Ulysses S. Grant and Faithful the Newfoundland

Ulysses S. Grant, who was President of the United States for two terms between
1869 and 1877, owned a single dog during his time in office.

The dog - a Newfoundland named Faithful - was a family pet before Mr. Grant
was elected President, and accompanied the Grant family into the White House.

Newfoundland dogs are a large and sturdy breed, which makes them a good choice
for a Presidential pet. Faithful was mainly owned and looked after by Grant's son,
Jesse, and it's not clear how much time the President actually spent with the dog.

There is also very little information about the temperament and personality of Faithful, although we can assume that she was a well-behaved pet - otherwise it's unlikely the President would have taken her into the White House.

Newfoundland dogs usually make very good family pets. Jesse was only 11 when his father was elected as President, so choosing a breed that was safe around children would probably have been the family's top priority. The biggest risk to the President's son would have been if he was knocked over by their huge family pet.

Despite their friendly and docile nature (they are sometimes referred to as gentle giants) Newfoundland dogs are also known to be determined and with their long coat and excessive drooling, they can be time consuming to care for and keep clean. They are intelligent working animals, so the actual training process usually isn't difficult. It is essential, however, to begin socializing and obedience training early in their life while they are smaller and easier to manage. If left too late, the breed's sheer size and independent nature could make living with them more challenging.

As Faithful accompanied Ulysses S. Grant and his family when they first moved into the White House, it is quite likely that she was already well mannered.

There are no records detailing the size of Faithful, but it's safe to assume that she would have been one of the larger Presidential dogs. She was actually the second Newfoundland to live in the White House - James Buchanan owned one called Lara.

Like all working animals, Newfoundland dogs are happiest when they have a job to perform. The animals were bred to perform a variety of tasks, including guarding, herding, hunting and assisting with rescue attempts. The breed is equally at home on land or in water, and these hard working dogs were essential in assisting their fisherman owners pull in heavy nets.

Today, the dogs are often used as police dogs and family companions, mainly due to their impressive demeanor and calm temperament.

The Grant family didn't own any other household pets, but the President's real passion was for horses. He owned many, including a war mount called Cincinnatus and a racing horse named Julia. President Grant was in office during the second half of the American Civil War, so it's probably not surprising that he didn't have much spare time for his pets.