President Joe Biden’s dog, Commander, has been involved in yet another biting incident, when it attacked a Secret Service agent at the White House on Monday evening, the agency reported.
The incident occurred on Sept. 25 when the president’s German Shepherd attacked the agent. It’s the 11th known biting incident by the same dog to take place at the White House, or at the Biden family home in Delaware.
“Yesterday around 8 p.m., a Secret Service Uniformed Division police officer came in contact with a First Family pet and was bitten. The officer was treated by medical personnel on complex,” the Secret Service chief of communications Anthony Guglielmi told CNN in a statement.
It’s not the first time Commander has made headlines.
The 2-year-old dog has attacked several Secret Service personnel in at least 10 previous incidents between October 2022 and January 2023, according to e-mails obtained by legal activist group Judicial Watch in July (pdf).
One previous incident led to an injured agent having to visit hospital with bites to both the upper right arm and the thigh, records from the Department of Homeland Security show.
According to the White House, the Bidens, as well as Secret Service and executive residence staff, are working together to implement additional safety measures, including leashing protocols and training for Commander. Designated areas are also being established to ensure the animal has more space to run and exercise, according to CNN.
“The White House can be a stressful environment for family pets, and the first family continues to work on ways to help Commander handle the often unpredictable nature of the White House grounds,” Elizabeth Alexander, communications director for first lady Jill Biden, told CNN in a statement.
According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, stress has also been a contributing factor for the dog’s behavior.
“As you all know, the White House complex can be unique and very stressful,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said at a White House press conference on July 25. “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 said, adding that “the first family is working through ways to make this situation better for everyone.”
Nonetheless, the e-mail exchange had already revealed exasperation with the German Shepherd among Secret Service agents and their managers.
“That’s freaking crazy, that stupid dog,” the manager of the November 2022 attack victim wrote.
“My leg and arm still hurts. He bit me twice and ran at me twice,” the victim replied. The first officer responded: “What a joke. If it wasn’t [the Bidens’] dog he would already have been put down—freaking clown needs a muzzle.”
The dog was gifted to the president and first lady in December 2021 as a puppy by President Biden’s brother James and sister-in-law Sara.
However, Commander is not the Biden’s first dog to attack others. A previous German Shepherd they owned, ‘Major,’ was also reported to have attacked staff and bitten Secret Service personnel.
Major was subsequently removed from the White House. He was rehomed to Delaware with some of the Biden’s family friends after reports of multiple aggressive encounters with staff.