In an aphorism come to life, President Joe Biden’s dog, Major, has reportedly bitten a member of White House security. Most often a good boy, the German shepherd was sent to the family’s home in Delaware last week after what CNN described as a “biting incident.” In solidarity, because they are a bonded pair — or because it’s one of those situations where both dogs get blamed for one action —the other Biden dog, Champ, was sent to Delaware as well. The exact status of Major’s victim is unknown.
At the daily briefing on Tuesday, White House press secretary addressed the report, saying that Major “was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual, which was handled by the White House Medical Unit with no further treatment needed.” She added that the pair are “still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people” and will “return to the White House soon.” The Secret Service also provided more detail suggesting the bite wasn’t a big deal: One official told the Washington Post that the bite was “extremely minor” and did not break the skin. The agent nobly continued their duties for the day.
Adopted by the president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, in November 2018 from the Delaware Humane Society in Wilmington, Major is the first dog from a shelter to live in the White House. According to sources familiar with the dog’s demeanor who spoke with CNN, the three-year-old “has been known to display agitated behavior on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security.” Though the exile seems severe, a source familiar with the dogs’ schedule told CNN that the pair often stay in Delaware when the First Family travels; Biden left D.C. on Monday to visit military bases on the West Coast.
It’s not the first time Major has brought attention to himself since his owner won the election. On November 28, Biden suffered a hairline fracture in his foot when he “tripped on the rug [Major] slid on,” as the 78-year-old president-elect and his three-year-old dog were roughhousing.