Joe Biden's dog Commander bit at least 24 Secret Service agents before leaving White House

Agents say they had to adjust tactics for their own safety when in presence of German shepherd

US President Joe Biden with his dog, Commander, at the White House. AFP
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Commander, President Joe Biden's dog, bit at least 24 members of the Secret Service before the canine was banished from the White House campus, newly released documents reveal.

Several of those bitten by the German shepherd at the White House at Camp David and in Delaware required medical treatment, the agency said in the documents, which were posted online.

Records show that agents suffered bites to arms, hands, thighs, shoulders, forearms, elbows, chests and waists.

One piece of correspondence showed that Secret Service personnel had to adjust their tactics when near Commander for their own safety.

“The recent dog bites have challenged us to adjust our operational tactics when Commander is present – please give lots of room (staying a terrain feature away if possible),” read one email from June last year.

The agent said personnel would continue to keep one blacked-out name – believed to be Mr Biden – within eyesight, “but must be creative to ensure our own personal safety”.

“The senior leaders of the detail and agency continue to address the issue at higher levels with staff and first family – working to have a better solution soon,” the email read.

Another email documented one agent expressing “shock” that he was bitten on the left forearm by Commander on October 2, 2022, at the White House.

The special agent said the incident occurred after Mr Biden took Commander out on the South Grounds.

“Commander and Potus [President of the United States] were entering the Palm Room through the West Colonnade. Commander came in first, circled back and grabbed my left arm,” the agent said in an email on March 6, 2023.

The agent recalled Mr Biden entering after the dog-bite incident and saying something to him, although that was blacked out in the documents.

“After this, I was concerned about him getting out of the residence or being out without a leash for others' safety and mine,” the agent said.

Commander, then two years old, was removed from the White House in October and moved to an undisclosed location.

At the time a spokeswoman for the first lady, Jill Biden, said “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.”

Updated: February 23, 2024, 6:15 AM