Bidens' dog Commander gone from White House after string of biting incidents

The White House said the first family is evaluating "next steps."

October 5, 2023, 2:44 PM

Commander Biden, the first family's German shepherd, is no longer at the White House as they evaluate "next steps" following a string of biting incidents.

"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," Elizabeth Alexander, the communications director for first lady Jill Biden, said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

"They remain grateful for the patience and support of the U.S. Secret Service and all involved, as they continue to work through solutions," Alexander said. "Commander is not presently on the White House campus while next steps are evaluated."

President Joe Biden's dog Commander in Washington, Sept. 30, 2023.
Ken Cedeno/Reuters, FILE

The statement came just hours after the Daily Mail reported Commander had bitten the longtime White House groundskeeper Dale Haney on Sept. 13. The Daily Mail published what they called exclusive photos of the incident taken by a tourist.

Asked about the photos during the daily briefing for reporters on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre deferred questions to Secret Service or the first lady's office.

The U.S. Secret Service has not responded to an ABC News requests for comment. The White House also has not responded when asked if Haney was injured.

    It would mark the twelfth known biting incident since the Bidens welcomed Commander to the family in December 2021.

    Last month, Commander bit a Secret Service agent, who was treated by medical personnel and said she was fine.

    The Bidens had another German shepherd, Major, who lived at the White House but was sent to live with family friends in Delaware after several biting incidents -- a decision they said they made following experts' recommendation.

    On Thursday, Jean-Pierre declined to say where exactly Commander was after being taken away from the White House campus.

    She also told reporters she never had a bad experience with the dog when asked if she'd ever been wary around him.

    "Absolutely not. I've seen Commander many times, I was never wary, and I've never bit by Commander," Jean-Pierre said.

    ABC News' Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.

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