President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd, Commander, has been temporarily relocated from the White House after a series of biting episodes.
The 2-year-old dog has reportedly bitten both White House staff and U.S. Secret Service officers, raising concerns about safety within the presidential premises.
A spokesperson for First Lady Jill Biden, Elizabeth Alexander, explained in a statement to The Associated Press, “Commander is not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated.”
Alexander explained that the Bidens care about the safety of White House staff members and the individuals who provide protection for their families.
“They remain grateful for the patience and support of the U.S. Secret Service and all involved as they continue to work through solutions,” she said.
Details about Commander’s current location have not yet been disclosed. According to The Associated Press, Commander was last spotted on an upper balcony at the White House last Saturday.
Recent events have brought Commander’s behavior into question. A photo first obtained by The Daily Mail shows Commander biting Dale Haney, a long-serving groundskeeper at the White House. Captured by a tourist, the image depicts the dog’s teeth around Haney’s wrist and arm.
The visitor, preferring to remain anonymous, told The Daily Mail, “I was really just wanting to take pictures of the dog; it’s the next best thing to seeing the president, after all. Commander was bouncing around. He seemed very lively, high-spirited, and playful. He’s a good-looking dog.”
The tourist explained that they only noticed that Commander had “bitten the groundskeeper” when they looked at the picture and saw “his teeth quite clearly round the man’s wrist and arm.”
Dale Haney, a White House employee with over five decades of service, has walked presidential pets since the time of former President Richard Nixon’s administration.
Haney has not been the only person to be bitten by Commander. An incident with a Secret Service agent also came to light recently, which involved the agent having to seek medical attention. Initial reports deemed this the 11th known biting episode involving Commander, but the recent revelation of Haney’s incident now makes it the 12th incident.
Despite some sources from the White House attributing Commander’s behavior to ‘unfriendly expressions’ of security personnel, the Haney biting episode suggests that the dog’s actions are not limited to targeting the president’s security detail.
While some have dismissed the bites as accidents or playful gestures, many experts, including former USSS agent Jonathan Wackrow, have voiced concerns over the repetitive nature of these incidents.
Wackrow recently emphasized the “significant hazard” Commander poses, stating, “One time you can say it’s an accident, but now multiple incidents, it’s a serious issue.”
As Commander’s behavior becomes a matter of public scrutiny and concern, it remains to be seen what steps the White House will take to ensure the safety of its staff and visitors.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.