US President Joe Biden's dog has been banned from the White House after several biting attacks. “Commander is currently not on the White House grounds,” said a statement from a spokeswoman for First Lady Jill Biden, which was available to several US media outlets.
It is still unclear where the German Shepherd is now and whether he can return to the White House. Further steps would be examined, it said. Previously, one of the president's dogs had to be given away after attacks on employees.
“The President and First Lady care deeply about the safety of those who work in the White House and those they protect every day,” the statement continued. The presidential couple is grateful for the patience and support of the Secret Service and everyone else involved.
Commander: Dog with protective instincts
The Secret Service is responsible for protecting the president and his family. Officials follow Joe Biden and his family wherever they go - and thus represent a possible enemy for dogs with a need for protection.
Commander bit or otherwise attacked Secret Service officers at least 10 times between October 2022 and January 2023 alone, US Department of Homeland Security documents revealed last week. At one point, an officer even had to be treated in hospital. It was said that the incidents occurred, among other things, when the First Lady or the President himself walked the dog. The actual number of attacks is even higher than previously confirmed by the government, CNN reported, citing a source in the White House.
Commander came to the White House in December 2021 as a puppy, a birthday gift from Biden's brother James. Unlike former President Barack Obama's Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, who were always considered extremely friendly and interacted with visitors, President Biden obviously has a dog problem. He and wife Jill had another dog before Commander - Major, also a German Shepherd. But Major also bit Secret Service employees and was taken to family friends of the Bidens for safety reasons.