Biden’s Dog Commander Bites Secret Service Officers 10 Times In Four Months

An organization with a focus on government transparency and accountability announced today that it received 194 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

biden dog commander

These records reveal 10 attacks by President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd, Commander, on officers and agents of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) between October 2022 and January 2023. It’s worth noting that these records do not include any possible recent events. In several cases, the agents required medical care, including at a hospital.

The organization obtained the release of these records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Secret Service, a component of Homeland Security, failed to respond adequately to a December 2022 request for “records related to incidents of aggression and bites involving the Biden family dog, ‘Commander.’” The request was made following a tip about the dog’s behavior.

Acquired in December 2021, Commander, a pure-bred German Shepherd, replaced another German Shepherd, Major. Major was reportedly “given to family friends” following a series of attacks on Secret Service and White House staff. (In April 2022, the organization released records detailing multiple attacks and damages to Secret Service members by Major at both the White House and Biden’s lake home in Wilmington, DE.)

On November 3, 2022, a Secret Service official at “JOCATDESK” [Joint Operations Center Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge] emails colleagues in the Presidential Protective Division:

Commander bite [sic] UD [Uniform Division] officer [redacted] at post [redacted] two times, one time in the upper right arm and a second bite on the officer’s thigh. WH [White House] medical treated the officer and made the decision to have [redacted] transported to [redacted] Hospital.

Later that day, an email from an unnamed captain of the Uniform Division mentioned that he was informed the dog had received all the required vaccinations.

In a report sent via email on November 4, 2022, additional details about the attack from the previous day were provided. A Division officer, who suffered bites on the arm and thigh, had to use a steel cart as protection during another attack.

Officer [redacted] advised that ‘Commander’ came down the stairs and walked toward [redacted]. Officer [redacted] advised [redacted] was sitting with [redacted] arms crossed and Commander bite [sic] [redacted] arm (tricep area) then when [redacted] stood up Commander bite [sic] in the leg (quad area). Officer [redacted] stated that the usher did not control the dog and was telling Officer [redacted] to not back up. Officer [redacted] advised that Commander came after [redacted] again and [redacted] had to use a steel cart to sheild [sic] [redacted] self from another attack. Officer [redacted] advised [redacted] was in a considerable amount of pain.

Following the incident, the officer received medical advice and was placed on “restricted duty status” for three days.

biden dog commander 2

In an email exchange on November 5, 2022, between a Uniformed Division officer and the victim of the November 3 attack, the first officer inquires, “[Redacted], are you doing alright? That’s unbelievable, that foolish dog – rolling my eyes [redacted].” The victim responds, “My leg and arm still hurt. He bit me twice and charged at me twice.” The colleague replies, “[Redacted], this is ridiculous – if it were any other dog, it would have been put down already – this silly clown needs a muzzle – I hope you feel better soon [redacted].”

Among the newly acquired records is an email dated October 3, 2022, from an assistant special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division. The subject line of the email reads “Commander:”

FYSA [For Your Situational Awareness]: This evening [redacted] took Commander outside for his usual dog walk through the Rose Garden. As Commander moved through the Palm Room doors, he inflicted a “friendly soft bite” on SA [special agent] [redacted]’s forearm as [redacted] held the door open. Afterwards SA [redacted] told SA [redacted] (Whip) that no skin was broken from the bite and [redacted] business suit was not ripped in any way. [Redacted] was fine. SA [redacted] advised SA [redacted] to have the WH doc look at it, which [redacted] did….
The event seemed to be minor enough that [redacted] didn’t notice that Commander had even made contact with SA [redacted]….
In light of past incidents, I just wanted to keep you all in the loop. Thanks again to Whip for properly handling the situation.

Darryl Volpicelli, an official from the Secret Service, states that he will provide a briefing to the staff.

In an email sent on October 5, 2022, a captain from the Secret Service’s Uniformed Division at the White House Branch contacted colleagues with the subject “Family Pet Incident” and wrote:

At approximately 0706 hours, ERT [Emergency Response Team] Officer-Tech [redacted] was involved in an incident involving the Family pet. While the Family pet was out for their morning walk, the dog jumped on Ofc.-Tech [redacted] and “bite” [sic] at [redacted] arm/wrist area. [Redacted] did not suffer any injuries. The incident was reported to me by Lt. [redacted] in the JOC [Joint Operations Center] and said that the ERT supervisor would be pushing notifications up as well.

In an email to coworkers dated October 26, 2022, an officer from the Uniformed Division writes:

Commander has been exhibiting extremely aggressive behavior. Today, while posted, he came charging at me. The First Lady couldn’t regain control of commander [sic] and he continued to circle me. I believe it’s only a matter of time before an agent/officer is attacked or bit.
He would have bit me today if I didn’t step towards him a couple different times. It was bad enough that the agent on the detail asked if I got bit – just so you’re aware.

On November 10, 2022, a memorandum from the Secret Service recounted an incident involving Commander earlier that day. While First Lady Jill Biden was walking Commander in the Kennedy Garden during a patrol of the White House grounds, the dog attacked a Uniformed Division Secret Service officer. The officer sustained a bite on his left thigh, resulting in “bruising, tenderness, and pain in the bite area.” He received medical attention from the White House medical unit and filed a workplace injury report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In an email to colleagues on November 14, 2022, a Uniformed Division Secret Service officer shared his experience with Commander while stationed at the White House. The subject line of the email was “Family Pet.” The officer described how he heard the dog bark aggressively and saw Commander positioned on the landing of the ushers’ staircase. Feeling threatened, the officer grabbed a nearby black chair and held it in front of himself while moving backward. A White House usher then came out of her office, went up the staircase, and took the dog up to the residence level.

On December 11, 2022, a Special Agent in the Presidential Protective Division of the USSS was attacked in the evening on the South Grounds by Commander. The attack occurred after President Biden had let the dog off the leash outside the White House. The agent recounted the incident in writing:

The injuries included a bite to the left forearm resulting in bruising and approximately a 1 ½ cm cut and a bite to the right hand on the thumb resulting a 1 cm cut. I received treatment from White House Medical from LTC [redacted]. The injuries were [redacted] and I returned to work the rest of my shift.

Another witness to the incident, an Assistant Special Agent in Charge, provides the following account:

It is to be noted, this occurred after departing the family movie theatre with [redacted] Commander and family members (total 6 participants). POTUS requested to take Commander (on the leash) to the Kennedy Garden. Once at the KG, POTUS took Commander off the leash to run free. I was present to observe [redacted] departing from the Kennedy Garden to move behind [redacted] toward the south ground drive via the internal garden gate when this occurred.

According to an OSHA Form 301, an Injury and Illness Incident Report, there was another dog bite incident on December 16, 2022. During this incident, a Secret Service officer was walking between posts on the White House Complex when a dog bit their left arm. The officer provided a description of the injury, noting it as a “superficial laceration, contusion, soreness, and bruising.”

On December 24, 2022, an officer from the Uniformed Division of the White House Branch USSS sent an email to a colleague with the subject line “Dog Issue:”

Undersigned officer reports incident occurred on 12/23/2022 around 2030 hours at post [redacted]. While first family was coming back from tennis pavilion, [redacted] having her hands being full and no one else around I did try to open the closed door to the deep room for her; at that moment first family dog passed everyone towards the deep room. Having doors not being fully open yet he bit me in my left forearm. One of the SAs [Special Agents] and [redacted] witnessed that incident. Fortunately I was wearing multiple layers of clothing so it didn’t leave any marks.

biden dog commander 3

A Secret Service Inspector updates coworkers on the December 23 event in an email conversation that has been substantially censored and has the subject line “Matters of extreme concern” on December 24, 2022:

I attended officials roll call [redacted] this afternoon. The dog bite issue came up again today. Please see the attached email chain written last evening. Apparently, Officer [redacted] was bitten while posted at [redacted] yesterday. Nearly every official in the room with me today spoke about specific incidents surrounding the First Family’s dog.

The rest of the email, as well as its response, has been withheld. The inspector’s email is then forwarded to Uniformed Division Chief Alfonso Dyson by one of the recipients. The sender adds a note, saying, “FYSA [for your situational awareness] … PPD [Presidential Protection Division] is being notified of the latest incident, but we need to address this issue ASAP collectively.”

In an email chain on January 2, 2023, an incident involving Commander is detailed. The incident occurred while a Technical Security Investigator was investigating an alarm that had gone off at the Bidens’ lake house in Wilmington, DE. The investigator was attacked by the dog when the house sitter opened the front door to talk to the agent. The agent’s account reads:

Commander squeezed his way through the door and immediately bit/latched onto the lower right side of my back. [Redacted] told Commander to get down and assisted in pulling him off. The total incident did not last more than about 10 seconds and Commander went back inside the residence. [Redacted] was apologetic after the incident. After checking my lower back, there’s a 1×1 scratched, bruised spot where Commander grabbed onto and was bleeding consistent of a scratch like rug burn.

Read the document below:

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