closeup of german shepherd dog
Behavior & Training

Banning Major and Champ from the White House

The headline reads “Banning Major and Champ from the White House,” and dog lovers are up in arms over it. In fact, CNN reached out to me on this hot topic in the dog world. Here’s what I told them and how you can read the entire story.

Come on, man! The first shelter dog to live in the White House, Major the German Shepherd, has entered and exited as if through a revolving door. As someone in one of the nearly 60% (depending on who you ask) US households that own a pet, I’m not happy with President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden’s decision to send Major and his older companion, Champ, back to Delaware after an apparent “biting incident.”

German Shepherd dog
Image courtesy Lesley Juarez/Unsplash

I’m a dog lover of the highest order who writes about dogs for a living, so the news stings extra hard. After attending the virtual “In-dog-uration” of Major and Champ in January (yes, this was a real thing; Josh Groban performed), I looked forward to seeing the Biden dogs on the White House grounds.

I was glad that our commander-In-chief didn’t mind a little dog hair on his clothes, and figured he would surely inspire folks…

Read the entire Banning Major and Champ story on CNN

banning major and champ from the white house
photo courtesy Aletta D Nagy/Unsplash

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve been really ticked off about this since it happened! It wasn’t a bite at all if you ask me, it didn’t break the skin. Poor Major might have nipped that agent, probably out of fear & confusion, but to ban him from his new home and send him away from his family !? How awful Changing a dog’s home is not nothing, it can cause fear, confusion and stress. I think sending them away is a really Bad move. So uncalled for.

  2. I was so bummed out to hear about this. How thrilling and exciting to have the FIRST rescue dog in the White House, then get this news. Shepherds are notoriously protective of their humans, and now they have been moved away from their family. I really hope that the Bidens are able to set up some sort of training so that Major and Champ can come back to the WH.

  3. Thank you for writing about the banishing of Major and Champ. I was very disappointed about the way that this was handled. The dogs were moved into a new, high energy, stressful environment. If you have a dog like Major who was reported to be excitable, barking and charging at people, then you should take responsibility for recognizing and responding sensitively to the dog’s high-stress level to protect the dog and people. Certainly, the Biden’s are in a position to be able to hire a canine behaviorist/trainer to help the dog settle into WH life and could organize the dog’s life to avoid incidents. It could have been a great opportunity to educate the public about how to help a dog deal with the stress of major life changes. But instead, the dog was sent away, luckily to Delaware, but many stressed-out dogs are banished to shelters.

  4. i am very upset over this, first i heard that he bit someone, then i heard that he just growled at someone. it is a new environment. how do we know that he was not provoked. this is ridiculous. they have never had any problems with these dogs til now, so something is not right. did the Biden’s see the incident? so these dogs that they care about so much, are now banned instead of trying to figure out the problem. disgusting.

  5. great article. also the dog was newly adopted, he needed training to be in such a high level atmosphere. it can be explosive, people running around, running past him, people screaming abt what is going on in the country. this really pisses me off.

  6. I rescued 2 Daschunds from out of state. A mom and son. Almost right away, the son starting biting. It was mostly women. I’m an insurance agent! I didn’t get rid of him. I hired a trainer. He had been abused and now was spoiled. He was only protecting his new home the only way he knew how. I have had them for 5 years and they are different dogs. He is the most lovable dog in the world!
    Hire a trainer, Mr. President!

  7. The dog bit someone and had other incidents as well. People in the workplace have the right to feel safe. This trend of endless es excuses for bad dog behaviour has got to stop.

    I travel with my working dogs all over the world. I don’t need to baby them about “changes” and they do not act out, bite people, etc. If a dog is that unstable then HELL NO it should not be in the white house.

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