Major incident: Joe Biden's rescue German Shepherd bites second person in a month

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Major (left) and Champ - Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS
Major (left) and Champ - Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

Joe Biden’s three-year-old German Shepherd has been involved in a second “biting incident” in less than a month, causing another White House staff member to seek medical attention.

The US president’s rescue dog, Major, "nipped someone while on a walk" on Monday, just weeks after he bit a member of Mr Biden’s security team inside the White House.

Major "is still adjusting to his new surroundings," said Michael LaRosa, press secretary to first lady Jill Biden, adding that the individual was seen by the White House Medical Unit "out of an abundance of caution" and returned to work without injury.

The dog had been seen on a walk around the South Lawn before the president and first lady traveled to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Monday evening, and it is understood that the person bitten was a National Park Service employee

The German Shepherd only just returned to the White House last week, along with his sibling, 14-year-old Champ, after causing a minor injury to a member of the Secret Service on March 8.

An aide was seen walking both dogs on Wednesday morning - Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS
An aide was seen walking both dogs on Wednesday morning - Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

After that incident, the president said Major was "a sweet dog."

In an interview with ABC News, Mr Biden explained the biting by saying that the dog had "turned a corner, there's two people he doesn't know at all, you know, and they move and moves to protect."

Mr Biden added at the time that "85% of the people there love him."

Both Major and Champ were sent to the Bidens' Delaware home after the incident, but Mr Biden insisted it was pre-planned.

"He was going home," Biden said. "I didn't banish him to home. Jill was going to be away for four days. I was going to be away for two, so we took him home."

The dogs came back to Washington DC on March 21.

On Wednesday morning, both dogs were spotted on the South Lawn waiting for the President's motorcade to depart.

Major was on a lead. Champ was not.

One of the dogs had defecated on the floor in front of the Diplomatic room, according to reporters who were there.

Major, the first rescue dog to live in the White House, “has been known to display agitated behaviour on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security” people familiar with the situation told CNN earlier this month.

He was fostered by the Bidens in March 2018 from the Delaware Humane Society - the American equivalent of the RSPCA. The family adopted him eight months later.

In November last year, Mr Biden fractured his foot while playing with the lively canine in Delaware and had to wear a walking boot for a number of weeks.

Champ is the older, and seemingly more docile of the two dogs, having been bought from a breeder as a puppy shortly after the 2008 election.

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