Addressing the White House’s Aggressive Pet Problem: The Case of President Biden’s German Shepherds

In recent years, the White House has been home to some rather unruly pets. The most notorious of these is President Biden's German shepherd, Commander. Since his arrival at the White House as a 3-month-old puppy, Commander has been responsible for biting at least seven people, according to internal Secret Service communications reviewed by The Post.[0]

Commander's aggressive behavior is not an isolated incident.[1] It comes after the departure of another German shepherd, Major, who was also known for his biting incidents.[2] Major was sent to live with family friends after multiple biting incidents involving staff members, particularly members of the Secret Service. Despite undergoing training to address his biting behavior, Major continued to pose a threat, leading to his removal from the White House.

The incidents involving Commander have been serious and have resulted in hospitalization for some of the victims.[0] On November 3, 2022, Commander bit a Uniform Division officer on the upper right arm and thigh, causing significant injuries that required treatment at a hospital.[1] Another incident occurred on December 11, 2022, when a special agent in the Presidential Protective Division was attacked by Commander on the South Grounds.[1] The agent sustained bites to the left forearm and right hand, requiring medical attention.

The Secret Service has expressed concern over the aggressive behavior exhibited by Commander. In internal emails, agents have raised alarm about the potential for future attacks and the need to take preventive measures. One email from an agent stated, “He would have bit me today if I didn't step towards him a couple different times. It was bad enough that the agent on the detail asked if I got bit — just so you're aware.”[1]

The repeated incidents involving the President's dogs have raised questions about the suitability of certain breeds, such as German shepherds, for the White House environment. Some have criticized the Biden administration for not adequately addressing the issue and ensuring the safety of those working in close proximity to the dogs. Critics argue that the dogs should be trained more effectively and that stricter measures should be in place to prevent future incidents.

The incidents involving Commander and Major highlight the need for a more comprehensive approach to pet ownership in the White House. While pets can bring joy and companionship, they also require responsible ownership and training. The safety and well-being of White House staff should be a top priority, and measures should be in place to ensure that the pets of the President do not pose a threat.

President Biden's dogs have become a topic of national discussion, with many expressing concern over the repeated biting incidents. Some have called for Commander to be muzzled or even put down, arguing that his behavior poses a danger to those around him. Others have criticized the Secret Service for not taking more decisive action to address the issue.

In response to the incidents, the White House has expressed regret and apologized for the situation. Press Secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged the seriousness of the incidents and stated that efforts would be made to prevent future incidents. However, the question remains as to how effective these efforts will be and whether more robust measures are needed to ensure the safety of White House staff.

The incidents involving Commander and Major serve as a reminder that even the most well-intentioned pet owners must take responsibility for their animals' behavior. Training and socialization are crucial for all dogs, regardless of breed or size. The incidents also highlight the need for comprehensive legislation and regulations regarding pet ownership, particularly in high-profile settings such as the White House.

As the Biden administration continues to address the issue of aggressive behavior in their pets, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of those working in close proximity to the President's dogs. The incidents involving Commander and Major should serve as a wake-up call and a catalyst for change in how pet ownership is approached in the White House and beyond.

0. “Bidens' dog bit several Secret Service agents | The Spokesman …”, 29 Jul. 2023,

1. “Secret Service: Biden dog would be ‘put down' if not president's pet …”, 29 Jul. 2023,

2. “Biden's dog Commander keeps biting people.”, 29 Jul. 2023,

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