Dog Commander sent away from White House amid biting incidents as Jill Biden travels

 October 11, 2023

President Joe Biden's dog, Commander, has been sent away from the White House after at least 11 biting incidents involving staff and Secret Service members as First Lady Jill Biden travels to campaign for her husband. 

Commander is “not presently on the White House campus," spokesman for the first lady Elizabeth Alexander confirmed on Wednesday.

“They remain grateful for the patience and support of the U.S. Secret Service and all involved, as they continue to work through solutions,” she said in an emailed statement, adding, “Commander is not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated.”

Alexander didn't say where Commander, a two-year-old German Shepherd, was sent.

Stressful environment

At the time of a previous biting incident, Alexander said that “the White House can be a stressful environment for family pets” and that the Bidens were continuing to “work on ways to help Commander handle the often unpredictable nature of the White House grounds.”

Commander is the second dog to be sent away from the White House for biting people. Biden's previous dog, Major, was sent to live with family members in Delaware after he bit several staff members shortly after Biden took office.

Major was also a German Shepherd. It's possible that the breed is ill-suited to life in the White House, where many people are coming and going and where some are charged with aggressively protecting the President and his family.

It's also possible that the dogs didn't get enough attention or get all of their needs met while living in the White House, a fast-paced environment where they would not likely be doted on the way they would in a regular home.

Jill Biden in Wisconsin

As Commander tries to overcome his biting tendencies, First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Wisconsin to campaign for her husband and promote cancer detection and screening.

She spent Monday night in Ashwaubenon at a "Crucial Catch" NFL watch party sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Crucial Catch is an initiative that's part of the Biden administration's so-called "Cancer Moonshot," which Joe Biden said in July had "effectively ended cancer as we know it" even though about the same number of cancer diagnoses and deaths are expected this year as the previous few.

The first lady then spent Tuesday at the College of Menominee Nation’s Women’s Empowerment Summit where she talked about educational initiatives.

Wisconsin is a swing state that has recently seemed more blue than red, so Democrats want to hold onto gains there and bolster them as much as possible.

Number one

“Wisconsin really is number one,” Wisconsin GOP Chair Brian Schimming said, “The road to the White House goes thru Wisconsin and that’s not good for the President right now, because his numbers are upside down in Wisconsin on almost every major policy issue.”

But a lot can happen before the 2024 election, and both candidates and their surrogates will no doubt be spending most of their time in swing states until that time.

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