There have been intermittent reports over time about President Joe Biden's German Shepherd dogs and their aggressive behavior towards Secret Service agents and other White House personnel, including several biting incidents, a few of which actually required medical attention.
Now, following yet another biting incident last month, it has been reported that Biden's youngest dog, a two-year-old named Commander, has been removed from the White House grounds due to his dangerously aggressive behavior, according to the Associated Press.
The apparent banishment of Commander follows the similar exodus of an older German Shepherd dog, five-year-old Major, who was also sent away from the White House in late 2021 to be rehomed with family friends due to his own tendency to aggressively bark and bite and jump on others at the presidential residence.
CBS News reported in July that it had been revealed, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit won by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, that there were at least ten separate incidents in which Commander had attacked and/or bit a member of the Secret Service at either the White House or the Biden family's private residences in Delaware.
The trove of released emails, which covered only a four-month period from October 2022 through January 2023, detailed the several biting incidents that occurred, most of which were relatively minor but a few of which required medical attention at the White House and at least one of which necessitated a visit to a hospital for an evaluation.
At that time, the White House said that additional training and protocols for personnel were being put in place to guard against future biting incidents while the severity of the dog's aggressive behavior was downplayed and dismissed as being the result of the "stressful environment" of the busy White House grounds.
It would appear that the additional training and protocols were not successful in curbing the aggressive behavior of Commander, nor were his attacks aimed solely at Secret Service agents, as there have been more incidents that occurred since July's reporting, according to CNN, which was the first to reveal that Commander was no longer living at the White House.
"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. They remain grateful for the patience and support of the U.S. Secret Service and all involved, as they continue to work through solutions," Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady's communications director, said in a statement.
"Commander is not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated," the spokeswoman added.
That CNN report coincided with a Daily Mail report that published photos taken by a tourist which showed Commander aggressively "playing" with and putting his teeth on the elderly White House grounds superintendent Dale Haney, who has worked at the presidential residence and interacted with numerous first pets since the Nixon administration.
That incident actually occurred in mid-September just a couple of weeks prior to yet another biting incident in late September involving a Secret Service agent who required on-site medical attention to treat the minor wound -- yet both were downplayed similarly to prior incidents by the White House as misunderstandings that were no big deal.
Yet, Axios reported that according to unnamed insiders, Commander's behavior is a big deal for Secret Service agents and White House residence staffers, who may have been responsible for Major's prior banishment after liability lawsuits were threatened against the first lady.
"The first family and their inner circle refuse to engage in any problem-solving discussions to protect the agents and [Executive Residence] staff," an anonymous former White House staffer who interacted with both Major and Commander told the outlet. "The ongoing discipline issue of the Biden dogs is in no way a Secret Service problem. The agency is just trying to protect their own agents from these animals who do have violent behaviors."
To be sure, the White House has predictably pushed back on the recent reports about Commander's behavior and biting, but the CNN report noted that staffers and Secret Service agents have had enough and are now beginning to speak out against the "dangerous" and "hostile" work environment created for them by President Biden's unruly and apparently untrained dog.