The Stern family then got a call from Kennedy's wife, who thought it would be a perfect match for the Obamas. Bo has gone through various names. He is registered with the American Kennel Club as "Amigo's New Hope" and was named "Charlie" by his first owners.
Malia and Sasha renamed the pup Bo. Their cousins have a cat named Bo, and Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed "Diddley," after the guitarist and songwriter Bo Diddley. There's also speculation that the dog may have been named after the president himself, given that "Bo" spells out the president's initials.
Will getting used to a new name be a problem? Peterson said the only issue she could foresee is confusion between when he's being scolded and when the first family is simply calling his name.
"Well, one word that they use a lot with their dogs is 'no,' and Bo might [sound] similar to the word no, but you can certainly take another word like stop or drop it and the dog would understand that," Peterson said.
Bo's sister Chrissy is owned by a family in Virginia. Chrissy's tween owners, 13-year-old Madeline and 11-year-old Connor, say the Obama girls should be ready for a high energy.
"She's really energetic, and she's kind of the rambunctious little sister in a way," Madeline told ABC News before adding a warning for the Obama girls: "Be prepared for a high-energy puppy and to make sure to keep your stuff out of reach."
Portuguese water dogs are known for being spirited and playful. Originally from Portugal -- as their name suggests -- the breed was used by fisherman to herd fish, send messages and guard boats.
"That dog is an interesting dog. … They would actually be put into the water and they would herd fish toward the nets and… they would retrieve fish that got out of the nets and they would also take messages from the ship to the shore or the shore back to ship or from ship to ship," veterinarian Marty Becker told ABC News Now. "Talk about a working dog."
ABC News' Sarah Amos and Sunlen Miller contributed to this report.