Joe Biden's dogs banished from White House after 'biting incident'

9 March 2021, 21:14 | Updated: 10 March 2021, 07:34

US President Joe Biden pictured in the Oval Office with Major and Champ
US President Joe Biden pictured in the Oval Office with Major and Champ. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The four-legged friends of US President Joe Biden have been ousted from the White House after one of them was involved in a "biting incident".

German Shepherds Major and Champ were moved into the famous home, to continue living with Biden and the First Lady.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed someone suffered a "minor injury" after Major - the younger of the two dogs - "was surprised by unfamiliar person".

She explained the incident by saying the dogs "are still getting acclimated and accustomed to their surroundings and new people.

"And on Monday, the first family's younger dog, Major, was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual."

CNN, citing unidentified sources, reported that the dogs were sent back to Delaware after Major had what was described as a "biting incident" with an unidentified member of White House security.

The dogs pictured on the South Lawn of the White House with the President and First Lady
The dogs pictured on the South Lawn of the White House with the President and First Lady. Picture: PA

Ms Psaki said the person was treated by the White House medical unit "with no further treatment needed".

It was unclear how serious the incident was, but it appears to have been concerning enough to warrant removing the dogs from the White House.

Major was adopted in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association, making him the first ever rescue dog to reside in the White House.

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The Biden's got Champ, who at age 13 is less spry and likely calmer, from a breeder. He joined the family after Biden was elected vice president in 2008.

Mrs Biden has been trying to get Major and Champ, settled into new routines at the White House, which can be a hard place even for a human to get used to.

The president said a few weeks ago that he is still getting used to the trappings of his office.

"I've been obsessed with getting our dogs settled because we have (an) old dog and we have a very young dog," the First Lady told talk show host Kelly Clarkson in a recent interview.

"They have to take the elevator. They're not used to that. They have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them," she said. "So, you know, that's what I've been obsessed with, just getting everybody settled and calm."

The First Lady flew out on Monday afternoon to spend Tuesday and Wednesday touring US military installations in Washington state and California.

Major, who is about three, burst onto the national scene late last year after President Biden broke a bone in his right foot when he slipped during playtime with the dog at their home near Wilmington.

The dogs moved to the White House shortly after the inauguration in January, and although the White House furniture is off limits, Major has showed his disobedient side.

"I caught him on the couch the other day, but he quickly jumped down," the first lady told Clarkson in last month's interview. The dogs are allowed to run around the South Lawn, she said.

Their favourite spot is "wherever we are. Even if my door's closed, they're sitting right outside the door like, 'Let me in, let me in'," Jill Biden said.