It’s a dog-eat-dog world — but that doesn’t give pet owners in the Big Apple, or even the White House, license to let their aggressive pups run amok.
President Joe Biden’s nearly 2-year-old German shepherd, Commander, is being accused of biting at least seven of his Secret Service staffers.
The most egregious documented incident, which occurred on Nov. 3, left one agent in a “considerable amount of pain” and in need of hospital care, per newly unveiled emails released under the Freedom of Information Act to conservative legal group Judicial Watch.
A White House spokesperson, however, has chalked the alleged repeated attacks up to the “stress” of executive branch-living.
But Manhattan dog behavioral expert Andrea Arden told The Post that a hound’s surroundings shouldn’t be to blame for unruliness. Instead, she said the onus is on the pet parent to address the canine’s misconduct at the first sign of ferociousness.
“If I had a dog that was living in a chaotic household like the White House, and the dog was being aggressive,” said Arden, a pet trainer of 30 years, “it‘s my responsibility to remove the dog from that environment, and maybe keep them in the residence area or do some muzzle training.”
She continued: “As a dog owner, you shouldn’t have blinders on.
“You need to be honest about their behavior and preferences, and [remove them] from situations you think may put them at risk [of injuring a person or another animal],” urged Arden.
Biden obtained Commander in early 2022 after rehousing his first dog, Major — also a German shepherd charged with biting a slew of Secret Service members — with family friends in 2021.
According to the White House emails, Commander terrorized POTUS’ patrolmen on several occasions between September 2022 through January.
During the Nov. 3 assault, the dog confronted an agent seated at the bottom of a stairwell and launched into an unprovoked attack, sinking its teeth into the victim’s tricep, as well as their leg.
Officials claimed they were forced to use a steel cart to shield themselves from Commander’s jaws — a tactic the specialized servicemen reportedly used to ward off the dog during a number of mauling skirmishes.
Following the bite, a separate Secret Service officer wrote in an email: “What a joke … if it wasn’t their dog he would already have been put down — freaking clown needs a muzzle.”
Arden says a muzzle may be just what the doctor ordered.
“It’s part of animal husbandry,” she said of the apparatus. In muzzle training, the tool is often placed over the pooch’s mouth and nose to help it remain calm in hectic scenarios and limit its ability to bite.
“If the dog is going to be in an environment where he’ll be exposed to other people and behave in a dangerous way, I’d have it in a muzzle,” continued Arden, noting the damage an untamed barker could not only do to its target but also to its owner’s finances.
“If your dog bites people, talk about the potential for a lawsuit,” she said. “I’m no lawyer, but I would imagine that if you know your dog has aggression issues and you don’t properly manage them, you’re probably at a greater risk for [litigation].”
So far, no legal action pertaining to Commander’s conduct has been made public.
A representative for Jill Biden said in a statement that the first family is working with White House personnel to address the issues internally.
“According to the Secret Service, each incident referenced was treated similarly to comparable workplace injuries, with relevant notifications and reporting procedures followed,” said FLOTUS’ communications director Elizabeth Alexander.
She went on to add: “[The Bidens] have been partnering with the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff on additional leashing protocols and training, as well as establishing designated areas for Commander to run and exercise.”
And Arden believes most wayward pups can be rehabilitated with proper intervention from the owner.
“If you live in a busy house or building or city like New York, and you know your dog is reactive to other dogs or people, be considerate of others,” she said, doubling down on the importance of training and taking accountability.
“That’s part of being a responsible dog owner.”
#NYC #dog #expert #calls #White #House #blaming #stress #Commanders #biting #problem