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Trump vs Biden: Do dogs influence voters?

Mount Rushmore National Memorial sculpture dog-serious
© Shutterstock & Roger Williams - Facebook

We know dog people. Generally speaking we think them friendly, loving, outgoing and loyal. But can we say for sure that those traits are absent in the person who does not own a dog?

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 01/10/2020, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

Author of A Dog’s Journey, William Cameron, remarks: “You can usually tell that a man is good if he has a dog who loves him”. But what does that say about Donald Trump, the first President in 120 years not to own a dog?

And with that in mind can we say for certain that his oppo in the 2020 presidential race, Joe Biden, is a “good” man because of his choice of German Shepherds as companions?

Noticeable absence

Time will tell, perhaps, whether puppy power has anything to do with goodness. But for now at least we can say that noticeable by its absence is a canine compadre by the side of 45.

At a rally last year Trump famously said that his having a dog would appear “phony”, presumably talking of the persistent reminders from advisors that voters feel better about a leader if they own a dog.

First time? Here are 5 tips for the novice dog owner

The President went on to say that he also “didn’t have time” to own a dog, claiming in a sense that he is the busiest head of state in 120 years. Soon reminded of the power and influence of Portuguese Water Dog Bo, Trump hurriedly changed the subject.


Sometimes you gotta get that energy out! Humans need lots of exercise.

Posted by Bo and Sunny: The Obama dogs on Monday, September 12, 2016

Not just one dog…

Biden on the other hand is renowned not just for his ownership of two dogs, but for adopting a dog that had been hospitalised. At the behest of his daughter Ashley, the Bidens adopted Major in 2018 as a companion of the already ensconced Champ.


Joe Biden with his Dog, whom the Bidens fostered as a puppy after their daughter suggested it to them, because the puppy...

Posted by Roger Williams on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Here then is a man who at the very least has his heart in more or less the same place as those living in America’s 63 million dog-owner households. And it cannot be denied that to see someone with a dog by their side affords us a sense (rightly or wrongly) of their worthiness.

Watch also: The truth behind what makes you either a dog person or a cat person