French President Emmanuel Macron, faced with tumbling popularity ratings, turned on Monday to a new aide: Nemo, a young dog adopted from a rescue shelter. 

Nemo, a Labrador-griffon cross, made his first public appearance on the steps of the Élysée Palace as Macron welcomed Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou. 

Displaying immaculate manners, Nemo trotted out of the palace at his master's heel before coming to an obedient standstill at the top of the stairs, ignoring the whistle of photographers and appearing unfazed as a band struck up.

Nemo stayed back discreetly as Macron embraced Issoufou before a mini-summit with the other leaders from Europe and Africa. The dog then followed the French and African leaders into the palace. 

Named after Captain Nemo

The Élysée Palace press service says Nemo was named after Captain Nemo, the fictional hero of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Macron is a fan of the book.

Since the early 1970s, all French presidents have had Labrador dogs.

Macron's popularity has plunged in recent weeks following the announcement of budget cuts and divisive labour reform.

FRANCE-POLITICS/

French President Emmanuel Macron and Nemo leave Élysée Palace to greet a guest in Paris on Monday. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

With files from The Associated Press