"Temperamentally they're supposed to be pretty good," the first lady told the magazine. "From the size perspective, they're sort of middle of the road -- it's not small, but it's not a huge dog.
"And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them. So that's where we're leaning."
However the family jury is still out about a suitable name for the presidential pooch. Obama said she was less than convinced by some of the names suggested by daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.
"Oh, the names are really bad. I don't even want to mention it, because there are names floating around and they're bad," she said.
"You listen and you go -- like, I think, Frank was one of them. Frank! Moose was another one of them. Moose. I said, well, what if the dog isn't a moose? Moose. I'm like, no, come on, let's work with the names a little bit."
President Obama promised his daughters a dog as a reward for their forbearance of the rigors of the presidential campaign.
The list of breeds in contention was narrowed by Malia's allergy to dogs, making it necessary that the first family pick an allergy friendly breed.
Presidential pets have long been a focus of intense interest. Every president since Calvin Coolidge, elected in 1923, has had at least one dog in the White House, according to dogsinthenews.com.