Animals /

President Joe Biden’s Dog Commander Involved in 11th Bite Incident

The president and first lady previously rehomed their dog, Major, after he bit several secret service agents

President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd bit a Secret Service agent while at the White House, marking the dog’s 11th known biting incident.

The dog, Commander, bit a Secret Service agent around 8 p.m. on Sept. 25, the agency confirmed to Fox News. The agent received medical treatment for injuries sustained during the incident and no details about the circumstances preceding the bite were released.

Commander has bitten White House and Secret Service staff on at least 10 other occasions between October of 2022 and January 2023.

One of the more serious incidents resulted in the victim, a Secret Service agent, being taken to the hospital after his interaction with the first dog. The victim was bitten on his thigh and arm on Nov. 3, 2022,” reports Fox. “In another reported incident, Commander’s bite broke the skin of a Secret Service member’s hand and arm just weeks after Biden removed his leash outside the White House after a family movie night.”

Commander was said to be undergoing new leash and training techniques in July after the series of attacks. The Biden Administration suggested the dog was stressed by his environment. 

“As you all know, the White House complex can be unique and very stressful. That is something I’m sure you can all understand,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the time, per the BBC. “It is unique and it is stressful for all of us. So you can imagine what it’s like for a family pet or family pets, more broadly.”

Commander is the third German Shepherd the Bidens have brought to the White House. He was a gift to the president and first lady from Biden’s brother, James, and arrived at the White House as a puppy in December 2021. 

After his inauguration in January 2021, Biden had two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. Major, whom the Biden family adopted in 2018, was celebrated as the first shelter dog in the White House.

First Lady Jill Biden told Kelly Clarkson in an interview on Feb. 25, 2021 that she was “obsessed” with helping the dogs adjust to their new home.

“They have to take the elevator. They’re not used to that,” she said, per Business Insider. “They have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So, you know, that’s what I’ve been obsessed with, just getting everybody settled and calm.”

Major was ultimately involved in multiple bite incidents. Reports indicated the then-three-year-old dog was known to display agitated behavior. While he was initially sent to the Bidens’ home in Delaware for additional training, Major was ultimately given to a family friend.

“After consulting with dog trainers, animal behaviorists and veterinarians, the first family has decided to follow the experts’ collective recommendation that it would be safest for Major to live in a quieter environment with family friends,” Michael LaRosa, Mrs. Biden’s spokesman, said in a statement, per US Magazine. “This is not in reaction to any new or specific incident, but rather a decision reached after several months of deliberation as a family and discussions with experts.” 

Champ died at the age of 13 on June 19, 2021.

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