President Joe Biden’s younger dog, Commander, bit another US Secret Service agent at the White House Monday evening, CNN has learned, the 11th known biting incident involving the 2-year-old German Shepherd.
“Yesterday around 8 p.m., a Secret Service Uniformed Division police officer came in contact with a First Family pet and was bitten. The officer was treated by medical personnel on complex,” USSS chief of communications Anthony Guglielmi told CNN in a statement.
The injured officer spoke with Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Alfonso M. Dyson Sr. on Tuesday and is doing OK, Guglielmi said.
Commander has been involved in at least 11 biting incidents at the White House and in Delaware, according to CNN reporting and US Secret Service email correspondence, including a November 2022 incident where an officer was hospitalized after the dog clamped down on their arms and thighs.
White House officials said in July that the Bidens were working through new training and leashing protocols for the family pet following the incidents.
Asked by CNN whether the new training had taken place or if any further action would be sought, Elizabeth Alexander, communications director for the first lady, said in a statement that “the First Family continues to work on ways to help Commander handle the often unpredictable nature of the White House grounds.”
“The President and First Lady are incredibly grateful to the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff for all they do to keep them, their family, and the country safe,” she continued.
The July email correspondence, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests by the conservative group Judicial Watch, reflected 10 incidents.
In one incident in October, first lady Dr. Jill Biden “couldn’t regain control” of the dog as it charged a member of Secret Service staff.
“I believe it’s only a matter of time before an agent/officer is attacked or bit,” the staff member warned in an email.
While Secret Service agents are not responsible for the handling of the first family’s pets, they can come into frequent contact with the animals.
“This isn’t a Secret Service thing. This is a this is a workplace safety issue,” CNN contributor and former USSS agent Jonathan Wackrow told CNN.
“There’s uniqueness here where it’s the residence of the president of the United States, but it’s also the workplace for hundreds, thousands of people. And you can’t bring a hazard into the workplace. And that’s what is essentially happening with this dog. One time you can say it’s an accident, but now multiple incidents, it’s a serious issue,” he added.
Wackrow called it a “significant hazard” for agents on duty at the White House residence.
“I’m sure that the Bidens love the dog. I’m sure that it’s a member of the family like every dog is, but you’re creating a significant hazard to those who support you – support the office of the president,” he said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified the USSS official who spoke with the injured officer on Tuesday. It was Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Alfonso M. Dyson Sr. It has also been updated with a statement from the first lady’s communications director.