By not having a pet, President Trump broke with a long White House tradition and he was the first American commander-in-chief without one since the 1800s. He was consistently pressured into adopting a furry companion but he eventually told his supporters that having a dog would feel "phony" and that "while he wouldn't mind having one, he wouldn't have the time". Indeed, Trump was the first U.S. president in over a century without a dog but the status quo is being restored with Joe Biden.
Two German Shepherds, named Champ and Major, are part of the new first family and the latter is set to become the first rescue dog to take up residence in the White House. D.C. is nothing new for Champ as he lived with the Bidens at One Observatory Circle during the Obama administration.
While U.S. presidents have always loved dogs down through the years, they have kept all sorts of pets, according to a list maintained by the Presidential Pet Museum. They ranged from George Washington's many horses to the alligator Marquis de Lafayette gifted John Quincy Adams. Apparently, the gator lived in a White House bathroom, terrifying some of the guests. The following infographic provides a rough history of White House pets by president since 1789.
It isn't always possible to cite the exact number of animals. For example, more obscure presidents kept songbirds and it has become to difficult to gauge exactly how many there were. Another example is President Woodrow Wilson's sheep that grazed on the White House lawn. It is known that the sheep existed (there are photos to prove it) but it remains unknown exactly how many animals there were.