President Biden announced Monday, December 20, 2021, that he and first lady Dr. Jill Biden have a new puppy.
“Welcome to the White House, Commander,” Biden tweeted, along with a photo of a German shepherd puppy bounding in the grass.
The puppy’s presence was first reported by CNN’s Kate Bennett, who said the dog was spotted playing on the South Lawn of the White House earlier Monday. Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for Jill Biden, said Commander was a gift from Biden’s brother and sister-in-law, James and Sara Biden, to the president.
President Biden later shared a short video of Commander adjusting to his new surroundings: greeting the president with a tail wag, walking into the White House, sitting down by a fireplace decorated for the holidays, and catching a tennis ball thrown by the nation’s actual commander in chief.
The Bidens brought two other German shepherds to the White House this year: The older one, Champ, died in June at age 13. The younger one, Major, has been spending most of his time in Delaware after biting at least two people in the White House.
“After consulting with dog trainers, animal behaviorists, and veterinarians, the First Family has decided to follow the experts’ collective recommendation that it would be safest for Major to live in a quieter environment with family friends,” LaRosa told The Washington Post.
He added that it was not in reaction to any new or specific incident, but a decision reached “after several months of deliberation as a family and discussions with experts.”
The Bidens also had indicated early on that they had plans to adopt a cat, with Jill Biden going so far as to say that one — an apparent female — was “waiting in the wings.” However, no White House cat has yet materialized, much to the chagrin of the president’s feline-loving constituency.
LaRosa confirmed Monday that the new cat is a female and said she will join the Bidens in the White House in January.