President Joe Biden’s dog Commander bit people on multiple occasions, both in Washington, DC, and in Delaware, during a four-month stretch last year, US Secret Service communications show.
According to emails obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch, Secret Service personnel reached out to the agency several times with concerns about the 22-month-old German shepherd and his “aggressive behaviour” between October 2022 and January 2023.
The communications, which were obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, documented 10 incidents in particular, including one where an officer had to go to the hospital after Commander bit his arm and thigh. In another instance, the dog bit an agent so hard he left cuts and bruises on the agent’s arm.
The White House on Tuesday told CNN that Commander, who moved to the capital in 2021, is working on new training.
In addition to seven documented instances of biting, there were other incidents that involved the dog being off-leash on the White House grounds.
On one occasion, according to a Secret Service staffer’s email, first lady Jill Biden was unable to “regain control” of the dog when it charged at an agency employee.
“I believe it’s only a matter of time before an agent/officer is attacked or bit,” the email stated.
In a statement to CNN, Jill Biden’s communications director said: “The White House complex is a unique and often stressful environment for family pets, and the First Family is working through ways to make this situation better for everyone.”
She said that the dog has been working with the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff “on additional leashing protocols and training, as well as establishing designated areas for Commander to run and exercise.”
Biden’s older dog Major was briefly moved out of the White House following several similar incidents after the president assumed office in early 2021. His eldest dog, Champ, died at age 13 in June 2021.