George Washington: General, President, And Dog Lover

George Washington was known for his bravery, wisdom, leadership, loyalty, and love for dogs. The first President of the United States had no human children of his own, but he was said to have had about 50 four-legged fur kids. 


One little-known story about George Washington depicts his affection for dogs and his outstanding character. At the Battle of Germantown on October 4th, 1777, during the American Revolution, General William Howe and the British forces defeated General George Washington and the American Continental Army. After capturing Philadelphia, which served as the Revolutionary capital, in September 1777, British General William Howe stationed his men at nearby Germantown. Washington decided to launch a surprise attack on the British troops at Germantown, but Washington and the Americans were not successful.


After the Battle of Germantown, a little dog was discovered roaming around American and British lines by the American troops. British General Howe's terrier had somehow gotten loose and gotten lost on the battlefield lines. Identified by its collar, the dog was brought to George Washington. Washington's officers suggested keeping the dog as an act of retribution for their defeat at the hands of General Howe and his men. 


Instead, Washington took the lost dog to his tent, cleaned him, fed him and brushed him. He then ordered a cease-fire and when the shooting stopped, troops from both sides watched in shock as a messenger returned the little dog to the British commander under a flag of truce.


Washington's decision to return the dog to its rightful owner – enemy and all – reveals his passion for dogs and his remarkable character, which led to him becoming the very first president of the United States.  

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written by

Katelyn Buck