US

Joe Biden’s dog bit members of the US Secret Service at least 10 times in a four-month period, records show, forcing one to go to hospital for treatment.

Records released by the Department of Homeland Security show the US president’s pet, a purebred German Shepherd named Commander, attacked officers at least 10 times between October 2022 and January.

In November, he attacked a uniformed officer, biting them on the upper right arm and thigh, according to an email sent to colleagues by an agency official.

Image:
Commander pictured outside the West Wing. Pic: AP

The injured person was treated by White House medical staff, who decided they should go to hospital.

A further note sent the day after revealed that the officer, who was later placed on several days of restricted duty based on doctors’ advice, used a steel cart to protect himself from another attack.

A conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, released nearly 200 pages of Secret Service records that it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The group said it acted on a tip-off about Commander’s behaviour, but the agency “failed to respond adequately” when it asked to see the logs in December.

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It isn’t the first time the president’s dog has attacked someone.

His previous pet, another German shepherd named Major, was sent to live with friends in Delaware after some biting incidents of his own involving Secret Service officers and White House staff.

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Commander has bitten at least 10 times in four months, records show

Commander was given to the Bidens in December 2021 as a gift from the president’s brother James.

White House officials have played down the attacks.

Elizabeth Alexander, communications director for first lady Jill Biden, said in an email that the White House complex is a “unique and often stressful environment” for family pets and that the Biden family was “working through ways to make this situation better for everyone”.

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Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a separate email that his agency has for the past several presidents “navigated how best to operate around family pets and these incidents are no exception”.

He added: “We take the safety and well-being of our employees extremely seriously”.

The service provides security protection for the president and his family, and scores of its officers are posted around the executive mansion and its sprawling grounds.

Ms Alexander said the Bidens have been working with the Secret Service and the White House residence staff “on additional leashing protocols and training” for Commander, as well as establishing designated areas where he can run around for exercise.

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