Secret Service Had to Adjust Tactics to Avoid Bites From Biden’s Dog

Newly released documents recorded at least 24 biting episodes before Commander, the president’s German shepherd, was banished from the White House last fall.

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Secret Service Had to Adjust Tactics to Avoid Bites From Biden’s Dog |

President Biden’s dog Commander was banished from the White House to an undisclosed location last fall after the biting episodes in 2022 and 2023.

The Secret Service had to “adjust our operational tactics” to protect President Biden because the first family’s dog kept biting agents, including one who required six stitches and another whose blood spilled onto the floor of the White House, according to newly released internal emails posted online.

The agency recorded at least 24 biting episodes between October 2022 and July 2023 involving Commander, a German shepherd who became the terror of the West Wing, Camp David and the president’s homes in Delaware, about half of which required medical attention, according to the documents. Commander was banished from the White House last fall to an undisclosed location.

“The recent dog bites have challenged us to adjust our operational tactics when Commander is present — please give lots of room (staying a terrain feature away if possible),” an assistant special agent in charge of the Presidential Protection Division wrote to the team. “We will continue to keep” a protected person whose code name was blacked out in the document but was clearly Mr. Biden “in our sight but must be creative to ensure our own personal safety.” The agent reported that they were seeking “a better solution soon.”

The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by John Greenewald, a longtime California-based researcher who specializes in unearthing government secrets on everything from U.F.O.s to C.I.A. and military activities, and posted on his website, called The Black Vault. The Secret Service confirmed the documents were authentic.

The 273 pages of emails and documents, with names redacted, shed new light on a period that generated great stress inside the White House before Commander, then age 2, was removed from the mansion. A previous presidential dog, Major, was moved out of the White House two years earlier for similar reasons.

The cache of emails not only documented various episodes in sometimes graphic detail, but also captured the trauma and concern among Secret Service agents and officers, who shared techniques for the best ways to avoid getting hurt. Secret Service personnel were bitten on the wrist, forearm, elbow, waist, chest, thigh and shoulder. One was saved from injury by his ammunition pouch. Among the documents was a photo of a torn shirt.

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