First Dog, Commander, Gets in Even More Hot Water

Sources allege more biting incidents have taken place, and he's currently not at White House
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
First Dog, Commander, No Longer at White House
President Joe Biden's dog Commander, a German shepherd, sits at the Truman balcony of the White House, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The White House recently acknowledged that "first dog" Commander bit 11 Secret Service officers since October of last year, but sources tell CNN the German shepherd has actually bit many more people than that, including executive residence staff and other White House employees. At least one bite required hospital treatment, others have been treated by the White House Medical Unit, and still others were neither reported nor treated, the sources say. Sources say the Bidens had a good relationship with the Secret Service when Joe Biden was vice president, but when he became president, the couple's older dog, Major, quickly injected "stress" into that relationship when he began biting people. Major was ultimately sent to live with family friends in Delaware, and now Commander, too, is no longer at the White House—at least for now, the AP reports.

Commander is "not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated," a spokesperson for Jill Biden said Wednesday night, providing no further details about where he is or what those next steps might be. As for the Bidens' relationship with the Secret Service, sources describe it as "combustible," starting with the breach in trust that was formed when Major still lived at the White House. Other problems have since been added to the mix, the sources say, including "unrealistic requests" that the agency's resources struggle to fulfill, and "last minute changes" to the first couple's schedule, including spending most weekends away from the White House. The Secret Service chief of communications, however, calls those reports "categorically false," saying there is "an immense degree of trust and respect between the Secret Service and the first family." (More First Dog stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.