President Herbert Hoover and King Tut

President Herbert Hoover, who spent the years between 1929 and 1933 in the White
House, owned several dogs of a wide variety of breeds.

He and his wife Lou were genuine dog lovers because they also kept dogs before
Hoover was elected President, and at one time the White House was home to 9
dogs!

King Tut was probably the President's most famous dog.

He was a handsome German Shepherd that was given to Hoover during an assignment in Belgium several years before he was elected. The future President, who was working for President Wilson at the time, was sent to Belgium to organize war relief in Europe after the First World War.

Hoover fell in love with King Tut and brought him home to the United States after his trip ended. Hoover genuinely adored King Tut and his other dogs, but his political team also knew exactly how to play on these emotions to gain votes. This affection for his dog King Tut was one of his team's most powerful tools during the run up to the election. Before being elected, Hoover was seen as too serious and stubborn for the public to like. By releasing photos of the President playing with his dog, the public got to see another side of their future leader, a warm and approachable side.

A photo of Hoover and King Tut was mailed to thousands of voters before the election and it is thought to have helped him get elected. Herbert Hoover also owned an Irish Wolfhound named Patrick during this time in office. The dog, which was a very rare breed at the time, was gifted to the President by a former school colleague. Patrick never achieved the fame of King Tut, but it too was much loved by the Hoover family.

For those who believe that a politician's dog should be strong and self-assured, the German Shepherd would be one of the most suitable breeds for a President. Also known as Alsatians, these dogs are active and confident so wouldn't be timid or shy around crowds. This active and outdoorsy breed was an ideal choice to accompany the President along the miles of hiking trails that meandered through his Virginia retreat.

German Shepherds are also intelligent and easy to train, and are very protective of their master. Unfortunately, the instinct to protect the President at all times was too much for the loyal King Tut. He would keep an eye on any visitors to his master and frequently patrol the perimeter of the White House.

Eventually this took its toll on his health, and he stopped eating. Despite being sent away to a more relaxing environment, King Tut never recovered and died shortly after. He became known as the dog that worried himself to death. King Tut was so popular that the President decided not to release the news of his passing. He felt the country had enough to worry about with the failing economy, and the people would feel even more despondent at the death of their First Dog.