Selecting Obama Dog “A Pressing Issue” (President-Elect Barack Obama Press Conference)

In his first press conference since being elected the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama said the selection of the nation’s future “First Dog” has become “a pressing issue” for the family.

During his rousing victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park on Tuesday night, the president-elect told daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, that they had earned a new puppy and the family would be bringing one to the White House.

He expounded on his pet plans during Friday’s press conference.

“With respect to the dog, this is a major issue,” Obama said with a smile. “I think it’s generated more interest on our Web site than just about anything.”

The President elect said his family has several conditions that have to be met in order to secure a dog fit for the White House.

“We have two criteria that have to be reconciled. One, is that Malia is allergic so it has to be hypoallergenic. There are a number of breeds that are hypoallergenic,” he said. “On the other hand, our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but obviously a lot of shelter dogs are mutts — like me. So whether we’re going to be able to balance these two things I think is a pressing issue in the Obama household.”