WASHINGTON (CNN/WJZ) — The two German Shepherds belonging to President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were returned to the Biden family home in Delaware last week after aggressive behavior at the White House involving Major Biden, but both will return to Washington "soon," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Major, who was adopted by Biden in November 2018 from a Delaware animal shelter, "was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual," Psaki said.
The White House's medical unit handled the person's injury, Psaki added.
Both Major and Champ, the Bidens' other dog, were set to return to Delaware this week to be cared for by family friends while the first lady travels, Psaki said, calling the dogs' departure "previously planned."
Photo via CNN
Major, who is 3 years old, is the younger of the two Biden dogs, and has been known to display agitated behavior on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and "charging" at staff and security, according to two people CNN spoke with about the dog's demeanor at the White House. The older of Biden's German Shepherds, Champ, is approximately 13 and has slowed down physically due to his advanced age.
The two dogs like to remain together, says one person familiar with the pets, something Biden noted last month. Biden said he adopted Major in part as a companion for Champ, to keep the older dog busy and active.
"We got Major, he's a rescue dog. We asked the vet, 'What can we do to keep Champ going?' and he said, 'Get him a young dog.' They're buddies," Biden told the media on Valentine's Day while walking the two German Shepherds unleashed on the North Lawn.
Champ and Major moved into the White House in January, less than a week after Biden's inauguration.
"I've been getting obsessed with getting our dogs settled because we have an old dog and we have a very young dog," Jill Biden told Kelly Clarkson last month during an appearance on "The Kelly Clarkson Show." "They have to take the elevator, they're not used to that, and they have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So that's what I've been obsessed with, getting everybody settled and calm."
Biden also said the only place the dogs are not allowed is on the furniture, though she admitted to catching Major on the couch. "They run all over," said Biden.
Playtime with Major was the culprit of Joe Biden's November foot injury, which resulted in hairline fractures and the wearing of a corrective boot.
Biden described the incident during an interview with CNN shortly thereafter. "What happened was I got out of the shower. I got a dog and anybody who's been around my house knows — dropped, little pup dropped a ball in front of me, and for me to grab the ball," Biden explained. "And I'm walking through this little alleyway to get to the bedroom, and I grabbed the ball like this and he ran. And I'm joking, running after him and grab his tail. And what happened was that he slid on a throw rug, and I tripped on the rug he slid on," Biden said. "Oh man, not a very exciting story."
A person familiar with the dogs' schedule confirms to CNN they are in Delaware, but noted they have been known to stay there with minders when the first lady is out of town. Biden departed Monday afternoon for a two-day trip to Washington and California to visit military bases.
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