Photo edit of President Biden. Gage Skidmore.
Photo edit of President Biden. Gage Skidmore.

Between October 2022 and January 2023, President Joe Biden’s dog, Commander, was involved in around 10 incidents where Secret Service agents reported being bitten or attacked. On average, Commander bit an agent roughly once every 12 days during this period. One of these encounters resulted in a Secret Service agent requiring hospital treatment. The disclosure of this information was prompted by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. This request was made in response to the Biden administration’s previous attempts to cover up incidents involving their previous German Shepherd, Major, who also had issues with biting White House staff.

In November 2022, Commander bit a uniformed officer twice, leading to the officer needing medical treatment and hospitalization. The injured officer received care from the White House medical unit, and during the incident, the officer used a steel cart for protection. The Biden family’s communications director acknowledged that the White House environment could be stressful for pets and mentioned efforts to improve the situation.

This marks the second instance where a Biden family dog has displayed aggressive behavior towards Secret Service personnel and White House staff. In a previous case in 2021, the president’s former dog, Major, also a German Shepherd, was involved in biting incidents, which the Secret Service downplayed. Despite these past incidents, the Biden family decided to introduce another German Shepherd, Commander, into the White House, raising questions about their choice of pets and the recurring attacks. Some have criticized the Biden family, questioning their ability to raise a dog without a biting habit.

The Secret Service assured the public that they were actively working to minimize any potential risks posed by pets in their environment. Normally, the chief White House groundskeeper takes care of the family pets. Nevertheless, these recent incidents have raised concerns and scrutiny regarding the safety of the first family’s pets and their interactions with personnel.

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