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Local Experts Say Major Biden Likely Dealing With Social Anxiety After Another Biting Incident At White House

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Howard Monroe reports.

Video Transcript

- Major Biden, one of the president's dogs, remains in the doghouse, so to speak. Yesterday, he nipped at a National Parks Service employee at the White House. Local experts tell our Howard Monroe that he's likely dealing with social anxiety. It's a problem that many dogs face in new environments.

DANIELLE ALIO CAPPARELLA: We love him. We love him a lot. And he has definitely brightened up our lives.

HOWARD MONROE: There's a lot of love for Copper in the Capparella family. But Danielle says, while the seven-month-old miniature dachshund is great with her and her husband, he's nervous with other people and dogs.

DANIELLE ALIO CAPPARELLA: He'll just, like, bark at new people or kind of back away, kind of run towards us.

HOWARD MONROE: In some ways, Copper is no different than the First Dog, Major. In the past few weeks, Major Biden, President Joe Biden's three-year-old adopted German shepherd, has at least two White House employees. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's press secretary said of the incident that Major is getting used to his new surroundings. Now, if your dog is having similar issues, there are some things you can do to nip it in the bud.

MADDIE BERNSTEIN: We want the animal have time to decompress in the home.

HOWARD MONROE: That wasn't a possibility for Major or Champ, the Biden's other dog. They were immediately thrown into a new house with new people and smells. But Maddie Bernstein of the Pennsylvania SPCA says, giving the dog two weeks to acclimate to the new surroundings could have made a huge difference.

MADDIE BERNSTEIN: We recommend that the people who take the animal home don't have people outside their immediate residence coming to meet the animal.

HOWARD MONROE: Knowing your dog's stressors and what calms them down could also help. Marisa Sam is the owner of Philly Dog Training. She has two rescues, Super and Muffin, and says social anxiety is a real problem for some dogs in new environments. She says, be ready to remove them from that environment.

MARISA SAM: Instead of sort of fingers crossed and being tense and uncomfortable for everyone when the dog meets the new person.

HOWARD MONROE: And remember, dogs need time to adjust, just like humans.

MARISA SAM: Instead of having to sort of be constantly treading water, is the analogy I like to use, in a brand new environment, there are times when we can just give them a rest.

HOWARD MONROE: Howard Monroe, CBS3 Eyewitness News.