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Biden's dog Commander bit Secret Service personnel at least 24 times, records show

"Please keep a considerable amount of distance between you and the dog," one top agent advised.

Published: February 22, 2024 9:40am

President Joe Biden's German shepherd Commander bit White House personnel on at least two dozen occasions before being rehomed in October, documents show. 

Employees required stitches after at least two of the incidents, one on June 15, 2023, and another just over a month later on July 29, 2023, according to documents published this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed in October by The Black Vault, a research outlet that focuses on FOIA documents.

In the June incident, a Secret Service agent who sustained a "deep bite" received stitches from the White House Medical Unit staff, per a newly released email regarding the attack.

"East Wing Tours were stopped for approximately 20 minutes due to blood from the incident being on the floors in the area of the Booksellers," the email also says.  

During the July incident, Commander bit the arm of an agent who was with the first family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where Biden has a home. The agent received stitches on the scene, per the documents. 

Another email, dated Jan. 28, 2023, states, "There have been 2 incidents today and one yesterday" with Commander. 

Documents had already revealed at least 11 incidents involving Commander, who was adopted as a puppy in December 2021, but the latest document release sheds significantly more light on the matter. 

In June 2023, a top-ranking Secret Service agent sent out a group email asking for responses from staffers who had been bitten by Commander. "This info will be sent to the front office to hopefully support some new initiatives. Until then, please keep a considerable amount of distance between you and the dog. Your safety is important to me," the agent said. 

In an email later that month, an agent advised others to "be creative to ensure our own personal safety."

The incidents also sparked jokes about the situation. 

In response to an email from the agent who was bitten in Rehoboth Beach, another agent said that colleagues had "made a care package for you with some Advil, antibiotic cream, pepper spray, a muzzle, and some dog biscuits for safety purposes."

Commander is not the only dog to pose problems for the White House. Biden's other German shepherd, Major, also bit agents and caused hundreds of dollars in damages, per records released in 2022. Major was given to a Biden family friend in December 2021, the same month they brought Commander home.  

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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