Champ & Major Biden have been sent back to Delaware after Major allegedly bit someone

champ major white house biden

This story really upsets me! So we all know that President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden have two German Shepherds. They are good boys. Champ is the elderly dog who wants to sit by the fire and meditate. Major is only a few years old and he’s still got a lot of “puppy” in him. It seems that Major has been making a difficult adjustment to his change in housing. He used to live in Delaware, with familiar smells and people he knew. Now he’s in the White House and there are tons of strangers and new smells and he is trying his best to figure things out. He’s been figuring it out by jumping on people and perhaps growling at some of his dad’s Secret Service detail. Apparently, there was a “biting incident” involving Major. And now both Champ and Major are being sent back to Delaware to live. Champ is probably like “FML, why do I have to go??”

President Joe Biden’s two German Shepherds, Champ and Major, were taken home to Delaware on Monday following aggressive behavior by the younger dog, CNN reported. According to the outlet, the dogs were removed from the White House after a “biting incident” involving Major and a White House security member. The security member’s injuries and condition are not clear at this time.

It remains unclear if the dogs will remain in Delaware indefinitely or if they will return to Washington, D.C.

The White House did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

There was public support when the president and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden brought Champ and Major with them upon moving into the White House — it marked the first time in four years that a pet had lived there, and Major is the first rescue dog to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

CNN reported that Major is the rowdier of the dogs, and that he sometimes exhibits aggressive behavior like barking, jumping, and “charging” at staff. Champ at 14 is reportedly more mellow.

In November, Biden was injured while playing with Major, and ended up wearing a walking boot for a few weeks while his injury healed.

[From People]

We don’t know the circumstances around Major’s incident because, as is so often the case, the cops talk first to paint a suspect as guilty. I would be very interested in knowing if Major thought he was protecting his mom or dad. Innocent until proven guilty for all good dogs. And seriously, Champ didn’t do anything! Champ was just sitting by the fire, minding his own business.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex attend the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.

President Joe Biden with his dogs Major and Champ in the Rose Garden

President Joe Biden with his dogs Major and Champ in the Rose Garden

Photos courtesy of social media, Backgrid.

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62 Responses to “Champ & Major Biden have been sent back to Delaware after Major allegedly bit someone”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    I would like to know if this security guard by chance voted for the former guy.

    • girl_ninja says:

      Guurlll, I’m asking the same question.

    • auntie_git says:

      @Rapunzel Hahahhahah! He could sense there was something wrong with him! :D Dogs always know….

    • Jack says:

      I was thinking the security guard is somehow involved in Jan. 6th and Major just figured it out for all of us.

    • JanetDR says:

      My thought exactly!

    • Chanteloup says:

      Jen Psaki addressed the question about the dogs leaving the WH at the live briefing today -
      She said Major was surprised by a strange person, the injury was minor, treated by the WH medical team, no further treatment necessary. She also said it was already planned for the dogs to go to DE while Dr Biden was away this week, and that the dogs would be returning to the White House soon. Yay!

      ETA: People also has an updated story, reflecting this same info, this afternoon

  2. FancyHat says:

    This genuinely breaks my heart. Major is a rescue dog. He’s going to think he was abandoned all over again.

    • Div says:

      It breaks my heart too, but I don’t think he’ll believe that necessarily. Delaware is his “home”—the dog lived there far longer than the WH—and Biden’s grandkids and I think one of his kids still lives there. Jill is apparently with them right now, too, and apparently goes back to Delware frequently and Joe does too. If thy were going to a strange house, I could see Major thinking he was abandoned but he’s going back to a familiar place with familiar people and his mom is going to help him transition. Plus, apparently Joe’s grandkid said this is only temporary (I’m assuming they are going to get a dog trainer, etc.).

      I know GS can be super territorial and for any dog it would be stressful going from a regular house to the WH, but I can’t help but wonder if the security guard did something….we all know a ton of the WH secret service, etc. allegedly turned out to be very pro Trump.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I read that the first lady is away (CA & some other place) for a few days & the protocol has been that whenever she is away they would return to Delaware. I am Team Major & if he snapped at someone, they had it coming

    • HeyJude says:

      Major as a rescue actually might not have been enjoying the new unfamiliar surroundings (and ALL those new people) and acting unusual from his normal self because he missed them.

      There’s still family at the home in Delaware and he’ll be back in his familiar environment, the Bidens will still see him often I’m sure. This could be what the poor pup was trying to tell us silly humans but we don’t listen.

  3. Coco says:

    I hope the injuries are not serious and that Major can get more training if he needs it.

    • ThEHufflepuffLizLemon says:

      I would guess he’s going to get some serious training on interaction with the public, which is important for dogs with powerful bites, especially if they have trauma or fear reactions in their history.

      My parents have 2 large Dobermans that we all adore, but one is still very much a puppy. He thought he was playing with my son the other day when my son was at their house and giggling loudly (not the right behavior with large dogs with high prey drive) and nipped at him, tail wagging, all body language showing happy versus aggressive, etc. My son is fine (he’s 9 and big for his age, did not break the skin), we’re fine, but my father was still absolutely horrified and is refusing to allow the dog around him until he is more trained, which is also what I would expect is happening here.

  4. Tiffany says:

    If they had to leave, I am glad they went together.

  5. Izzy says:

    FREE MAJOR.

    In all seriousness, he’s a rescue dog, nobody knows for certain exactly what trauma he experienced before he was adopted, and this move was an enormous change. A good dog behaviorist and trainer will probably do a world of good for him. Poor guy. He was just helping the Secret Service out and guarding his dad.

    • amiloo says:

      To be fair, the litter Major came from was brought to the shelter as puppies. He’s been with the Bidens (through fostering) since he was a little bitty guy.

      • hmmmmpppy says:

        Do we know how long they were at the shelter? I used to work in a dog psychology lab, and the puppies in shelters were often more screwed up than the adult dogs, just because that is a really rough place to have important developmental milestones take place in.

      • amilou says:

        hmmmmpppy – I don’t think they were at the shelter for long. And the puppies might have been put directly into foster care because they’d had medical issues and required treatment.

        I read that the litter was turned over to the shelter because the puppies had been exposed to a toxin in their home, and the owner couldn’t afford to provide treatment for all of them. That was in March 2018. Ashley Biden saw the shelter’s Facebook post, and the family sprung to action in fostering Major.

        The Bidens officially adopted him at 10-months-old in November 2018.

  6. Evenstar says:

    If there was a “biting incident” and Major had to be sent away, this security guard probably got really injured. Aggression in large dogs is no joke, and if he can’t handle the stimulation in his environment, it’s in his and the WH staff’s best interests to send him back to a calmer home.

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      I have been so warmed reading all the sweet press out there for Champ and Major but , I think this should be a one and done in terms of Major returning to the White House.

    • AMA1977 says:

      I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I think the Bidens are acutely aware that their dogs are in the spotlight and would be very proactive about responding to any aggressive behavior. Additionally, they are conscientious dog owners and I’m sure are taking every step to help Major with behavioral training and also to help him feel calm and secure. The most laid back dog in the world would likely experience some stress in moving from a “normal” family home to all the noise, action, and unfamilarity of the WH, and GSD are wonderful dogs, but not (generally) what you’d consider laid back.

  7. local russian hill says:

    it’s too bad that they were both sent home but they’re accustomed to being together so it kind of makes sense. hope the person they bit is okay. the bite sadly is likely due to new environment and overstimulation.

  8. OriginalLala says:

    So the official Champ and Major Biden twitter account (@TheOvalPawffice) says they will both be back, they are just staying with friends/family for a bit. Ya’ll should follow that account, it’s so cute and it’s run by Naomi Biden, Joe’s grand-daughter!

    Their latest tweet: “Champ here, to defend my brother: Major does not bite and he’s not pawggressive, you’ve all seen him in numerous videos surrounded by media and staff. We are USUALLY sent to Delaware when mom @FLOTUS is not at the WH – she left Monday afternoon for a two day trip. Awoooof!”

    • Boo says:

      Not only that, they’re saying the whole thing was misreported and he didn’t bite anyone at all.

    • Mgsota says:

      Came here to say the same thing…I read this morning they are in Delaware while FLOTUS travels.

    • LaraW” says:

      In my experience- speaking as a former ER veterinary technician and friends with several dog trainers- unless the dog has a long history of aggressive/unchecked behavior (which was probably a human’s fault in the first place), a dog biting a human is usually the human’s fault. A lot of humans ignore the warnings dogs give before they bite, or are just illiterate in dog body language (example: my friend told the petsitter not to 1) get in the dog’s face and 2) take him to unfamiliar places. Petsitter didn’t listen, took dog to their friend’s house. Friend insisted on getting in the dog’s face like it was cute or something. Dog growled as warning. No change in human behavior. Second time, dog bit the petsitter’s friend.)

      • equality says:

        Dogs also don’t always tolerate being petted on the top of the head and a lot of people do this. Dogs see it as a “dominance” move.

    • lucy2 says:

      So this whole story is a big nothing! Which means Faux News will be running Dog Bite Gate for weeks on end.

    • psl says:

      Good to know!

    • ThEHufflepuffLizLemon says:

      Oh thank goodness! I was so worried about someone making Major out to be a bad dog.

    • Amando says:

      That is not an official account. It’s a fan account. But that is good news that they will return at some point.

  9. JENNIFER SMITH says:

    They’ve also said that it’s normal that they go to Delaware when Dr. Jill is out of town.

  10. jules says:

    I’d probably bite someone too if I moved in to the White House. This pupper is probably terrified by all the stiff robots around his owners at all times and trying to navigate new surroundings, rules, etc. Now he’s being moved again. Let’s hear the circumstances and go from there…

  11. LindaS says:

    Of course Major has to go. How long have they been with the Bidens. Prob upsetting to Major. A new home. People around always. He will feel much better in a calmer place and still with his buddy. And you do not want someone to get injured. I would say for this dog once in this environment is your only chance.

  12. TeamMeg says:

    This is sad, but it’s the right thing to do and sets a good example. So many people get dogs but fail to train/restrain them properly while apologizing constantly for their pet’s bad, frightening or downright dangerous behavior. Dogs can be trained! I hope Major and Champ learn what they need and can return soon to the WH.

    • LaraW” says:

      I thought the Bidens have always had GSDs, so they know the needs and limits of the breed. Not a coincidence that they got Major when Champ was older- the younger dog, in addition to whatever training he’s getting by humans, is also being trained by Champ who’s showing him the ropes. Most responsible owners of large breed dogs stagger adoption this way.

      • Lightpurple says:

        In agreement with this. We got a golden retriever pup when our beagle was 12 and recovering from disc surgery. That beagle trained that retriever to the point that when the beagle passed 4 years later, we realized that the retriever didn’t know how to signal that she needed to go out. She had always just followed the beagle who would bark at the door. Fortunately, there weren’t any accidents but the poor thing was probably very uncomfortable until we realized that the dog needed to go out when she was panting.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        I have an older dog who was adopted as a puppy who doesn’t know how to eat on his own because his older sister would take a mouthful of food and place it on the carpet in front of him signalling it was time to eat. He won’t eat out of a bowl or off of a plate. You have to throw food across the kitchen floor to get him to eat. Basically create a trail of food to the eating area. Sometimes I have to put a scoop of food on the carpet to get him to eat. He needs both my husband and I to supervise him eating. We do everything but basically hold his tail while encouraging him to eat. His metabolism is messed up and his body was storing all the food he ate as fat because he basically has an eating disorder. The vet said he was overweight and needed to lose weight and we couldn’t figure out how he managed to get overweight because he hardly eats. We did manage to get some weight off of him until our puppy was diagnosed with a food allergy and we had to switch their food and couldn’t keep him on weight management food. Dogs are weird. Rescue dogs are even weirder.

  13. Willow says:

    Based on my limited experience with German Shepherds, I would guess that Major needs a job. Plus, all those people coming and going, around his people and his senior pack member that he needs to protect, in a new place, and he’s in that hormonal teenage independent stage. Someone needed to tell him what his job was. They didn’t, so he decided, it’s ‘guard my family from everyone else’. Definitely some time with a trainer in a calmer, more structured environment would help. And getting a little older. 6 months – 2 years is a difficult age behaviorally for most dogs. Then work with a trainer at the White House. I noticed the Obama’s first dog was a little unruly at first, but later it was obvious that both dogs had good training. (I taught dog training classes for several years)
    Fun fact: I have GSPs, who love to run and run and run, and every GSD we encounter at the dog park plays traffic cop and tries to get them to slow down after a couple of circuits. Doesn’t work with my bossy girl but they give it their best try, lol.

    • Sansa says:

      this is probably it. Major’s still young, impulsive, and likely was being overstimulated in the WH environment. he probably was giving off warnings that people didn’t read correctly before biting. he just needs some training in a calmer environment. At first I felt upset that Champ had to be sent home too, but he might appreciate the break!

  14. S808 says:

    Champ: “Now why am I in it???”

  15. fluffy_bunny says:

    I’m hoping that they’re headed back to DE for some training and they will be back at the White House soon. They could contain them to the residence and only allow them on the lawn on leashes or when no one else is around. They don’t need to be roaming all of the WH if there’s an issue.

  16. MattyLove says:

    Agreed. A biting dog is a stressed/threatened dog. I can’t imagine how stressful the white house environment could be for some pets. I think it is kind to Major to send him home where he feels safe.

  17. Faithmobile says:

    Major was adopted as a companion for Champ so separating them doesn’t make sense. I’m suspicious of the biting story, innocent until proven guilty!

  18. Mel says:

    The dogs have been thrust into a new environment, that’s a lot for a rescue puppy who might have been in a bad situation before. They’ll be fine.

  19. Ann says:

    It’s good that they are both going because they are likely bonded and will do better together. I hope the Bidens get another dog or pet of some kind for the Whitehouse. Personally, I love the idea of a big tortoise in the Whitehouse. The first First Tortoise. Let’s do it America!

  20. Lunasf17 says:

    Couldn’t they just get him trained better or keep him away from extra people? I hope the dogs get back to the White House safely for everyone.

  21. Veronica S. says:

    German shepherds are decent sized dogs, and they’ll do some damage if they get a good hold on you. IMO, I find the breed a little high strung. My friends have two trained service shepherds and had a (mild) biting situation when the wife startled the one getting into food. It immediately realized what it did and stood down and cried in apology, but yeah. They’re still former predators deep down.

    I hope the officer was okay and is getting proper care. If it’s a stressful environment, it’s probably best for it to go back living with family in their home.

  22. Mina_Esq says:

    German Shepard’s are very intentional dogs, in my experience. I’d want to know more about the circumstances surrounding the incident before I condemn the good boy.

  23. Reece says:

    Animals know. Always!
    Security might be sus.

    That said, maybe he needs a little refresh in his training especially in a new environment with a lot more people around.

  24. Jaded says:

    My experience with german shepherds is all good. He was an utter mushball, goofy and gentle with our cats. I think this is likely a tempest in a teapot.

  25. DLP says:

    This story has been denied on Twitter via The Oval Pawffice Fans and the statement made is that it was a planned trip and any time Dr. Biden returns to Delaware, the dogs go with her.

  26. Soupie says:

    Major probably objects to all that rancid fast food smell. He’s a dog. Those smells are residual. Half kidding.
    Signed, dogmom of 2.

  27. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    If he did bite someone, I wonder if he was moved into the White House will all the unfamiliar crowds of people too quickly? Maybe he needed more adjustment time, time to socialize with and get used to larger groups of strangers. Hopefully if they work on that, he can gradually return. I don’t want to think of him as an aggressive dog that cannot adapt. but a dog that needed more familiarization.

    Of course, if the biting didn’t even happen, well . . . “news” reporting has really gone down hill, so that wouldn’t surprise me.

  28. Alexandria says:

    Major, were you silent or were you silenced?

  29. Coco says:

    I think Sean Spicer dressed up as the Easter Bunny again, and that’s who Major bit.

  30. Coco says:

    Sean Spicer was skulking around the bushes dressed as the Easter Bunny, and Major had to do it.

  31. Annetommy says:

    It’s not difficult to see why a protective breed would find it hard to tolerate strangers coming and going all day on their patch, but hopefully a quick remedial training course might be in order in Delaware. Look out for the Fox News headline ‘Hell Hounds: what can be done about the Demon Dogs?’

  32. death by bacon says:

    The Obamas dogs never bit anyone 🙃

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      They came into the White House as puppies so were basically used to it. Major is still adjusting to the move and all of the new people. Maybe whoever was bit didn’t recognize the signals he was giving to back off.

  33. Giuliano says:

    In the Australian news it was reported the bite was minor and the guard was back to work in a few hours after basic medical treatment. Maybe the guard didn’t handle him properly ? Dogs bite because they are scared or stressed . I always question what the human did to provoke a bite, It’s unfair to then presume the dog has an aggressive streak. I really hope both Major and Champ return. Why couldn’t the guard just not be allowed to handle either dog from now on?