bow Wow”. Seriously. It’s a GREAT “training” book – one that will bring your kids and the dog closer together.

Sharing the bed

Be prepared for the dogs to want to sleep in bed with the kids and vice versa. I don’t care what all those fearful purveyors of germ transfer theory have to say (or my own mom, for that matter). It’s great for all creatures to be close to someone they love — and dogs are pack animals who crave togetherness. Plus, when you’re traveling, it will make your kids feel extra safe in that big white multi-roomed house where monsters lurk under the bed, in the corners and, certainly, in those creaky old closets.

Get an easy learner

Your kids are so young, be sure your final selection is easily trained and likes people. If you check with the American Kennel Club, they rate most trainable to least trainable pooches. With two youngsters, the pups will need to be patient and put up with a lot. And you need to worry about the pup’s sanity, too.

How many (yeah!)
You have two kids. Get two dogs. An added plus is that the puppies will have one another to play with. More for everyone to love.

Ignore the dog whisperer

Paleeeze — I know dog trainers who think he’s cruel to animals!

Last but not least, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions,


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