Biden's dog isn't the problem. We need to look at Commander's owners Joe and Jill
What kind of leader allows his dog to bite Secret Service members and threaten White House staff for months before finally being forced to do something about it?
When I was about eight years old, I took my mother’s live-in-boyfriend’s dog for a walk around the block after school one day.
On my way home, my neighbor’s German Shepherd ran out of their gate and came barreling towards our tiny terrier, ready to rip him limb from limb.
I bent over reflexively to protect him, I knew what the neighbor’s dog was capable of. He had bitten two of my friends on our block already; one on the leg, the other on the hand. And that friend needed surgery to correct the damage.
I was able to protect my dog, but at the cost of my own physical safety. The neighbor’s German shepherd bit through my right buttocks; his teeth met in the middle of my flesh. I had to have the wound cleaned out in the emergency room, and to this day, I have nerve damage.
Since that injury 30 years ago, I have favored my left side, sitting on the other side. As a result, as I grew, my right leg became shorter, and as a result my hips and back are out of alignment, causing me daily pain and discomfort.
I thought of that neighbor’s dog and my childhood attack after learning that yet another Biden dog had been banished from the White House. The older dog, Major, was banished to the Biden’s Delaware home in December 2021, and now, their younger dog Commander has been as well.
Axios reported, "The dogs' attacks on Secret Service agents have been well documented, but the extent of the dogs' aggressiveness toward the White House residence staff has not been reported previously. Many members of the residence staff — the several dozen people who maintain the White House as housekeepers, curators, chefs, butlers, carpenters, and more — have been fearful of Major and Commander, the younger dog who remained at the residence until recently."
Axios reported, "A former White House official who regularly interacted with both Commander and Major told Axios: ‘The first family and their inner circle refuse to engage in any problem-solving discussions to protect the agents and [Executive Residence] staff.’"
What does this tell me? The Bidens know that their dog is a danger to those whose job it is to serve and protect their family, and yet, they refused for months to take any corrective action.
My neighbors also refused to handle the out-of-control situation with their dog until I was the third child it bit. As a result their dog had to be destroyed following so many attacks. It was deeply unfair to their family, everyone who lived nearby – who was afraid to walk past their home -- and to their own beloved dog.
That’s not to say we are the perfect dog owners now, or that our poodle mix couldn’t use more training. But when we were deciding what kind of dog we were going to add to our family, we decided that given our family dynamics, with so many young children, that we needed a puppy who was specifically bred to be friendly and forgiving.
A rescue dog with an unknown history, possibly from an aggressive breed, was an unwise decision for our family, and it was equally ill-advised for the Bidens. And yet, they chose to get another shepherd and add him to what is, according to their own description, a chaotic environment.
The refusal of the Biden family to care for their staff or their dogs is a serious mark on their character.
In March 2021, the president, in an interview with ABC, spoke about Major, who had just bitten a Secret Service agent on his detail, "He's a sweet dog — 85% of the people there love him… All he does is lick them and wag his tail." Biden downplayed the bite itself, claiming, "Major was a rescue pup. Major did not bite someone and penetrate the skin."
The following year, an agent was sent to the hospital following a bite, and in September Commander bit a Secret Service agent, the 11th known biting incident.
In the 1965 book "The Koehler Method of Dog Training," a Bible of sorts for trainers of difficult dogs, W.R. Koehler says of biting, "Since you’re dealing with a dog that could cause the death or serious injury of a person, let there be no compassionate trembling before the necessity of stern measures."
During his life, Koehler trained thousands of dogs and through his training methods, which some call harsh, he was able to rehabilitate dogs that would have been destroyed otherwise. Dogs like Major and Commander were exactly the kind of dogs Koehler was able to save from their own behavior; protecting the dog and those around it.
A biting German shepherd in the White House, a bustling place filled with visiting dignitaries, Secret Service agents, household staff, not to mention the Biden grandchildren, is deserving of the stern measures Koehler advocated. And so, consider Joe Biden’s response in 2021 to the news that that Major had bitten an agent, where he downplayed the bite and Major’s actions. Is there any doubt that the measures taken over the course of the last several years were insufficiently stern?
The Bidens owe it to their family, their staff, and their own dogs to take corrective action for their dog’s behavior and recognize how critically important an immediate solution is. Their refusal to do so after rehoming Major, and then their decision to acquire yet another rescue German shepherd and then refuse to train or correct his behavior, speaks volumes about their personal commitment to accountability.
For the commander in chief to have so little regard for the agents personally putting their lives on the line, and for a president who should exemplify personal responsibility for his grandchildren and America’s kids, to shirk it in his own household, speaks volumes about Joe Biden's character.
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