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Commander, Biden’s Banished German Shepherd, Had At Least 25 Biting Incidents

Commander, Biden's Banished German Shepherd, Had At Least 25 Biting Incidents

President Biden’s now-banished German shepherd Commander inflicted more damage with bite incidents than previously known.

Newly released records from the United States Secret Service to USA TODAY reveal the aggressive dog was involved in at least 25 biting incidents in less than a year.

This month, the Secret Service released 269 pages related to a Freedom of Information Act request that included email traffic with anecdotes of bites.

It included a table with the 23 incidents from October 2022 to July 2023. That doesn’t count two more incidents in September and October that finally prompted Commander’s removal.

The list showed bites to agents’ arms, hands, thighs, back, wrists, elbows, waist, chest and an agent’s ammunition magazine pouch. At least 11 of the incidents required medical attention.

Records show the dog bit White House staff, Secret Service agents and Navy staff.

In one case last summer, Commander bit an agent in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, south of the White House’s East Colonnade. It was captured on surveillance footage, which showed the dog racing at the agent and tackling him to the ground. He received a deep laceration that required stitches.

East Wing tours were suspended that June day while maintenance crews mopped up the puddles of blood near the Booksellers Room.

In October, White House staff decided to relocate the 2-year-old dog. Previously, the conservative group Judicial Watch had revealed a tally of 10 biting incidents.

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi reiterated this week that the department “takes the safety and wellbeing of our employees extremely seriously.”

“The incidents involving Commander were treated as workplace injuries, with events documented in accordance with Secret Service and US Department of Homeland Security guidelines,” Guglielmi wrote in an email. “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.”

Details on biting incidents

Commander’s bites over the year happened not only on the White House grounds but also on trips to Camp David, Nantucket and Rehoboth Beach.

In July, First Lady Jill Biden tried to call off the dog as it barked and bounded toward a special agent. He hit the agent in the left forearm and caused a deep open wound. The agent reported losing a significant amount of blood and received six stitches from the White House Medical team.

The agent’s boss emailed him that they jokingly considered a care package of “Advil, antibiotic cream, pepper spray, a muzzle and some dog biscuits for safety purposes,” but thanked him for staying on the job.

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