Secret Service Had to Adjust Tactics to Avoid Bites From Biden’s Dog


The 273 pages of emails and documents, with names redacted, shed new light on a period that generated great stress inside the White House before Commander, then age 2, was removed from the mansion. A previous presidential dog, Major, was moved out of the White House two years earlier for similar reasons.

The cache of emails not only documented various episodes in sometimes graphic detail, but also captured the trauma and concern among Secret Service agents and officers, who shared techniques for the best ways to avoid getting hurt. Secret Service personnel were bitten on the wrist, forearm, elbow, waist, chest, thigh and shoulder. One was saved from injury by his ammunition pouch. Among the documents was a photo of a torn shirt.

“I was in shock that the incident occurred,” wrote one special agent, who was attacked while holding open the door for the president on Oct. 2, 2022, as Mr. Biden took Commander out onto the South Lawn. The dog grabbed the agent’s left arm and stood on his hind legs. “He is literally my height standing,” the agent wrote. Fortunately, a doctor found no puncture wound. “After this I was concerned about him getting out of the residence or being out without a leash for others’ safety and mine.”

Another agent was not so lucky. On June 15, 2023, Commander raced toward the agent and lunged at him, causing a “deep bite” on the left arm that was reported to have needed stitches. “East Wing Tours were stopped for approximately 20 minutes due to blood from the incident being on the floors in the area of the Booksellers,” a hall in the White House, one document reported.

A month later, another agent entering the backyard patio of the president’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., did not realize the dog was there and off leash. The dog bit him, “causing a severe deep open wound,” and the agent “started to lose a significant amount of blood,” a message detailed. The agent “remained calm and walked away from the area looking for help.”



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