Putin's barking dog takes center stage at media interview

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MOSCOW, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Ahead of his visit to Japan later this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought his dog Yume into an interview with Japanese journalists, and the large Akita breed made sure she as well as her master were well heard.

Putin gave an interview to Nippon Television and Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in Moscow on Tuesday, accompanied at first by Yume, who was given to him by Japan's Akita Prefecture in 2012.

Yume, who was not on a leash, entered the room quietly but she soon began barking loudly at the media crew, who stood still and smiled at the dog. Putin eventually drew Akita's attention with treats before showing some tricks she can do.

"We are glad to see Yume happy and cheerful. However, we were a bit surprised and afraid that the beginning of the meeting would be like this," one of the journalists said, according to a Kremlin transcript of the interview.

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Vladimir Putin brought his dog to an interview
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Vladimir Putin brought his dog to an interview
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016: Russia's President Vladimir Putin with his Akita dog named Yume before giving an interview to Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) and the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, at the Moscow Kremlin. Putin is to visit Japan on December 15-16, 2016. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 7, 2016 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin as he arrives with his Yume, an Akita dog, prior to an interview by Nippon Television Network Corporation and Yomiuri Shimbun in the run-up to his official visit to Japan. / AFP / SPUTNIK / Alexey DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016: Russia's President Vladimir Putin with his Akita dog named Yume before giving an interview to Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) and the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, at the Moscow Kremlin. Putin is to visit Japan on December 15-16, 2016. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) gives an interview to Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) and the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, at the Moscow Kremlin. Putin is to visit Japan on December 15-16, 2016. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A picture taken on December 7, 2016 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) as he plays with his Yume, an Akita dog prior to an interview with Nippon Television Network Corporation Executive Director Takayuki Kasuya (L) and Yomiuri Shimbun Editor in Chief Mizoguchi Takeshi in the run-up to his official visit to Japan. / AFP / SPUTNIK / Alexey DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 7, 2016 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin as he plays with his Yume, an Akita dog, prior to an interview by Nippon Television Network Corporation and Yomiuri Shimbun in the run-up to his official visit to Japan. / AFP / SPUTNIK / Alexey DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin strokes his dog Yume, a female Akita Inu, before giving an interview to Japanese Nippon Television and Yomiuri newspaper at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 7, 2016. Picture taken December 7, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
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Putin said Yume was protective of him. "You were right to take caution, Yume is a no-nonsense dog," he said. "There are many people here, with camcorders running, lights shining and cameras clicking. She is being a guard dog."

A decade ago, with cameras running, Putin allowed his big black labrador Koni to bound into a room where he was receiving German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his Black Sea residence, ignoring warnings from protocol that she has a fear of dogs.

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