The White House has confirmed that Major, one of Joe Biden’s two German shepherd dogs, was involved in an incident which left an unidentified person with a minor injury.
Major and his fellow presidential pooch, Champ, were reported missing from the White House on Monday.
On Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed details reported by CNN, telling reporters Major was surprised by an “unfamiliar person”.
Psaki would not confirm if a Secret Service agent was injured but she said the human hurt in the encounter with the startled canine was treated by the White House medical unit and required no further medical attention.
The press secretary added that the Bidens’ dogs had already been scheduled to return to Delaware for a few days, while first lady Jill Biden completed a west coast trip to visit military bases.
“The dogs will return to the White House soon,” Psaki said.
That will be a relief for the many Americans thrilled dogs have returned to the White House, after the previous first family kept no pets.
Donald Trump still found himself embroiled in his own canine controversy, however, in November 2019, over whether Conan, an army dog being honored for bravery, was a good boy or a good girl.
Major, who is three years old, is the first White House dog to have been adopted from a shelter. At the White House, CNN reported, he “has been known to display agitated behavior … including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security”.
Psaki was asked if Major would be euthanized. She indicated he would not be.
“Major Biden is a member of the family,” she said.