Biden's Dog Gave Secret Service Agent 'Severe' Wound

President Joe Biden's dog Commander (Getty Images)
February 22, 2024

President Joe Biden's dog, Commander, gave a Secret Service agent a "severe" wound and bit agents in at least two dozen incidents, according to documents revealed Wednesday.

"Commander started to bark but [the agent] did not know from which direction Commander was barking from or the location of the dog," reads a July 29, 2023, report detailing an incident in Rehoboth Beach, Del. "In the background [the agent] heard the voice of what [the agent] believes to be FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden yelling, '[redacted quote].' Commander ran towards the direction of post [redacted] booth and bit [the agent] in the left forearm. Causing a severe deep open wound." That agent lost a "significant amount of blood" and needed six stitches.

The internal Secret Service documents, obtained by John Greenewald through a Freedom of Information Act request, revealed reports of numerous biting incidents involving Commander. Secret Service agents apparently attempted to compile a list of all the biting incidents involving the German Shepherd. The grand total is at least 24 since October 2022.

The documents also revealed previously unreported details of a June 15, 2023, attack. Commander ran toward an agent on the White House grounds, jumped up, and bit the agent, taking him or her to the ground. A groundskeeper then put Commander back on the leash after the attack.

"[The agent] sustained an injury to left arm ('deep bite') that reportedly needed stitches," reads the report. "[The agent] was treated by [the White House Medical Unit] at the Residence Clinic. 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 first family revealed that, because of the bites, Commander has lived "with other family members" since the fall.

"The president and first lady care deeply about the safety of those who work at the White House and those who protect them every day," Jill Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander told the New York Post. "Despite additional dog training, leashing, working with veterinarians, and consulting with animal behaviorists, the White House environment simply proved too much for Commander."

Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesman, told the Post that the agency "takes the safety and wellbeing of our employees extremely seriously and has been navigating how to best operate in an environment that includes family pets for many presidential administrations."

"The incidents involving Commander were treated as workplace injuries, with events documented in accordance with Secret Service and U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines," Guglielmi told the outlet. "While Secret Service personnel neither handle nor care for the first family’s pets, we work continuously with all applicable entities in order to minimize any adverse impacts from family pets."

Reports surfaced over the summer that Commander bit seven agents between October 2022 and January 2023, sending one to the hospital. In September, the dog bit another. Commander moved into the White House after the previous first dog—Major, another German Shepherd who also had a biting problem—was sent away in March 2021. Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time that Major's departure was part of a pre-planned move, but a report from the Post indicated that it was due to his behavior.