I don't know enough about allergies and dogs...I am just glad to hear him say he wanted to get one from a shelter. Maybe that will make others want to do that as well. If I'd have only known then what I know now....
I agree that the shelter is his best bet. A lot of reputable breeders would be reluctant to provide him with a puppy. I would think living in the White house would be pretty stressfull to a lot of puppies. The family is going to be very busy and training and housebreaking are going to be difficult for them. Most breeders, with their breed's best interest in mind, would be concerned about the breed's popularity skyrocketing. Any single coated dog, that's groomed frequently should be fine with moderate allergy sufferers. There are plenty of those "perfect" poodle mixes in shelters, along with terrier mixes. I'm thinking a Schnauzer would be a good choice, but certainly not the only one. I've heard rumblings of a "doodle" and that would be a travesty, IMO. Then again, when the designer mutt proves to be a poor choice for his allergic daughters, maybe it will change some minds about the "doodle" fad.
I am pretty sure I overheard msnbc at work saying that he was getting the puppy from a shelter, not a breeder. They had someone from a shelter on talking about how people are turning in their animals due to the economy, while at the same time adoption rates are dropping, and how they hope his example will encourage others to adopt as well. If its true, then kudos to the Obama family.
I would love to see them adopt one whose breeds are so mixed they cannot be identified. That way the only boost will be to the dogs in shelters of any breed and breeders of a specific breed will not be encouraged to start breeding extra in anticipation of a greater demand to have a dog like the president's dog.