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George Washington Was a Passionate Dog Breeder

George Washington Was a Passionate Dog Breeder

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George Washington is widely known as the first U.S. president and Revolutionary War hero who supposedly cut down a cherry tree and had wooden teeth. But few may know the founding father was also a dog lover who even bred his own unique breed.

Andrew Hager, historian-in-residence of the Presidential Pet Museum, says Washington’s love of dogs likely developed from his love of fox hunting. In colonial America, Hager explains, dogs were valued for their ability to work and aid their human companions. "This doesn’t mean that Washington did not appreciate his dogs," he says, "but that it was a very different appreciation than a modern pet-lover might have. Dogs kept at Mount Vernon would have been used for specific purposes. We do know, however, that he visited the kennel on a daily basis to see his dogs, so there was some affection there.”

George Washington Bred Hunting Dogs for Speed

Washington, Hager adds, wanted a speedier hunting dog, and hoped to breed that speed into the hounds he already owned.

“When his good friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, heard about this, he sent General Washington a group of French hound dogs in the care of young John Quincy Adams,” he says. “These dogs were much more aggressive than Washington’s usual hounds, and were eventually bred with them. This created the new breed, although it’s important to note that Washington wasn’t thinking about the breed in any sort of legacy way. He just wanted to improve his personal collection of hunting dogs.”

According to Mary Thompson, research historian at Mount Vernon, many dog breeds were developed through selective breeding over many years.

“The fact that American foxhounds have a lighter build and longer legs than English Foxhounds suggests that Washington and others who were developing this new breed wanted a good hunting dog that was faster than the English dogs,” she says. Thompson added that American foxhounds also work more individually than as a pack, with each dog being willing to take the lead.

The American Kennel Club recognizes Washington as the father of the American foxhound, noting the breeds of Bluetick Coonhound, American English Coonhound and Treeing Walker Coonhound were also “likely influenced by his quest for a superior dog.”

Thompson adds that Washington kept many dog breeds, each with their own speciality. There were herding dogs, hounds, non-sporting dogs, terriers, toys and working dogs at Mount Vernon.

“In fact, we can document the presence and/or knowledge of breeds in every group currently recognized by the American Kennel Club among the dogs in Virginia in the 18th century,” she says. Breeds at Mount Vernon included Briards, Dalmatians, English foxhounds, French hounds, Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds, mastiffs, Newfoundlands, pointers, spaniels and terriers.

Washington often gave his dogs names, too. Some of note: Sweet Lips, Venus, Trulove, Taster, Tippler, Drunkard and Madame Moose.

According to Thompson, many of the dog names seem to relate to singing or music: Droner, Hearkwell, Music and Singer, for example.

“Each foxhound had a distinctive voice, which was important as a way to tell one dog from another when hunters were following behind them after prey animals,” she says. “Sweet Lips may have gotten her name because Washington liked the sound of her voice as she was hunting.”

Birds & Deer Also Kept at Mount Vernon

And it wasn’t just dogs taking up pet residence at Mount Vernon. Thompson says the Washington family also kept several varieties of pet birds over the years, including canaries, green parrots and a cockatoo. There is evidence they may have had goldfish, as well.

“For a number of years, George Washington had a deer park in front of the mansion, with varieties of both American and English deer,” she adds. “Some of them were said to be so tame that they would eat out of people’s hands.”

Thompson and Hagar both relay a story of Washington’s dog, Sweet Lips, influencing his political career. When the future president was sent to Philadelphia as a Virginia representative to the Continental Congress, he took the dog with him.

“While walking the dog through the streets of Philadelphia, he was spotted by Mayor Samuel Powel’s wife, Elizabeth,” Hagar says. “She inquired about Sweet Lips, and the conversation led her to invite Washington to dinner. Through the mayor and his wife, Washington met several influential Philadelphians, men who later promoted him as a candidate for general of the Continental Army. Years later, in 1787, these same men promoted the idea of Washington as president.”

But, Hager notes, Washington’s attitude toward dogs (and their owners) could also be dark. Pups that didn't meet his breeding standards were not kept. “As someone who worked hard to breed dogs for specific characteristics, he had little use for mixed breed dogs,” he says. “Puppies that were not ‘true’ were often drowned on his orders. While not uncommon for the time, this is obviously disturbing to modern sensibilities.”

And when Washington worried at one point that his slaves’ dogs were killing his sheep, he ordered that most of their dogs be hanged. "The barbarous, insidious nature of American chattel slavery really did infect everything in Colonial life," says Hager, "even dog ownership.”

READ MORE: 11 Key People Who Shaped George Washington's Life

He was a master surveyor

By the age of seventeen, George Washington was working as a professional surveyor. Maps were big business in Washington’s day because understanding the land’s geography was necessary to expand it (and eventually steal it from Native Americans.)

It was a skill Washington never lost. Throughout most of his life, Washington walked Mount Vernon with a compass in his hand.

All About the US Presidents’ Dogs [Full List]

Dogs have been an integral part of the White House since the arrival of the 2nd president of the US John Adams. Although George Washington, the first US president had a special place for dogs in his heart, he never resided in the White House.

Many people talk about celebrity dogs and their names but we have planned to feature the dogs of the US presidents. Apart from pet dogs, the White House has hosted many weird pets such as alligators, tiger cubs, and a flock of sheep.

So, without further ado, we’ll start with George Washington‘s dogs.

Soldier, Statesman, Dog Lover: George Washington’s Pups

Imagine the Father of Our Country whistling for his hound, Sweetlips. or rubbing the ears of his coach dog, a Dalmatian named Madame Moose. When it came to pooches, George Washington had a sense of humor – and a tender side, too.

During his lifetime, Washington kept almost every group of dog recognized today by the American Kennel Club. Records show that he owned French hounds Tipsy, Mopsey, Truelove, and Ragman - just to name a few. Greyhounds, Newfoundlands, Briards, and various types of spaniels, terriers, and toys also called the estate home.

And they too probably had awesome names.

An avid fox hunter, Washington&rsquos pack of hounds were provided with shelter and fresh water from a spring running through a kennel, which was located about 100 yards south of the original family tomb. The General personally inspected the kennel each morning and evening and took time to visit with his dogs.

Other Washington family members loved tail-waggers, too. Mrs. Washington&rsquos youngest granddaughter Eleanor (Nelly) Custis doted on her small pet spaniel named Frisk, who was probably similar to the popular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed today.

Dogs brought comic relief to the Washington clan, as seen in the infamous tale of the beloved (and brazen) French hound, Vulcan.

The mischievous Vulcan ambled into the Mount Vernon kitchen on the very day Mrs. Washington had ordered a fine ham for dinner. Excited about this menu, Vulcan sunk his teeth into the savory prize and carried it cleanly away as the enslaved kitchen staff chased after him.

That evening Mrs. Washington, entertaining guests, asked why her esteemed ham was missing from the table. Frank the butler reluctantly explained the story. The guests chuckled, but the General laughed heartily.

Mrs. Washington was far from pleased, but the same could not be said for the triumphant Vulcan. He no doubt enjoyed the finest meal in Virginia that night &ndash man or beast.

Reader Interactions


Well that’s pretty grand, but George Washington was known to falsely accuse his uber-skilled hunting slaves of rustling his sheep in order to keep the hunters intimidated. Then he’d execute their most prized dogs in front of the gathered slaves to show them who was in charge of Mt Vernon.

Bill. Really? I grew up on the org Mt Vernon Plantation and never heard such a thing. This is a strange action for a man that released all of his slaves upon his death. What is your source of information?

Thanks for pointing this out, Bill. We did uncover some information about this and have added it to our article.

Note: Washington owned both hunting land and farm land with farm animals. Hunting dogs could easily threaten farm animals, such as sheep. Similar to any employer today, the property of the business must be protected, even from employees.

Bill’s comment is both misleading and inaccurate. Only one dog was known to be executed. There is no evidence in the research presented here that they were falsely accused or otherwise. Rather than simply ‘intimidating’ the hunting slaves, Washington’s directions were undertaken as recorded, to protect the farm animals and his property.

This website has also taken the opportunity to malign Mr. Washington. The website uses the term ‘a darker side to Washington’s relationship with dogs’ which may be taken to indicate a darker side to his actions or character. Any executive, or even fellow employee of integrity today would be expected to protect the interests of their company against employee damages. Any responsible farmer or hunter or landowner would be expected to protect their property and means of providing. A shepherd’s role in particular throughout history has been to protect sheep from other animals, even by destroying aggressive animals if need be.

Here is the quote from the research from by Mary Thomas:

When the slaves’ entrepreneurial activities threatened Washington’s interests, his concern with their private lives came to the fore. In the fall of 1794, for example, he learned that Sally Green, the abandoned wife of one of his white carpenters and the daughter of his old servant, Thomas Bishop, was thinking of moving to Alexandria to open a shop. The president feared that with her long-standing ties to the Mount Vernon slaves, the shop would be “no more than a receptacle for stolen produce” from his farms, he told his manager, William Pearce. He asked Pearce to caution Green against dealing with his slaves, for if “she deals with them at all,” Washington thought, “she will be unable to distinguish between stolen, or not stolen things.” He warned that if she came under any suspicion of dealing in stolen goods, “she need expect no further countenance or support from me.”

His slaves’ ownership of dogs also troubled and economically threatened George Washington. They apparently trained the animals quite well. “It is astonishing to see the command under which their dogs are,” Washington commented to his manager Anthony Whiting in 1792. Although the slaves probably kept the dogs ostensibly for hunting, both men felt that they used the dogs during “night robberies” to round up Mount Vernon sheep, which they then sold to certain outside “receivers.” Washington and Whiting also feared that dogs might kill the sheep. Washington eventually ordered Whiting to decide which dog or dogs to keep on each farm, then kill all the others. Afterward, “if any negro presumes under any presence whatsoever, to preserve, or bring one into the family. . .,” Washington proclaimed, “he shall be severely punished, and the dog hanged.” Washington was not the only plantation owner to resort to such drastic measures Thomas Jefferson, on at least one occasion, ordered the destruction of all dogs belonging to his slaves, while permitting his overseer to retain a pair for his own use. At least one of the condemned dogs was hung as a disciplinary warning to the Monticello slaves.

The turn of phrase, ‘a darker side’ is actually quite kind. If Washington drowned puppies today, he would be put in prison. Just because something doesn’t fit with your romantic ideas about history doesn’t constitute a malign. You are trying to excuse and ignore criminal conduct. Further I don’t see how murdering a single dog to terrorize your slaves is any better than murdering ten, but you’re also wrong. In your own quote, it says the order was to ‘kill ALL the others,’ not to ‘kill one dog and only one dog.’ ALL is a minimum of two, and could have been dozens. But again, I don’t see how the number of dogs killed changes the brutality or terror of those acts. It also doesn’t detract from Washington’s accomplishments, It gives us a fuller, more complete picture of who Washington was. I don’t know why you find that so threatening. But don’t posit a logical argument to distort what happened so that you feel more comfortable. That becomes a lie.

Thanks for your comment, Andrew. We’ve tweaked the text a bit and added more information we discovered during our research that we think readers would be quite interested to know. Thank goodness hanging or drowning dogs isn’t excused today in the way that it was way back then!

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George Washington Was a Passionate Dog Breeder - HISTORY

There were many dogs living at Mount Vernon during George Washington's lifetime. These animals were owned by George and Martha Washington, by her grandchildren, by friends, and by slaves who lived on the estate. There is evidence from George Washington's papers that there were a large variety of dogs at Mount Vernon including many different breeds.

A significant portion of the information relating to dogs in Washington's writings refers to animals used for hunting, and the majority of those dogs at Mount Vernon were hounds. Washington is credited by the American Kennel Club with being one of the people who helped develop the breed known as the American Foxhound. This new breed resulted from a mixture of different hounds imported from England and France, with local American stock.

In 1785 a French admirer sent Washington seven French hounds via his friend the Marquis de Lafayette. Two years later, Washington received eight hounds from Philadelphia and two, "of Slow Pace," from England. Washington carried out an active breeding program at Mount Vernon. He often went foxhunting several times a week during the winter and ordered special equipment for that sport. 1

The Mount Vernon pack was housed at Washington's kennel which, according to Martha Washington's grandson, was located about 100 yards south of the family vault. Washington inspected the kennels each morning and evening, at which time he visited with the dogs. The kennels, however, burned down late in 1792.

Non-sporting Dogs
In 1786 George Washington paid twelve shillings for a "Coach dog," who was known as Madame Moose. 2 In August of the following year, at Martha Washington's instigation, a male coach dog was purchased to breed with the first. 3

Sporting Dogs
Several years after the end of the Revolution, Richard Sprigg&mdasha prominent Maryland politician and lawyer&mdashsent George Washington a young female spaniel puppy descended from an English spaniel that Washington saw and admired while visiting Sprigg's home in Annapolis. Spaniels were used to flush out land birds from their hiding places in both fields and heavy brush, as well as to retrieve birds after they had been shot.

While President, George Washington wrote to William Pearce&mdashwho was managing Mount Vemon in his absence&mdashwith some instructions about his terriers: "I hope Frank [the butler] has taken particular care of the Tarriers. I directed him to observe when the female was getting into heat, and let her be immediately shut up and no other than the male Tarrier get to her." Terriers would have been useful on a farm, where they kept down the number of rats threatening stores of grain.

Working Dogs
According to Martha Washington's grandson George Washington Parke Custis, one of the slaves at Mount Vernon, a man named Tom Davis, used to hunt ducks for George Washington's table. Davis was accompanied on his hunting expeditions by a "great Newfoundland dog" who was named Gurmer. 4

1. "George Washington to Marie Gabriel Eleanor, Comte D'Oilliamsson, 1 September 1785," The Writings of George Washington, Vol. 28 ed. John C. Fitzpatrick (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office), 245-6 "Robinson, Sanderson, & Rumney to George Washington, 12 January 1787," The Papers of George Washington, Confederation Series, Vol. 4 (Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia), 514 "Samuel Morris to George Washington, 21 September 1787," The Papers ofGeorge Washington, Vol. 5, 335-6 George Washington, "26 February 1768," "6 August 1769," "2 February 1789," The Diaries of George Washington, Vols. 2 and 5, eds. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig (Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia), 43, 91, 444.

2. Ledger B, "Cash. . .Contra," 18 November 1786 (bound manuscript, Washington Papers, Library of Congress Photostat, Mount Vernon Ladies&rsquo Association), 238a.

3. "George Washington to George Augustine Washington, 12 August 1787," The Papers of George Washington, Confederation Series Vol. 5 (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1997), 177, 287.

4. "Richard Sprigg to George Washington, 1 June 1786," and "George Washington to Richard Sprigg, 28 June 1786," The Papers of George Washington Vol. 4. . ., 90, 134

Sunny and Bo Obama

The White House’s most recent furry residents were two Portugese Water Dogs, Sunny and Bo Obama. During his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama promised his daughters, Sasha and Malia, that they would get a dog. During his acceptance speech, he told the girls they had earned the puppy that would accompany them to The White House. Bo first joined the family in April of 2009, followed by Sunny in August 2013. Since leaving the White House for a “regular” home in Washington, D.C., the former first lady says it’s taken two years for Sunny and Bo to figure out the doorbell--something they never experienced on Pennsylvania Avenue.

George Washington Saw a Future for America: Mules

General George Washington, hero of the American Revolution, was world famous in the 1780s, which was exactly the clout he needed to get what he was really after: Spanish ass.

The best donkeys in the world came from Spain, but because of their equine superiority, the Spanish monarchy made them illegal to export without royal exemption, a source of great frustration to Washington. Mules—a cross between a male donkey and a female horse—could do an equivalent amount of work as horses with less food and water, and Washington was convinced they were the future of American farming.

While he had retired from public life after the war (spoiler: it wouldn’t stick, and he’d go on to become the first president of the United States), he still wished to quietly contribute to the infant nation’s success—and his own. Mount Vernon, the Virginia plantation where he enslaved hundreds of people, had suffered from wartime scarcity, inflation and crop failure during the eight years he’d spent away, and mules would help him get back on track.

But Washington faced two big problems. He knew of only one path to get a donkey out of Spain, at least legally: By order of Spain’s Charles III, and the process wasn’t cheap. So Washington, who was cash poor and operated from a penny-wise, pound-foolish disposition, had gone about procuring one like a somewhat shameless modern day influencer would, working his mutual connections.

You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

With irresistible style and warm humor, You Never Forget Your First combines rigorous research and lively storytelling that will have readers--including those who thought presidential biographies were just for dads--inhaling every page.

At first, Washington’s gambit looked promising. Don Juan de Miralles, one of Charles’ agents in the nascent U.S., seemed eager to satisfy Washington, but then he died. Washington struck out for the next four years until William Carmichael, the U.S. chargé d' affaires at the Spanish court, let Charles know about his mule mania. According to Thomas Jefferson, then U.S. minister to France, the king was thrilled to order “two of the very best to be procured & sent you as a mark of his respect.” It was an ideal conclusion: Washington was going to get his mules, and he didn’t have to spend a dime to do it.

The donkeys (the “Jacks,” as Washington referred to them) were set to arrive in Boston with Spanish handlers, and Washington sent his overseer at Mount Vernon, John Fairfax, to ensure the trip down to Mount Vernon went smoothly. But Washington, ever the anxious person, didn’t stop there he micromanaged Fairfax with lengthy instructions:

  • “The Jacks must not be hurt by travelling them too fast, or improperly.”
  • “Settle all the necessary points for your journey: that is, your hour for setting out in the morning, which let be early taking up in the evening—number of feeds in the day, & of what kind of food—also the kind & quantity of Liquor that is to be given to the Spaniards in a day. I would not debar them of what was proper, any more than I would indulge them what is not so.”
  • “Let the Jacks be put separate & with no other Creatures, lest they should get kicked, & hurt themselves or hurt others.”
  • “If it is necessary they should be cloathed, (which you must know before you leave Boston) provide Blankets or such other cloathing as their keepers think best, at that place.”
  • “If there is a Stage which passes thro’ Hartford in Connecticut, & so along the post road to Boston it will be better to pursue this rout than to go by the Stage-boat from New York to Providence.”
  • “As soon as the Stage gets to its Quarters at night, immediately engage your passage for the next day—lest you may be too late & thereby detained a day or two for its return.”

When Fairfax arrived in Boston, he discovered that only one of the donkeys had survived the voyage across the Atlantic, but luckily for him and the ass, the nearly month-long journey to Mount Vernon was without incident. Washington, who tended to favor surprisingly silly names for his animals—his dogs answered to Sweetlips, Drunkard and Madame Moose—went literal when it came to the mule, who he called Royal Gift.

Washington was eager to share his present far and wide, and ran ads in papers offering the stud’s services. He had plenty of takers who were, at first, disappointed by Royal Gift’s lukewarm libido. America’s mares just didn’t seem to do it for the donkey because, Washington joked to a nephew, Bushrod, “he seems too full of royalty, to have anything to do with a plebeian race.”

But Washington believed in Royal Gift, and after careful study, figured out what got the donkey off: Female Donkeys, two at time. If Royal Gift had a clear view of them together, “by way of stimulus, when he is in those slothful humours,” he would successfully perform with female horses. For a small price, of course ever the capitalist, Washington charged five guineas a season.

Royal Gift wasn’t long for the New World. He arrived in 1785, but by 1793, he’d been left stiff and lame after being driven too hard by a handler, and he died three years later. He left behind a son, Compound, who Washington found to be a bit easier to please. Fifteen years after Royal Gift arrived, boasted a herd of nearly 60 mules who spent their days pulling wagons and plowing the fields of Mount Vernon. While they never took off in the North, where farmers preferred horses and oxen, mules remained the draft animal of choice in the agricultural South, where they could plow 16 acres a day.

“Virginia Hounds”

One of the first Americans to realize this was also our first president: A devoted breeder and fox hunter, George Washington kept dozens of dogs his Mount Vernon home, inspecting his kennels at the beginning and end of each day. Over his lifetime, Washington owned breeds from all seven AKC variety groups: Sporting (pointers and spaniels), Non-Sporting (Dalmatians, including a particularly amorous one named Madame Moose), Toy (Italian Greyhounds), Terrier (he called them “tarriers”), Herding (Briards), Working (Mastiffs and Newfoundlands) and, of course, Hound – his own strain of black-and-tan English Foxhounds, said to have descended from those of Brooke a century earlier.

In his writings, Washington mused about how to improve his pack, which he called “Virginia Hounds.” He hoped to breed “a superior dog, one that had speed, sense, and brains” – not coincidentally, the same qualities needed for their human corollaries to succeed in the New World.

Washington seemed to have been approaching that goal with Sweet Lips, a female he brought with him to Philadelphia while representing Virginia as a delegate to the Continental Congress. (Washington had a sentimental streak when it came to naming his females, which included Venus and Truelove. The males got bacchanalian names, like Taster, Tippler and Drunkard.)

Presidential Menageries: George Washington, Hound Dogs, and Super Mules

George Washington, the father of our country, had no children of his own but he was involved in breeding of another nature—that of mules and hounds.

The American Foxhound

Washington bred hunting dogs. His papers at the Library of Congress note that he wanted to breed “a superior dog, one that had speed, sense and brains.” In the mid-1780’s, aware of Washington’s intense interest, Marquis de Lafayette Washington’s French friend and ally during the Revolutionary War, sent him seven massive hounds. Young John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams who was then minister to England, escorted the hounds overseas from France to America. Future president John Quincy invoked the ire of General Washington by abandoning the hounds once the ship docked in the New York harbor. Washington worried over his missing hounds, and although they were eventually found and shipped overland to Mount Vernon, Washington’s home in Virginia, it is not known if he ever truly forgave young Mr. Adams.

The French hounds were reportedly so fierce Washington assigned a servant to monitor their meals because they tore each other apart fighting over their food. He crossed these French beasts with his own black and tan hounds to create a new breed—the American Foxhound.

In addition to Sweet Lips, Tipsy, Tipler, Cloe, Searcher, and Drunkard—the hounds are portrayed in Steven Kellogg’s delightful illustration in Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, pictured belowWashington had more than twenty additional canine companions. They included: Mopsey, Pilot, Tartar, Jupiter, Trueman, Truelove, Juno, Duchess, Ragman, Countess, Lady, Rover, Vulcan, Singer, Must, Tiyal, Forrester, Captain, and the frisky Madam Moose, of whom Washington noted in his diary, “A new coach dog [arrived] for the benefit of Madame Moose her amorous fits should therefore be attended to.”

OUR WHITE HOUSE. Illustration © 2008 by Steven Kellogg. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

One of Washington’s hounds, Vulcan, black and so big a young boy could ride him like a pony, had powerful jaws and an insatiable appetite. It seems he had a taste for Virginia hams. A story is told of Vulcan sneaking into the Washington’s Mount Vernon kitchen, snatching a succulent ham, and running “straight to the kennels with it locked in his great jaws.” Mistress Martha (Washington’s wife) was miffed, but the event delighted Master George.

It is commonly held belief that the Marquis de Lafayette also gifted George Washington with a French basset hound, bringing the basset for the first time to America, but no historical evidence is available to support that claim.

Super Mules

In 1785, when King Charles III of Spain heard that General Washington, at home in Mount Vernon, was looking for the finest jackasses in the world to mate with his mares to create “super mules,” he sent Washington two of his best Spanish donkeys. (There is no definitive evidence supporting whether the donkeys were Andalusians, Catalonians, or another breed.) Only one survived the cross-Atlantic journey, landing safely in Boston. With meticulous care, Washington personally planned its arrival at Mount Vernon, making sure that his mares had lived a celibate existence so that they would warmly welcome their “foreign affair.” The regal jackass—Washington named him Royal Gift—was not at all pleased with the proffered country bumpkins and made no attempt to seal the deal. As frustrated as the poor mares, the creative Mr. Washington decided to trick Royal Gift. He used a female donkey to capture the attention of the Spanish jackass, then, at just the right moment, pulled a switch substituting the femme fatale donkey with one of his Virginian mares. The ploy worked and by 1799 there were fifty-seven new mules at Mount Vernon. Washington farmed them out across the country to improve the nation’s stock and as a result many of the best mules today can trace their lineage back to old Royal Gift and George Washington’s mares.

Education notes for parents and teachers

Motivating kids to read more about American history can be challenging. A great way to increase young people’s interest is to make history personal, to build on things that make historic figures human and approachable. Stories of presidential pets and animals provide a great springboard for sparking young people’s interest in more substantive stories about presidents and American history. Young people growing up in rural areas, and kids involved with 4-H Club breeding programs, might find this article about George Washington of special interest. For young people growing up in suburban and urban areas, this article on George Washington can provide a window into the past and present lives and lifestyles of many Americans, for whom animal breeding is a part of daily life.


Ketchum, Richard M. The World of George Washington. New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc., 1974. (Adult book suitable for junior and senior high students. Great visuals illustrate George Washington’s life.)

Kidwell, Deb. Breeder of American Mammoth Jackstock, Draft, and Saddle Mules and Field Educator for the University of Tennessee at Martin. Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm, Martin, Tennessee.

Marrin, Albert. George Washington and the Founding of a Nation. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2001 (Young person’s publication.)

Truman, Margaret. White House Pets. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1969. (Adult book suitable for junior and senior high students.)

Rowan, Roy, and Janis, Brooke. First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1997. (Adult book suitable for junior and senior high students.)


Mount Vernon Site George and Martha Washington’s Home and Farm:

©2016 Mary Brigid Barrett The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance

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