Attack of the White House Dog, Part II

When I opened the first topic, after the dog’s first biting incident, I wrote:
“Dog bites should be taken seriously, and the bite from a GSD is one of the strongest. But I’m not sure all blame goes to the dog. GSDs are a hyper alert, highly sensitive breed and a 3 year old GSD is an active youngster who needs a lot of exercise, engagement and socialization. Also, the dogs were moved from their familiar environment to one that had new sounds, smells, strangers which can be very disorienting. Frankly, I think the Bidens should have brought in a trainer as soon as they moved to the White House, in order to assess and habilitate the dogs, and perhaps confine the dogs to family quarters and not just assume that they would adapt to a strange, new environment.”

I stand by it. This second bite was described as a “nip”, but the injury did need attention. It is true that GSDs are nippers and nudgers - it’s how they herd. So a nip is not necessarily a bite. However, it does look like this dog - an active,energetic youngster - does need more training than he got in the two weeks’ exile to Delaware. There are two dog experts I can think of who are especially good in analyzing problems and re-training, but it’s also going to take time and consistent reinforcement on the part of the owners. The Bidens are busy people, and I wonder if they’re up to it.

The dog should be relocated to a place where it can get the attention that it needs.

Maybe this dog simply can’t tolerate too many people around him.

I have a grand-dog like that. He’s great around the people and other dogs he knows. We are careful about the situations we let him encounter. Always on leash outside so that if we encounter new people or dogs, we have control over him. Careful about letting him mingle when people come over.

The situation in the White House is probably often chaotic – even in private sections of the house. Always Secret Service guys around. (And not always the same guys, I would presume.) And visitors and maids and butlers and who-knows-who-else. This dog isn’t made for that situation.

I’m fully in agreement with you, Jez. The dog doesn’t belong in the White House. (Although maybe it doesn’t need more attention. It might want less. And he’ll find that outside of the White House fishbowl.)

The Bidens have an opportunity here, to promote the concept of rescue dogs. Some might say that this dog needs to be put down for being a “biter”. But in the public eye, the Bidens could show that there is a place for most any rescue dog, and that there is a way to handle issues such a dog brings to the household – in a way that is not to the detriment of the dog.


And then we have some media outlets reporting that one of the dogs took a dump in the White House.

I totally doubt that the dog did it because it was the White House (though outlets like the NY Post seem to want to cast it as that.)

I hope they can work things out for the sake of the dogs. Someone needs to be responsible for taking care of the dogs’ needs. Let them out when they need to … eliminate. Give them play time. Walks. Feedings. Etc.

When I was a teen, I would have given anything to have the opportunity to be an intern responsible for a president’s dog care. :slight_smile:

That wacky bitin family.

When you’re a famous dog, they let ya do it…

Yeah, I’m 40 and I’ll take that internship today!

So should it’s owner.


This sounds to me like people who have never been around dogs. They surprise it or reach down to pet it and surprise it and it nips at them in a reaction. Being a rescue it might be a learned reaction. My lastest rescue is that way. But if you say it’s name or talk to it and get her attention she is sweet. But you put your hand on her when she doesn’t know it is coming she will nip at you. Mostly just hits you with her nose.

When I fly people bring their dogs. I have never had a problem. Other pilots always seem too. I tell them in most cases it is them not the dog. You have to read the dog like you have to read people.