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Biden's dog Commander has left the White House

President Biden's dog Commander sits on the Truman Balcony at the White House on Sept. 30, 2023. The German shepherd is not staying at the White House at the moment after a series of biting incidents.
Saul Loeb
/
AFP via Getty Images
President Biden's dog Commander sits on the Truman Balcony at the White House on Sept. 30, 2023. The German shepherd is not staying at the White House at the moment after a series of biting incidents.

Updated October 5, 2023 at 6:33 AM ET

President Biden's dog Commander is no longer staying at the White House as the first family tries to figure out how to stop him from biting Secret Service officers.

The German shepherd has been involved in a series of altercations. The most recent known incident was on Sept. 25, when he bit a Secret Service officer, who was treated by medical personnel at the White House.

"Commander is not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated," said Elizabeth Alexander, a spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden, in a statement. CNN was first to report his departure.

Alexander said the Bidens "care deeply about the safety of those who work at the White House and those who protect them every day. 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 did not say where Commander was staying, or whether he would be returning to the White House.

His departure follows that of another Biden dog, a German shepherd named Major, who was sent to live with a family friend in Delaware in 2021 after biting people at the White House.

Commander, then a puppy, joined the Bidens at the White House later that year. But in the latter part of 2022, Secret Service agents raised concerns about his aggressive behavior. The dog bit several agents a total of 10 times as of January according to emails obtained in a lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: October 5, 2023 at 12:00 AM EDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly said the most recent biting incident was on Monday evening. In fact, it was the previous Monday, Sept. 25.
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Tamara Keith
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.