Biden’s dog Commander leaves White House after biting incidents

The Biden family’s dog, Commander, has been moved out of the White House after a series of biting incidents.

It is still being decided what will happen to the two-year-old German Shepherd, a spokeswoman for First Lady Jill Biden said.

Just last week, Commander bit a Secret Service agent who required medical treatment at the scene.

It was the 11th time the dog has bitten a guard at the White House complex or at the family home in Delaware.

“The President and First Lady care deeply about the safety of those who work at the White House and those who protect them every day,” the spokeswoman, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“They remain grateful for the patience and support of the US Secret Service and all involved, as they continue to work through solutions. Commander is not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated.”

She did not say where the dog was currently living or if it would eventually return to the White House.

The statement was released shortly after CNN reported that the Commander had been involved in more than the 11 biting incidents acknowledged by the Secret Service.

It said the real number was higher, with one bite requiring hospital treatment and others needing medical attention from on-site staff.

The White House press secretary has previously blamed the attacks on the stress of living at the residence. “As you all know, the White House complex can be unique and very stressful,” Karine Jean-Pierre said in July.

“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,” she added.

That same month, White House officials said they were attempting new training techniques on Commander following the biting incidents.

Commander being cuddled by the BidensIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,

Commander arrived at the White House as a puppy in 2021

Secret Service records obtained by a conservative group through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal details of some of the biting incidents involving Commander.

One happened on 26 October 2022 after First Lady Jill Biden was unable to keep Commander under control, an email says. Commander “came charging at me”, the agent wrote in the email.

About a week later another officer wrote that he had been bitten twice. Another officer that witnessed the attack said they were forced to use a “steel cart to shield” themselves from the dog.

Commander is one of the Biden family’s two German Shepherds. Major, the younger of the two and the first rescue dog to have lived at the White House, was also involved in numerous biting incidents with Secret Service agents.

He was given additional training in 2021 and sent to live away from the White House with Biden family friends.