The Biden family dogs’ time at the White House is off to a ruff start.
Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden, confirmed to the Associated Press on Tuesday that Major Biden was involved in a second biting incident on Monday, days after the Biden dogs returned to the White House following a prior incident.
“Major nipped someone on a walk,” LaRosa said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by WHMU (White House Medical Unit) and then returned to work without injury.”
LaRosa added that Major, a 3-year-old German Shepherd the Bidens adopted in 2018, is “still adjusting to his new surroundings” in Washington, D.C.
The dog had been seen by reporters on a walk around the White House South Lawn before President Joe Biden and the first lady traveled to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial early Monday evening.
USA TODAY reached out to the White House for comment.
The White House has been without dogs for four years: That changed with Joe Biden
Biden family dogs Major and Champ are back at the White House after incident
Biden family dogs Major and Champ are back at the White House after taking trip back to Delaware. (Photo: WHITE HOUSE)
Major and Champ moved in to the White House a few days after January’s inauguration, a return to the decades-long tradition of presidential pets following President Donald Trump’s dog-less administration.
However, the two German Shepherds were temporarily sent back to Delaware during a pre-planned trip earlier this month to receive training after Major caused a “minor injury” to an employee of the U.S. Secret Service on March 8.
“Major was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual, which was handled by the White House Medical Unit with no further treatment needed,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on March 9.
After the first incident, President Biden assured his “rescue pup” is a “sweet dog,” telling “Good Morning America” on March 17 that Major didn’t “penetrate the skin.”
“You turn a corner, and there’s two people you don’t know at all,” Biden told GMA’s George Stephanopoulos. “And he moves to protect. But he’s a sweet dog. Eighty-five percent of the people there love him. He just – all he does is lick them and wag his tail.”
‘He’s a sweet dog’: President Joe Biden explains dog Major’s biting incident
First dogs Champ and Major Biden on the South Lawn of the White House on Jan. 25, 2021. The pooches were seen trotting on the grounds with first lady Jill Biden. (Photo: JIM WATSON, AFP via Getty Images)
Biden pushed back against the notion that his dogs were sent away as punishment. He said the dogs went to Wilmington because the first couple was going to be out of town.
“He was going home,” Biden said. “I didn’t banish him to home. Jill was going to be away for four days. I was going to be away for two, so we took him home.”
The White House confirmed that Major and 12-year-old Champ returned on March 21.
The dogs met the Bidens two weekends ago at Camp David in Maryland . Last week, one of the two German shepherds waited on the balcony of the White House as Marine One landed on the South Lawn, having ferried the president back from a speech in Columbus, Ohio.
“The dogs will come and go and it will not be uncommon for them to head back to Delaware on occasion as the president and first lady often do as well,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Biden dogs are in Delaware while Jill Biden travels after Major caused a ‘minor injury’
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