5 Famous Dogs in History Your School Forgot to Teach You About

Here’s a quick look into five of the most famous dogs in history that you might not even know about!

famous dogs in history

I love learning about dogs that came before me. Yes, you humans have written a lot about incredible two-leggers, but there are so many famous dogs in history that need to be written about. I know our educations are often quite different. You sit in chairs and read from books, while we sit on command and get treats. You tell me which type of training sounds like more fun.

It’s about time you humans learn about some of the coolest dogs in history. Meet Laika, Checkers, Bo, Sunny, and Balto.


Did you ever dream of being an astronaut-pup when you grew up? I certainly did. I imagined myself being the first dog astronaut to ever roam through outer space. It wasn’t until I started researching famous dogs in history that I found out there has already been another dog to orbit the earth! Wild, huh? It’s time we all learn about Laika, the Soviet space dog.

Laika was born a stray, and she was chosen to take part in a training program to become the first puppy astronaut. She must have done a great job in training, because she was chosen to take a seat on Sputnik 2. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably quite excited about Laiki’s future, and already Googling her memoirs. Unfortunately this story doesn’t have a happy ending. It turns out that Laiki was euthanized in space due to overheating, and probably only a few hours after launch.


Before I begin, I should state that I’m not in favor of politicians accepting gifts during a campaign. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you about Checkers, President Richard Nixon’s Cocker Spaniel. This pup possibly saved the career of a politician with White House dreams. You see, before Richard Nixon became President of the United States of America, he got into some hot water for accepting donations that he probably shouldn’t have taken. He address the donations, addressing one of them – a certain furry friend – directly. Turns out someone gave the Nixon family a dog as a donation, that he in turn gave to one of his daughters.

When addressing the controversy, he said, “You know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it.”

Unfortunately this pup didn’t get a chance to mark his spot on any of the White House carpets. He passed away before President Nixon took office.

Bo and Sunny Obama

Since we’re talking presidents, let me tell you about the FDOTUS, aka First Dogs of the United States. Bo, a male Portuguese Water Dog was chosen to be the family dog for President Barack Obama. Why? Well, that’s the most exciting part. Just like my dad, President Obama’s daughter Malia has allergies to dogs. The Portuguese Water Dog breed is hypoallergenic, just like us Goldendoodles!

In fact, talking about what kind of breed the Obamas would get was one of the first things asked of him during his first press conference as President-elect. When Barack Obama was running for office, he often mentioned that he promised his daughters they could get a dog if he made it to the White House. Well he did, and the girls got the puppy of their dreams as a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009.

Just four years later, the Obama family welcomed Sunny, a female Portuguese Water Dog into their family as well. Both pups reside happily at the White House. Hmm… I wonder if they’d consider themselves working dogs. Now that would make for a great interview.


Have you ever met an jet black Siberian Husky? I certainly have not. Meet Balto, a dark-furred husky who saved very many lives in Alaska in 1925. Balto was part of a dogsled team in charge of transporting medicine from Anchorage, Alaska to Nenana, Alaska. In January of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic was discovered in Alaska that seemed as if it would infect and kill all the young people. The only serum for the epidemic was located in Seattle, Washington. It could be transported to Alaska by emergency aircraft, but couldn’t get close enough to the suffering town of Nome because the engine kept freezing and seizing.

The health of the town’s young residents lay in the hands of Balto and his dogsled team (which was led by a human). Balto took the lead and much of the trek to carry the diphtheria serum was done in the night and in whiteout conditions. I’d like to believe I could save humankind if given the chance, but Balto and his friends really did save their two-legged friends.

There are so many other famous dogs in history. Who are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!

About Napa 'ze Dog

My name is Napa and I'm the Lantern Content Marketing Adventure Company office dog. They create content for business blogs, so I do my part by blogging about pet stuff. My favorite topic is poop! Since you asked, I'm an F2B Miniature Goldendoodle. Everything else you want to know about me is right over here!

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