Biden's German shepherd Major involved in White House incident resulting in a 'minor injury'

WASHINGTON — The Bidens' three-year-old German shepherd Major was involved in an incident Monday in which he was "surprised by an unfamiliar person, and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.

The White House medical unit handled the incident, said Psaki, who added that "no further treatment was needed." The press secretary declined to say whether a U.S. Secret Service agent was involved in the incident.

Major and the first family's older German shepherd, Champ, were sent to the Bidens' Wilmington, Delaware, home and are being watched by family friends, which Psaki said was pre-planned because first lady Jill Biden is traveling this week.

"It had been previously planned already for the dogs to be cared for by family friends in Delaware during Dr. Biden's travels to military bases this week," Psaki said at the White House briefing. "She has a three-day trip this week, and the dogs will return to the White House soon."

Psaki noted that the dogs "are still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people."

Earlier in the day, Psaki said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that it's typical for the dogs to be in Delaware when Jill Biden is traveling. The first lady is in Washington state as part of a West Coast trip to tour military bases and meet with service members' families and is not expected to return until Wednesday.

The Bidens adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018 after he and five other puppies were exposed to a toxic substance. They got Champ as a puppy in 2008 before they moved into the vice president's official residence at the Naval Observatory.

Not many people have Oval Office walk-in privileges. Happy to report that these two are on the list.

— President Biden (@POTUS) February 23, 2021

Both dogs have been seen off-leash with the Bidens outside the White House, and President Joe Biden recently noted that the canines have walk-in privileges for the Oval Office.

It’s unclear when the two dogs will return to the White House.

Major's not the only German Shepherd with that name to have faced biting accusations in the White House. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's dog Major "was known to chase White House maids to the point that they had to use their brooms and dust mops to keep him at bay," according to the Presidential Pet Museum.

The previous Major also reportedly nearly caused an international incident with then-British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. According to author Stanley Coren, Major nearly ripped the seat off MacDonald’s pants and a replacement pair of trousers had to be found before he could leave the White House. Major was sent to live in Hyde Park afterwards.

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