This site is no longer being updated. Read more on pet behavior and wellness at The Wildest.

Presidential Leaks

Emmanuel Macron’s dog urinates in the palace
By Karen B. London PhD, October 2017, Updated June 2021

Most of us are proud of our dog and rightly so. However, who among us has not also been embarrassed by our dog? The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, recently had such an experience when his dog Nemo urinated on a fireplace in the Élysée Palace during a meeting. Unluckily for him, it was caught on video.

It is a French tradition for the president to have a “First Dog” which may be why Macron and his wife Brigitte recently adopted the Labrador/Griffon mix. The timing of the adoption is rumored to have been an attempt to improve his plummeting approval ratings, and he was widely praised for adopting a dog from a rescue shelter.

When Nemo lifted his leg and peed on the fireplace, the various government ministers present were entertained and teased President Macron. He handled the situation with a certain grace, laughingly saying, “He is doing something quite exceptional.” When he was asked if this happens often, his answer was, “No, you have triggered a totally unusual behavior in my dog.” In the past, Nemo has been polite and calm when in the spotlight. For example, he has cheerfully trotted next to the President when greeting important guests such as the President of Niger.

Though he appeared embarrassed and did beg the pardon of those present, Macron was a good sport and seemed to appreciate the humor of the incident. There is nothing that makes famous people seem more like the rest of us than the imperfect behavior of their dogs, and I just have to love our four-legged friends for that!

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life