Trump says having a dog would feel 'a little phony' to him

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump isn't hiding the fact that he isn't a dog person.

He appeared impressed Monday night while describing the drug-detecting abilities of German shepherds that work for the U.S. Secret Service, but he also made it abundantly clear that he can get by in his daily life without the slobbery canine companionship that many of his predecessors welcomed.

"I wouldn't mind having one, honestly, but I don't have any time," Trump said at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, after he described watching a shepherd sniff out drugs hidden in a box.

The crowd cheered its approval after he asked, "How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?"

The president shook his head and said "I don't know ... I don't feel good. Feels a little phony, phony to me" as he motioned disapproval with his hand.

RELATED: 10 great places to work if you love dogs

10 great places to work if you love dogs
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10 great places to work if you love dogs
Dogs at The Nerdery, a custom software solutions company, may not know much about coding, but "having dogs at work is great for morale," says one employee.
Here, a dog at ticketing and events marketplace Eventbrite is fostering "trust, team cohesion, and intimacy" in the San Francisco office. A 2010 study from Central Michigan University found that office dogs inspire more collaboration between employees.
These two dogs are hard at work at crowdfunding platform Indiegogo's office in San Francisco. "It proves a really good stress reliever if you can bend down and pet your own dog, or you can walk down to the cubicle next to you and pet an animal. It can even reduce your blood pressure," a Human Society Representative told the Chicago Tribune.
It's not surprising that pet health insurance company PetPlan's Philadelphia-area headquarters has multiple dogs in the office every day. Employees who bring pets to work are asked to sign a "Pets at Work Pledge," to ensure cross-species harmony. (Ties optional.)
At Payscape, an Atlanta-based company that helps companies collect payment, dogs are not expected to have human work ethic. Unlike their owners, they're only in the office on Fridays.
This dog works at the fitness-focused Specialized Cycle. While the company is known for being dog-friendly, they do not yet make 4-pedaled bicycles.
Another study found that office dogs, like this French Bulldog at Glassdoor, may reduce employee stress and increase job satisfaction — both for their owners, and for everyone around them.
This Corgi works at the dog-friendly California offices of Procore Technologies, where people work on building construction management software and dogs work on being adorable.
Rover offers various services to dog owners, but dogs can help companies "bond with clients and vendors" in all kinds of non-dog industries, says Fast Company. That's especially true at Rover, which offers various services to dog owners. This dog feels very good about its work, as demonstrated by the high-five.
At Nesté Purina PetCare's headquarters in Saint Louis, Kaiser the dog demonstrates stress-reduction.

Trump said "a lot of people" have told him he should get a dog because "it's good politically."

"I said, 'Look, that's not the relationship I have with my people,'" he said.

Trump will break a long tradition of presidential pet ownership if he remains pet-free.

Barack Obama had Portuguese water dogs called Bo and Sunny, and George W. Bush had Scottish Terriers named Barney and Miss Beazley. Bill Clinton had Buddy, a chocolate Labrador Retriever, and a cat named Socks. Presidents well before those three also shared the White House with pets.

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, has an assortment of pets, including Harley, an Australian shepherd; a rabbit named Marlon Bundo; and a cat, Hazel.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says more than half of U.S. households, or nearly 57 percent, owned a pet at the end of 2016. Nearly one in four households nationwide, or 38 percent, owned one or more dogs, which the association says is the highest estimated rate of dog ownership since 1982, when it began measuring ownership.

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