President Joe Biden’s rescue pup Major was spotted at the White House on Tuesday, the first time the three-year-old German Shepherd has been seen there since he went home to Delaware after biting a security guard.
Major Biden is back at the White House
It’s unclear when the dog made his return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He was seen by journalists on the South Lawn as Biden boarded Marine One in route to Columbus, Ohio.
The dog was on a leash and being led by a handler.
Major disappeared to Delaware in early March after he bit a security guard. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in her March 9 briefing, defended the dog, saying the security official surprised the pup.
She also argued Major and Champ, the Biden’s elderly German Shepherd, were not exiled. She said the dogs were on a pre-planned trip to Delaware to be cared for by family friends while Jill Biden was on a three-day trip to the West Coast.
And Biden has defended his pooch, saying the three-year-old Major didn’t break the skin when he bit the security agent, who the White House has declined to identify. He described the rambunctious pup as being protective.
‘Look, Major was a rescue pup. Major did not bite someone and penetrate the skin,’ he told ABC News. ‘I guess what surprised me is the White House itself, living there. Every door you turn to, there’s a guy there in a black jacket.’
He said the new living environment and all the new people around surprised the dog.
‘You turn a corner, and there’s two people you don’t know at all,’ Biden said. ‘And he moves to protect. But he’s a sweet dog. Eighty-five percent of the people there love him. He just– all he does is lick them and wag his tail.’
Journalists spotted Major, being on led on a leash by a handler Tuesday, on the South Lawn of the White House as President Biden prepared for a trip to Ohio
Major eyes a tennis ball on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office in this March 4 picture posted to the White House’s Flickr account
President Biden pets Champ, 14, in the White House Rose Garden; the Bidens adopted Major, 3, from a shelter when they were told it would be good for their older dog to have a younger friend
But, Biden conceded, his energetic young dog was getting some extra training before being brought back to the White House.
The president noted ‘the dog’s being trained now’ in Delaware but argued the pup wasn’t banished for the being a bad boy.
‘We’re in the process of having a training session,’ he said.
‘I didn’t banish him to home. Jill was gonna be away for four days. I was gonna be away for two so we took him home,’ he said.
Joe and Jill Biden adopted Major from an animal shelter in November 2018 as a companion for their older dog Champ, also a German Shepherd.
When the biting incident occurred, Psaki said the two dogs were ‘still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people.’
She said Major 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 also 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.
Psaki said it was ‘pre-planned’ to have Champ and Major cared for by a friend there while first lady Jill Biden was visiting military bases in Washington state and California.
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 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.’
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.
This November 16, 2018 photo from the Delaware Humane Association shows Joe Biden and his newly-adopted German shepherd Major, in Wilmington
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’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.