We don’t ever re-post on ohmidog!, but in honor of tonight’s Republican presidential debate, we are retrieving our recent in-depth look at which dog breeds best represent the candidates who will be taking the stage tonight.
Expect some snarls, many growls, and a lot of bites — or at least sound bites — as the candidates parade themselves under the spotlight in Las Vegas, offering another opportunity for the public to judge them not just on their platforms, but in terms of appearance, personality, intelligence and temperament.
So here again — with apologies to any dog breeds we have offended — is our take on what breeds the Republican candidates would be, if they were dogs.
Donald Trump — Afghan Hound
For Donald Trump, as you can see above, we’ve chosen the Afghan hound. On top of the most obvious trait they share — comb-over-able hair — the Afghan “is an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness,” according to the American Kennel Club.
“He has a straight front, proudly carried head, eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past … (and) the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held true to tradition throughout the ages.”
What the AKC doesn’t mention is that Afghans are generally considered to occupy the lower end of the intelligence spectrum when it comes to dog breeds — meaning if they could talk, they would probably sound quite ignorant, all while looking quite arrogant.
Ben Carson — Basset Hound
Laid back and sleepy-eyed, Ben Carson most resembles a basset hound, we think. A generally easy-going breed — some might even say lazy — basset hounds are mostly amiable, but not always eager to obey commands.
They can be a little aloof, as if they are in their own little world. When they do respond, they do it slowly and with what almost appears to be deliberation, though, more often than not, they really haven’t thought things out or done their research. Basset hounds do have a sense of humor — perhaps one that could even be described as dry.
According to Just-basset-hounds.com, bassets are known to whine, howl and bark: “The Basset has a loud, baying type of bark and he can also howl quite loudly. Barking usually is not a problem with a Basset that receives enough exercise and an adequate level of attention.”
Carly Fiorina — Italian Greyhound
Carly Fiorina is clearly an Italian greyhound — a breed that’s not as fragile as it appears.
They are smaller versions of greyhounds, with remarkable speed, fine bones, an elegant appearance, and “dark eyes that shine with intelligence,” according to the AKC.
They are alert, proud, playful and sensitive, but they can be high strung and require constant stroking in stressful situations. They are dependable and mostly peaceful, but if frightened they can snap.
Rand Paul — Cocker Spaniel
For Rand Paul, we’re going with the American Cocker Spaniel.
The smallest member of the Sporting Group, the Cocker Spaniel has a sturdy, compact body and a cleanly chiseled and refined head. They seem charming, outgoing and sociable, but they do not typically make good watchdogs. They are loyal, endearing companions that crave – and thrive on – human attention, but some can be standoffish, unpredictable, shy or aggressive.
It is recommended to keep a Cocker Spaniel on a leash because they can be easily distracted and try to chase any nearby moving creature.
Chris Christie — English Bulldog
Chris Christie? What else but the English bulldog — a sturdy breed with a low center of gravity and some magnificent jowls.
Yourpurebredpuppy.com says of the breed, “Though not a barking watchdog, his blocky build and odd, rolling, shuffling gait give intruders pause. It takes a tremendous amount of serious teasing or threatening to provoke this sweet-natured breed, but once aroused, he can be a force to reckon with. His tenacity and resolve mean that it’s difficult to change his mind once he decides to do something.”
Bulldogs are more sensitive than they appear, and tend to remember what they learn, but some male bulldogs may engage in a stubborn battle of wills with other males. They are best trained with food, not force, the website says. “Jerking this breed around accomplishes absolutely nothing.”
Jeb (and George W.) Bush — Boxer
Boxers are large, muscular, square-headed dogs with eyes that seem to reflect mischief.
Their boundless energy has led to them being called the “Peter Pan” of the dog breeds. Boxers have one of the longest puppyhoods in the world of dogs, and their clownish antics often continue until their adult years — a la George W.
The typical boxer is headstrong. They are known for their great love of and loyalty to their families — a la Jeb. They often are distrustful of strangers at first, especially if they perceive a threat to their families, according to Dogtime.com.
They are stubborn, sensitive and proud, sometimes bracing their legs like a toddler amid a tantrum, refusing to do what you want them to do. Insisting they obey can lead them to shut down and sulk. They are not quiet dogs. In addition to barking, they grumble, grunt, snort, snuffle and snore, according to Yourpurebredpuppy.com. “The sounds are endearing to some people, bothersome to others.”
Marco Rubio — Chihuahua
Marco Rubio, in case you haven’t heard, is the son of Cuban immigrants. Chihuahuas originated in Mexico. But our comparison is based not so much on Latin heritage as it is a particular personality trait.
Tiny as they are, Chihuahuas like to pretend they are big. They will raise a mighty ruckus, and bark their heads off, but still, behind it, you can often detect some underlying fear.
High strung and yappy, at least in the view of their critics, Chihuahuas are naturally suspicious toward strangers, and they seem to prefer being among their own breed.
When they get over excited, frightened, or just plain cold, they visibly shiver. They are quick to sound the alarm and can get a little shrill. As Yourpurebredpuppy.com puts it, some chihuahuas prone to putting on a “display of excited ferociousness (aka ‘they pitch a fit’) when other people or animals approach what they consider to be ‘theirs.’ Which, for some Chihuahuas, extends to the entire street.”
Ted Cruz — Saluki
Salukis have been described as stubborn and manipulative — independent thinkers who don’t particularly care about pleasing you.
We’re sure Ted Cruz is at least one of those, if not all three.
Salukis need firm boundaries or they will be quick to take advantage, training manuals warn. They carry themselves in a dignified yet aloof manner — much like a cat. They can by shy, suspicious and stubborn, and dislike changes in their routine.
As sight hounds, they also are prone to chasing down anything that runs.
Mike Huckabee — Beagle
Mike Huckabee is a beagle all the way.
They are friendly with people, seemingly good-natured, peaceful with other pets, and have an appealing soulful expression. But make no mistake about it, they are hunting dogs, letting their noses lead them through life.
They are well-known escape artists, and have an innate sense of wanderlust. They are also wailers, baying and howling at the slightest provocation, or with no provocation at all.
They needs lots of activity and hate being bored — so much so they can get a little destructive when they have nothing to do.
John Kasich — Rottweiler
John Kasich likes to portray himself as a working class sort (and he is the son of a mailman) so let’s match him up with a working dog — albeit one of the last breeds a mailman wants to see, the Rottweiller.
Rottweilers are often stereotyped as intense, aggressive, combative and easily provoked — all terms that have been used to describe Kasich. Some see him as prickly, the sort who can get himself quite worked up and come out swinging, at least verbally.
The AKC Standard describes the Rottweiler as “a calm, confident, and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Strong-willed and highly loyal, Rottweilers — though they don’t want to ban Syrian refugees like Kasich does — can be very territorial when it comes to newcomers venturing onto what they see as their turf.
While they are inclined toward dominance, Rottweilers are also pretty touchy-feely — quick to sit on your feet, lie on your lap or lean their entire weight against your leg.
Rick Santorum — Pug
Pugs, like Rick Santorum, love being in the spotlight.
“Pugs love to be the center of attention, and are heartsick if ignored,” according to Dogbreedinfo.com.
Their cute and clownish ways endear them to their hard core fans, though living with them is not always easy, given their snoring, and snorting and piggish eating habits. The zany antics of the bug-eyed lapdogs — like mindlessly running in circles — makes up for their often stubborn ways.
“These dogs can be a bit willful if they sense they are stronger minded than the humans around them,” according to dogbreedinfo.com.
Lindsey Graham — Chow Chow
How can something so cute and fluffy be so vicious?
It’s not all chows — no, no, not at all — but the history of the breed and abuses by breeders have led to many a troubled chow being born, giving them a reputation as aggressive and stubborn and among the hardest breeds to manage.
Not to mention biters. The chow is “protective over his territory and his family, and won’t willingly allow people into his home and yard. He will growl and even bite an unwelcome visitor,” says Dogtemperament.com.
“This dog is extremely dominant, and doesn’t like anyone telling him what he can and can’t do. He doesn’t appear to be particularly concerned about pleasing his owner either, so you need to find another motivator for him. Otherwise, he’ll just do what he wants to, with no regard for what you are trying to teach him … If you’re looking for a companion to snuggle up to on the couch, this is not the dog for you.”
Chows have a dignified appearance, lordly, even, with a slight touch of snobbishness. “The coat of a teddy bear, the scowl of a lion,” is how one website puts it. Yes, they look approachable, but more than a few websites warn they are not to be trusted.
So that wraps up this edition of what if presidential candidates were dogs. There are a couple more lesser known Republicans still technically in the race, but we know so little about them we’ll refrain from assigning them breeds.
As for the Democrats, we may, in the interest of fair play, do the same thing. Then again we may not. Feel free to send along your suggestions, though.
(Photo credits: Trump photo from Splash News, Afghan photo from Pinterest; Carson photo from dailykos.com, basset hound photo from Bellinghambassets.com; Fiorina photo by Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press, Italian greyhound photo from American Kennel Club; Paul photo by Jim Cole, Associated Press, cocker spaniel photo from dogs.petbreeds.com; Chris Christie photo from politicususa.com, English bulldog photo from dailypuppy.com; Bush photo from Politicususa.com; boxer photo from Pets4homes.co.uk; Rubio photo by Molly Riley, Associated Press; Chihuahua photo from Pinterest; Cruz photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons, saluki photo from top-dogbreeds.blogspot.com;; Huckabee photo from Pensitoreview.com, beagle photo from American Kennel Club; Kasich photo from ABC News, Rottweiler photo from Pinterest; Santorum photo from Reuters, pug photo from Buzzfeed; Graham photo from Reuters, chow photo from ohmidog!)