WASHINGTON — The first dog leads a dog’s life, even in the White House.
That’s the Biden administration’s explanation for why the president’s German shepherd Commander bit at least seven Secret Service members in recent months — sending one protective officer to the hospital.
“The White House complex is a unique and often stressful environment for family pets, and the First Family is working through ways to make this situation better for everyone,” first lady Jill Biden’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to give additional information when confronted with questions at her regular press briefing Tuesday — declining to say if Commander bit anyone aside from Secret Service members or if he attacked anyone outside a four-month period chronicled in documents acquired by Judicial Watch through Freedom of Information Act litigation.
Commander, approximately 23 months old, replaced former first dog Major —another German shepherd who also bit many Secret Service members.
Commander’s bites, first reported by The Post Tuesday morning, were concealed from the public despite attacks on a variety of presidential security personnel, both on the White House grounds and also at the 80-year-old Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del., where the family often spends weekends.
Alexander said that the first family “have been partnering with the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff on additional leashing protocols and training, as well as establishing designated areas for Commander to run and exercise.
“According to the Secret Service, each incident referenced was treated similarly to comparable workplace injuries, with relevant notifications and reporting procedures followed,” she went on. “The President and First Lady are incredibly grateful to the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff for all they do to keep them, their family, and the country safe.”
Some critics weren’t buying the White House explanation.
“There are no bad dogs, only bad people who have dogs,” attorney Gabriel Malor wrote on Twitter. “It’s time for the Bidens to stop trying to make the dog thing happen. They’re clearly not up for it.”
“This is the second Biden dog that’s done this. Maybe the problem isn’t the dog,”
In addition to serving as Biden’s first dogs, well-trained German shepherds are the most common breed used by the Secret Service to patrol the White House grounds.
The working dogs have perpetrated few if any known attacks.
The first family also has a cat, Willow, who has lived in the White House since early last year and about whom no similarly aggressive behavior has been reported.
In the most serious documented incident, the White House physician’s office on Nov. 3, 2022, referred a bitten Secret Service uniformed officer to a hospital for treatment after Commander attacked them near a stairway — biting them on their arm and thigh, according to emails.
A fellow Secret Service member emailed the victim days later: “What a joke … if it wasn’t their dog he would already have been put down — freaking clown needs a muzzle.”
On Nov. 10, a Secret Service Uniformed Division officer was bitten on the left thigh by Commander while first lady Jill Biden walked the dog in the Kennedy Garden near the East Wing and reported “bruising, tenderness, and pain in the bite area,” according to an internal agency document.
“I saw Commander exit the Kennedy Garden and sprint towards me. I immediately stopped and put my hands up. Commander then bit me on left [thigh] and then ran back towards the First Lady,” the officer wrote in an email.
On Dec. 11, a Secret Service special agent reported being bitten after the president took Commander off his leash after watching a movie — writing that he had a half-inch cut and bruising on his arm and a 0.4-inch cut due to a second bite on his hand and thumb.
On Jan. 2, a technical security investigator was attacked when investigating an alarm at Biden’s Wilmington home.
“Commander squeezed his way through the door and immediately bit/latched onto the lower right side of my back,” that victim wrote in an email.
“After checking my lower back, there’s a 1×1 scratched, a bruised spot where Commander grabbed onto and was bleeding consistent [with] a scratch like a rug burn,” the technician added.
The incidents were made public one day before Biden’s son Hunter, 53, appears in Delaware federal court Wednesday to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of tax fraud and a gun possession felony, in another embarrassing story for the first family.
President Biden has reportedly expressed doubts about the honesty of a Secret Service agent who claimed to have been bitten on the leg by Major — and those incidents caused tension within the presidential protection agency, with an agent demanding that the president personally pay for a torn coat and one venting about the White House’s public spin.
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