- Heikki Saukkomaa/Twitter
- World leaders are known for their seriousness. But when their dogs are around, the camera has a tendency to catch some tender moments.
- Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s Boston terrier, Lennu, went viral for his cheek-to-cheek smile last year, and Queen Elizabeth II has had a team of corgis by her side for eight decades.
- Vladimir Putin, a known dog lover, has been gifted three puppies since 2010.
World leaders and politicians are notoriously composed, but when their dogs are around, they can’t help but be a little smitten.
Many leaders, like Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II, are known dog lovers and longtime owners. French President Emmanuel Macron is the first in the presidency’s history to have a rescue dog, and the president of Finland’s beloved Boston terrier is now world-famous for his smile.
Here’s a brief guide to world leaders and their adorable pups.
Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö’s dog, Lennu, went viral last year – and this smiling Boston terrier continues to steal the show.
excuse me but are you aware of Lennu, the Finnish president's dog pic.twitter.com/sBVSOiExw6
— Kelly Weill (@KELLYWEILL) February 22, 2017
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and his wife, Jenni Haukio, have a Boston terrier named Lennu. The smiling pup has been a hit in his home country for some time, but Lennu found international fame in early 2017 after Daily Beast writer Kelly Weill tweeted these hilarious pictures of him and Niinistö during a public appearance.
— Ville Valkonen (@ville_valkonen) February 23, 2017
According to Mashable, Lennu is not fully “media trained,” which accounts for his on-camera antics – including sniffing a fish during a traditional Finnish ceremony – that almost always steal the show.
Irish President Michael D. Higgins’ two Bernese Mountain dogs took a liking to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this summer.
- Pool/Getty Images
During a visit to Ireland, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry met with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina Coyne, along with their two Bernese Mountain dogs.
As previously reported by INSIDER, the dogs’ names are Bród (which means “pride” in Gaelic) and Síoda (which means “silk” in Gaelic). And the furry duo got very, very excited when it came time to pose for a group photo.
- Pool/Getty Images
The internet fell in love, too, and many suggested Bród and Síoda get their own official Twitter accounts.
Sunny and Bo Obama became fixtures during the former first family’s time in the White House.
- Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images
The Obama family was gifted Bo, a male, black-and-white Portuguese water dog, in 2009 from Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Sunny came along in 2013, and the first family was complete.
Both dogs made several appearances throughout President Obama’s terms in office, with Sunny gaining a reputation as the more mischievous of the two.
Queen Elizabeth II has owned corgis for the majority of her life, and is a huge fan of the breed.
Corgis have been a part of Queen Elizabeth’s life for almost as long as the 92-year-old monarch has been alive. Her crop of loyal pups – known as the “royal corgis” – began to assemble on the Queen’s 18th birthday, when she was gifted a Pembroke Welsh corgi pup named Susan from her father, King George VI.
Though Buckingham Palace remains tight-lipped about the Queen’s personal life, including her corgi team, it is reported that the Queen’s visitors often meet the dogs when they meet her.
- KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/ AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis went viral in 2012 when the monarch appeared in a James Bond clip alongside actor Daniel Craig at the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In the video spoof, corgis Monty, Holly, and Willow (who recently passed) are seen trotting by the Queen’s side, as Monty guides Craig through Buckingham Palace.
Vladimir Putin has a Japanese Akita named Yume, and the two love to show off their tricks.
- ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s six-year-old dog, a Japanese Akita named Yume, made a rather famous appearance during the leader’s meeting with Japanese journalists in 2016. Yume entered the room and began to bark aggressively at the visitors, so Putin calmed him down by playing some tricks.
According to CNN, Putin later said to the journalists, “You were right to take caution. Yume is a no-nonsense dog. There are many people here, with camcorders running, lights shining, and cameras clicking. She is being a guard dog.”
- Alexsey Druginyn/AFP/Getty Images
Putin got Yume from Japan as a thank you for Russia’s assistance after the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the country in 2011. He has a second pup, a cream-colored Karakachan named Buffy, that was a gift from the Bulgarian prime minister in 2010.
Last year, Putin was given his third dog on behalf of Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov presented a fluffy alabai dog (a.k.a. Central Asian Shepherd) to Putin as a birthday gift. His name is Verny, which means “faithful” in Russian.
Justin Trudeau and his family adopted a Portuguese water dog named Kenzie.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 28, 2016
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adopted a Portuguese water dog back in April 2016, and the family named her Kenzie. Trudeau tweeted this photo of Kenzie and his youngest son, Hadrien, playing together shortly after.
French President Emmanuel Macron rescued a black lab named Nemo, and his training is still in progress.
- ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images
President Macron’s two-year-old black labrador-griffon cross, Nemo, is the first rescue dog in the French presidency’s history. Macron’s wife and French first lady, Brigitte Macron, reportedly bought the pup for $300. Nemo has been making appearances greeting foreign dignitaries and frolicking the grounds of the Élysée Palace, however, his potty training is still in progress.
Nemo made headlines last fall for urinating into a fireplace in President Macron’s office during a filmed meeting. One of Macron’s visitors asked the president, “Does that happen often?” According to The Guardian, Macron replied, “You have sparked a totally unusual behavior in my dog.”
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