Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 16:07 IST

Biden’s Dog Commander Left White House After Biting Secret Service Agents 24 Times

New documents elaborated on the extent of the chaos Biden's dog Commander caused for the presidential bodyguards and the secret detail.

Reported by: Digital Desk
US President Joe Biden’s dog Commander. | Image:AP
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US President Joe Biden’s dog Commander a German shepherd, bit the secret service agents at least on two dozen occasions before he left the White House. Commander went on a biting spree, forcing the Secret Service agents to change their tactics, new documents unveiled  through Freedom of Information requests and posted online show. The report elaborated on the extent of the chaos that the four legged member of the Biden administration at White House caused for the presidential bodyguards and the secret detail.

A senior agent told others to "give lots of room” as Commander lurked in the premises whilst they adjusted. Secret Service issued this warning in an internal memo that read, ”The recent dog bites have challenged us to adjust our operational tactics when Commander is present – please give lots of room."

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On one occasion, a Uniformed Division police officer who came in contact with the dog was mauled, and was treated by a medial personnel on the complex, according to USSS chief of communications Anthony Guglielmi’s statement.

In November 2022 Biden’s dog left an officer hospitalized after biting on his arms and thighs. There were instances that the White House tours had to be halted in order to lean up blood. One such incident occurred at the East Wing, one other took place at Biden’s Delaware vacation home. In 2022, Secret Service technician described an incident, worrying about the family pets “behaviour escalating and that … something worse was going to happen to others.”

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Bidens ‘heartbroken and felt awful’

Documents suggest that Bidens were heartbroken and felt “awful” about the biting incidents, and even took flowers to the people who were bit. “They’ve apologized to those who have been bitten, taken flowers to some. They feel awful. Commander was over-protective, and even though they tried and tried to work on it, they had to let him go live with other members of their family,” the source said, according to a document. The US President and the First Lady also “deeply cared about the safety of others.”

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Reports of Commander’s aggressive behaviour towards the Secret Service first surfaced in July 2023. At the time, only seven agents were bitten but Bidens refused to be parted with the dog. Biden’s another dog Major, who passed away aged 13 in 2021, was re-homed over similar biting behaviour.

Biden’s dog not only sunk his teeth into agents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but also charged at them at their two homes in Delaware, and during the trips to Nantucket and Camp David. Mostly seen at upper balcony of the White House, Commander also bit a White House staffer. But when confronted by reporters at a briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the dog Commander and Dale Haney, the head groundskeeper at the White House, were only playing and that no skin was broken in an incident. Commander was gifted to Biden in December 2021 by his brother James. The family also has a cat, Willow.

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 11:56 IST