The Bidens welcomed a new German Shepherd puppy, Commander Biden

commander biden

Let’s do the good news first: President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden have welcomed a new addition to their family. They’ve adopted a ten-week-old German Shepherd puppy named Commander!! The Bidens’ social media accounts posted a video and photo of the puppy with big ears, and he looks like a joyful handful. The Bidens mourned the death of their dog Champ over the summer – Champ was 13 years old and a very good dog. Commander was a gift from Joe Biden’s brother James Biden, and Commander arrived at the White House on Monday.

The other good news: Dr. Jill Biden is possibly going to finally get her cat. Getting a cat was her dream, and she even talked about her desire for a kitty on the 2020 campaign trail. It was said that if Joe won the White House, Jill would get a cat. There were no cats throughout 2021, but the New York Times reports that the Bidens want a cat who is currently with a foster family. Dr. Jill’s office is seemingly confirming that Kitty Biden (a girl cat) will be moving into the White House in January. It sounds like Kitty Biden isn’t a kitten! Hm. We’ll see.

And the bad news: Major Biden is going to be rehomed with another family. Major had a tough adjustment to the White House, because he thought he was in charge of protecting his dad. Major apparently bit (or I would say nipped) at some White House staffers and Secret Service agents. Major has been in and out of training programs and the Bidens really tried to make it work, but now he’s going somewhere else to live. The White House says Major will “live in a quieter environment with family friends. This is not in reaction to any new or specific incident, but rather a decision reached after several months of deliberation as a family and discussions with experts.”

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

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Backgrid.

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28 Responses to “The Bidens welcomed a new German Shepherd puppy, Commander Biden”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Commander is adorable!!!

    That’s sad for Major, but honestly its also probably the best choice for him. I imagine life in the White House is fairly chaotic for a dog, with parents who are traveling a good deal, unknown people moving about in “his space” constantly, etc. It will probably be a lot easier for Commander, because he’ll grow up there, but for an older dog to come into that environment – I can see how it would be stressful for Major. I’m sure the Bidens will still see him and he’ll get plenty of love in his new home.

    • HelloDolly! says:

      Yes, and didn’t the other Biden dog pass away? Poor Major was probably so stressed–new place, strangers following his dad and mom, loss of companion. This makes me sad, but I do think Major will thrive in a more calm household.

    • Anony83 says:

      (a) Agreed! Look at that little fluff ball.

      (b) Both of my dogs have trouble adjusting to new places even when we’re just visiting my in-laws! I can’t imagine how much the stimuli of all those strangers must have scared poor Major.

      And while I know it reads a bit like Major’s being sent to “the farm upstate” – the reference to good family friends makes me think these are probably friends who are taking Major in.

  2. Erica says:

    I am sad about Major but it makes sense and it’s a family friend so they will continue to see him. Poor Major had such a difficult time adjusting.

    Commander is the cutest though and when I saw the video I SCREAMED. I love German Shepherds and once I get a house I want one. I live in a condo now with barely any yard so it doesn’t make sense for me to get a large dog at the moment.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    I hope Major will be happy in his new environment. He will be with friends so the Bidens will still see him. I worried for Major at the White House as the far right, like Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk, were actively calling for him to be put down and were also encouraging their minions to provoke Major so they would have reason to demand it.

    Commander has giant paws; he’s going to be a big boy!

    Waiting for Kitty Biden with great anticipation

  4. Seraphina says:

    Feel good story. Thank you. I know German Shepards are great dogs but growing up our neighbor had one and it chased us and protected his family so well that we were petrified of the dog.
    And Jill, I hear you. We have a kitty (now 4 years old) and she is all attitude and we love her all the more for it. I hope she gets her wish.
    Congrats to the First Family.

  5. LovesitinNM says:

    I wonder why they don’t get a female GSD. I did a lot of reading about the breed before I chose one as our family pet. The main consideration for me was the males tend to focus on one person and get protective but the females are more willing to be a family pet.
    And the size! Males can get more than 50lbs larger than females.
    I’m glad they found a more relaxing environment for Major. My dog has a tendency toward nervousness as well. Anything out of place she barks at until she knows it’s not a threat. Sometimes funny, sometimes annoying.

    • notasugarhere says:

      My grandmother had both male and female GSD through the years. The females were just as one-person obsessed and (at times dangerously) protective as the males.

      • H says:

        Yes, female GSDs tend to fixate more. Last April, I got a German Shepherd puppy, a female. It had been my dream for a long while to have one. She was high energy and bouncy bouncy bouncy. But sweet as the day is long.

        Unfortunately my 10-year-old Labrador kept attacking her. Like the Bidens dogs, they were sent to training, but it didn’t work. I decided to rehome my German Shepherd with my dog walker. This way I still get to see her and I know she’s doing well. Sometimes you have to make the best decision for the dog. And it seems that’s what the Bidens did for Major.

        I’m so happy they got Commander. Those ears.

  6. Abby says:

    Aw I’m sad about Major but it sounds like the best choice.

    I squealed when I saw this pic of Commander. SUCH A CUTIE. And I am so happy for Dr. Jill! We fostered to adopt two kittens January 2021 after our elderly cat and dog passed away fall 2020. These two hooligans have enriched our lives so much! Hopefully Kitty Biden will not claw up the upholstery!

  7. t fanty fan says:

    I am loving the new puppy and excited for the new kitty! I must say how wonderful it was that the Biden family tried all kinds of training, and when that failed they found a home for Major instead of sending him to heaven knows where-it speaks really well of them that they tried so hard to help the dog adjust. I hope he will be much happier in his new home!

  8. Lumpy says:

    Everyone who is saying that they think Major will do great in his new home clearly have never owned a GSD. They are a one family dog and transitioning to another family is incredibly hard for them and the new family.

    • BlondieR says:

      My parents first Shepard was a rehome, and it was because the original family wasn’t home a lot and they lived in a small house in a city. He got to come live in the country and there was always someone around. He did very well to adjust.
      Though, the subsequent Shepards my parents have got, I doubt they would rehome easily, especially their current one, who dislikes anyone outside our family.
      Wishing Major a smooth transition!

    • Deb says:

      Lumpy, you are so right. GSDs are very one person, one family loyal. Poor Major, that poor dog has no way of understanding or processing what is happening to him. He has a family he loves and he’s just being yanked away from them for reasons he will never understand. I know the Biden’s tried all different ways to integrate him into his new environment but at the end of the day he’s being banished from his family for being who he is. No amount of sympathy for the Biden’s will make that better for Major. Rehoming is just a euphemism for “we love you but we can’t handle your behavior so we’re sending you away to make it easier for us”. I hope his new family is very good to him. It’s the least he deserves after being cast aside.

      • Abby says:

        OK but truly, how do you handle a dog who bites the people around the owner? When they’ve tried multiple training methods? And the owner’s job means living and being around other people ALL the time? What solution do y’all suggest?

        This is a liability for the Bidens and really, our country. What if he bit and severely injured say, a foreign leader? I am sad for Major and the Bidens, but this seems like the best option.

      • Tessa says:

        Biden had a rather once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here. It’s not like they decided to move into posher digs and dumped the dog for that. Humans even sometimes leave other humans they love behind because we have to make tough choices for ourselves and our families.

    • Dee says:

      You can’t say Major won’t be happy. A quieter, less stimulating home might be just right for him. My friend has taken in shepherds like Major and they’ve adjusted. We are working with my late FIL’s little terrier, who was very protective of him, and she is slowly working out that every stranger is not a threat to our home and well-being. It takes time, but give the dog a chance.

    • Theia says:

      Not necessarily. My MIL got an adult GS rescue and he adapted beautifully. He fit right in with her and all her family coming and going, and was very gentle with and protective of the visiting grandkids. He sure did sound ferocious to any strangers approaching the house though!

  9. AmelieOriginal says:

    I wonder why they decided to get a new puppy and rehome Major at the same time? Or maybe Major’s been living at the new home for awhile and it’s just been made public. They probably missed having a dog around after Champ died which I totally get. I bet had they never moved into the White House they would have kept Major. But living in a house with so many people coming and going can be stressful for a dog with territory issues and it’s definitely not an environment for a nervous animal. It’s too bad they had to rehome him but sometimes it’s the only you can do. At least they still get to see him since he’s with family friends.

    I had a friend who rehomed one of her schnauzers after her first husband died, he was more aggressive than the first schnauzer she had gotten, always riling the other dog up. He apparently bit her toddler son and she was always hyper vigilant when he was in her son’s presence. She had trainers come in but she eventually gave him to a schnauzer rescue to be rehomed. That coupled with the grief of losing her first husband, it was too much to handle (she has since remarried and is expecting another baby with her second husband). The first dog became his chill and calm self again and she no longer had to worry about her son’s safety.

  10. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    As a cat mom I am ALL in for Dr. FLOTUS getting her kitty at last!!!! Huzzah!!!
    I think the new good boi Commander is too stinkin adorable.
    My heart hurts for the loss of Champ. That’s the absolute worst
    I hope Major has a glorious life with his new family and I bet the Biden’s hated doing that, but sometimes it’s all you can do for everyone involved

  11. Lindsey Workman says:

    Read on the official DOTUS IG account that Major is staying with a family member, most likely someone he is already accustomed to, and loves.
    It also says that he’ll still see POTUS and FLOTUS on weekends, Biden goes back to Delaware almost every weekend.
    So in my opinion, “rehoming” feels a little false. It seems more like he’s been with this member of the family alot, and is just going to stay in Delaware instead of going back and forth to DC.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah I’m looking at that now, it says he spends weekends with Joe and Jill and can come to DC whenever he wants to. So it doesn’t even sound like he was “rehomed,” it sounds like the White House environment was too stressful for him so now he stays in Delaware with (I’m assuming) whoever he stays with when Jill is away for long periods of time (remember that story from 6 months ago or so about how Major had been “banished” to DE but the reality was that the plan had always been that the dogs would go to DE when Dr. Jill had to travel for more than 2-3 days.)

    • Lightpurple says:

      Just read that too. The account is maintained by one of the Biden granddaughter’s and often features pictures of Major with another family dog Charlie and a family cat Winston. Major is just relocating to another Biden home.

      • Ohlizbennet says:

        That account is not managed by the granddaughter. She confirmed that after someone accused her of running it when the account was doing a fundraiser and they did not know where the funds went.

  12. DeluxeDuckling says:

    Commander is a hilarious name for a puppy

  13. Willow says:

    I would not want to live at the White House either! All those people, in and out, no privacy, lots of noise, too big. We ask a LOT from dogs and many people don’t realize how stressful change is for them. Kudos to the Bidens for doing all they could to help Major adjust and for making a decision that was best for him AND safest for the White House staff.

  14. Aradia says:

    Commander is a gorgeous boy! My GSD is just over a year old. He is the sweetest derpiest goofball. But don’t make any sudden moves towards our home, me or my husband because he will rip your throat out. We had extensive training on recall so that we could control him verbally if he wasn’t on leash or in his backyard and the lawn guys came. He is so attached to us that if he hears one of us taking a shower he howls and pitches a fit because that usually means his pack members are leaving the house without him. Our vet congratulated us on his training and how sweet and gentle he is. She actually told us most GSD at the practice have to be muzzled for exams and treatment.

  15. jferber says:

    I love the Bidens. I just do. They are good people.