News & Politics

First Dogs Removed From White House After “Biting Incident”

Major had been acting aggressively with security staff.

Major running on the South Lawn of the White House. Photograph by Adam Schultz/White House

Only a month after arriving in the White House, America’s First Dogs have been removed from the Presidential residence.

The move follows what CNN describes as a “biting incident” involving Major, the Biden’s 3-year-old German Shepherd, and a member of the White House’s security staff. 

Major is one of two German Shepherd dogs that the First Family brought to the White House after Biden’s swearing in. Major has acted aggressively in the past. According to CNN, the dog “has been known to display agitated behavior on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security,” 

After the incident, both dogs were moved to Wilmington, Del., CNN reported. 

The Biden’s adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association after their daughter, Ashley, shared a Facebook post about a littler of puppies in need of a home. 

The older of the two dogs, Champ, is also a German Shepherd. He was adopted from a breeder in Pennsylvania after the 2008 election, which put Biden in the White House as Vice President. 

President Biden is reportedly partial to German Shepherds, because his family had them when he was growing up.

Major is not the first First Dog to menace someone at the executive mansion. TMZ reported in 2017 that Sunny, one of the Obama family’s Portuguese Water Dogs, had bitten a White House guest; Sunny also once knocked down a toddler at a Christmas party.  George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier, Barney, once bit a reporter.  After Barney died, Bush’s daughter said on the Today show that the dog was “a real jerk.” So far, there’s no indication that anyone in the Biden family has bad-mouthed Barney’s successor.

Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.