President Joe Biden’s dogs have been banished from the White House after one of them caused a “minor injury” to someone he did not know.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained the incident on Tuesday by saying the dogs “are still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and people”.
She said plans were in place to send the dogs to Delaware for care while President Biden’s wife, Jill, travelled this week.
The first lady flew out on Monday afternoon to spend Tuesday and Wednesday touring US military installations in Washington state and California.
Jill Biden has been trying to get the German shepherds, Major and Champ, settled into new routines at the White House, which can be a hard place even for a human to get used to.
The president said a few weeks ago that he is still getting used to the trappings of his office.
“I’ve been obsessed with getting our dogs settled because we have (an) old dog and we have a very young dog,” the first lady told talk show host Kelly Clarkson in a recent interview.
“They have to take the elevator. They’re not used to that. They have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them,” she said. “So, you know, that’s what I’ve been obsessed with, just getting everybody settled and calm.”
Major, who is about three years old, burst onto the national scene late last year after President Biden broke a bone in his right foot when he slipped during playtime with the dog at their home near Wilmington.
The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association.
They got Champ, who at age 13 is less spry and likely calmer, from a breeder. He joined the family after Joe Biden was elected vice president in 2008.
The dogs moved to the White House shortly after the inauguration in January.
White House furniture is off limits, but Major has showed his disobedient side.
“I caught him on the couch the other day, but he quickly jumped down,” the first lady told Clarkson in last month’s interview. The dogs are allowed to run around the South Lawn, she said.
Their favourite spot is “wherever we are. Even if my door’s closed, they’re sitting right outside the door like, ‘Let me in, let me in’,” Jill Biden said.
CNN, citing unidentified sources, reported that the dogs were sent back to Delaware after Major had what was described as a “biting incident” with an unidentified member of White House security.
Ms Psaki said the person was treated by the White House medical unit “with no further treatment needed”.
It was unclear how serious the incident was, but it appears to have been concerning enough to warrant removing the dogs from the White House.