The Biden family has welcomed a new German Shepherd, “Commander,” the president announced in a tweet on Monday.
Commander, a purebred German Shepherd, was gifted to Biden by his brother James and his sister-in-law for his birthday, and will also be joined by the long-awaited Biden family cat in January.
As the Bidens welcomed Commander to the White House on Monday, they also announced that their other German Shepherd, Major, the first shelter dog to live in the White House, would be leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to live with family friends following a handful of biting incidents involving White House staff this year.
Commander will continue the tradition of a canine presence at the White House. And White House officials said a cat — a female whose name has yet to be announced — will join the Bidens in January. In an interview this fall, Dr. Biden said that the cat had been living with a foster family and that she was uncertain that the caretakers would be willing to give up the animal.
The Bidens had two other German shepherds – Champ and Major – with them at the White House before Commander.
Major, a three-year-old rescue dog, ended up in the proverbial dog house following two biting incidents in the months after his arrival last January. He was sent home to Delaware for training before he was returned to the White House. White House officials had explained Major’s aggressive behaviour by saying he was still getting used to his new surroundings.
But he was sent away again. Now, his permanent exile from the executive mansion appears official.
Champ died earlier this year.