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Wednesday, 10 March 2021

White House defends the dogs! Jen Psaki says unidentified security official 'surprised' Biden's rescue German Shepherd before biting incident that got the President's two pooches banished to Delaware - but vows they will return 'soon'

 The White House on Tuesday defended President Joe Biden's dogs after the younger pooch bit a security guard, saying three-year-old Major was surprised by 'an unknown person' and 'caused a minor injury.'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that Champ and Major, the Biden's two German Shepherds, are 'still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people.'

She said Major, whom Biden and his wife Jill adopted in November 2018 from an animal shelter, 'was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual, which was handled by the White House medical unit with no further treatment needed.'

She declined to say if the person was a Secret Service agent or give any other identifying information. 

But she denied the dogs, who she described as members of the Biden family, had been banished back to Biden's home state of Delaware for bad doggy behavior. 

Also, randomly, a dog bed was seen leaning up against an outside wall of the West Wing on Tuesday morning with no explanation of whose it was or why it was there. 

Psaki said it was 'pre-planned' to have Champ and Major cared for by a friend there while first lady Jill Biden is on a three-day trip to the West Coast, visiting military bases in Washington state and California. 

'The dogs will return to the White House soon,' Psaki said during her daily press briefing although she did not give a specific date. 

The White House defended President Joe Biden's two German Shepherds after the younger dog Major, being petted by President Biden, was reported to have bitten a security guard

The White House defended President Joe Biden's two German Shepherds after the younger dog Major, being petted by President Biden, was reported to have bitten a security guard 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Major was surprised by 'an unknown person' and 'caused a minor injury'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Major was surprised by 'an unknown person' and 'caused a minor injury'

The White House said it was pre-planned for Champ and Major to be in Delaware this week as first lady Jill Biden is on a three-day tour to the West Coast, above she views a water activity table at the new children's museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

The White House said it was pre-planned for Champ and Major to be in Delaware this week as first lady Jill Biden is on a three-day tour to the West Coast, above she views a water activity table at the new children's museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Randomly, a dog bed was seen leaning up against an outside wall of the West Wing on Tuesday morning with no explanation of whose it was or why it was there

Randomly, a dog bed was seen leaning up against an outside wall of the West Wing on Tuesday morning with no explanation of whose it was or why it was there

Psaki confirms biting incident after Biden's dog Major 'surprised'
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The White House press secretary also had no update on the arrival of a White House cat. The Bidens said they would add a feline to their presidential menagerie. 

'Today's a good day for the cat,' she said. 'I don't have any update on the cat. We know that the cat will break the Internet but I don't have any update on its status.'

Psaki was asked about the presidential pooches after a CNN report that Major had been displaying aggressive behavior including jumping, barking and charging at White House staff and security. 

Major is the first rescue dog to have lived in the White House, having moved in after Biden's inauguration in January.

The Bidens adopted him as company for 14-year-old Champ after being told it would help the health of the older dog to have a younger companion.  

President Biden pats Champ in the Rose Garden as Major looks on

President Biden pats Champ in the Rose Garden as Major looks on 

Major was also 'inaugurated' three days before the presidential inauguration. The 'indoguration' featured a performance by Josh Groban, with over 7,400 people watching on Zoom. It raised $200,000 for the Delaware Humane Association

Major was also 'inaugurated' three days before the presidential inauguration. The 'indoguration' featured a performance by Josh Groban, with over 7,400 people watching on Zoom. It raised $200,000 for the Delaware Humane Association

German Shepherds Major and Champ Biden settle into the White House
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The dogs often feature in the background of Oval Office photos. Champ is pictured here during a meeting with senior advisers

The dogs often feature in the background of Oval Office photos. Champ is pictured here during a meeting with senior advisers

Biden's predecessor Donald Trump did not have any pets at the White House.

First Lady Jill Biden said in an interview last month she had been focused on getting the dogs settled into their new home in Washington.

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

The dogs joined the Bidens at the White House shortly after they relocated to Washington. 

Since then, they have been allowed to roam unleashed on the White House grounds and often feature in the background of Oval Office photos.


The dogs have been allowed to roam unleashed on the White House grounds

The dogs have been allowed to roam unleashed on the White House grounds

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, joined by White House Grounds Superintendent Dale Haney and her granddaughter Maisy Biden, play with the Biden's dogs Major and Champ on the South Lawn of the White House

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, joined by White House Grounds Superintendent Dale Haney and her granddaughter Maisy Biden, play with the Biden's dogs Major and Champ on the South Lawn of the White House

Biden dogs can be heard barking as reporters leave Oval Office
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'They really don't have any rules, they're really good dogs,' Biden told People.  

'We trained them from the beginning,' Biden said. 'Champ is old, he's 14 years old and he was extremely well-trained by the Canine Corps and he thinks he's Secret Service, but Major, who is a big, little dog, is about a year-and-half-old and the only rule Jill has and he follows it: do not get up on the furniture.' 

Champ and Major appeared in ads for the Biden campaign in 2020. 

Major was also 'inaugurated' three days before the presidential inauguration. The 'indoguration' featured a performance by Josh Groban, with over 7,400 people watching on Zoom. It raised $200,000 for the Delaware Humane Association. 

Last month appeared alongside the first lady during the annual Puppy Bowl in a public service announcement encouraging Americans to wear masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Biden's other dog, Champ, is 14 years old and has slowed down due to his age, which has made the transition easier

Biden's other dog, Champ, is 14 years old and has slowed down due to his age, which has made the transition easier

Major and Champ are the first pets at the White House since the Obama Administration

Major and Champ are the first pets at the White House since the Obama Administration

President Joe Biden plays with the Biden family dogs Champ and Major, seen last month

President Joe Biden plays with the Biden family dogs Champ and Major, seen last month

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