Major, the First Dog, Gets His Christmas Wish: A German Shepherd Puppy Named Commander

The commander in chief has a new namesake in the White House, as it was revealed Monday that President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden had adopted a new puppy, aptly named Commander.

The purebred German shepherd puppy was spotted playing on the South Lawn of the White House by CNN‘s Kate Bennett, and the news of his arrival was confirmed by the president’s Twitter account later in the afternoon. “Welcome to the White House, Commander,” the tweet read.

An additional tweet sent out 30 minutes later showed a short clip of the president playing with Commander, as well as the first couple leading the puppy into his new home and getting him acclimated to the surroundings of the Executive Mansion.

White House officials confirmed the arrival of Commander and provided additional information on the new first dog. Born on September 1, Commander was a birthday gift to the president from his brother James Biden and sister-in-law Sara Biden.

The Bidens have another German shepherd, a rescue dog named Major, which they brought home three years ago. However, Major has recently been living with the Bidens’ family friends in Wilmington, Delaware, after reported troubles with his training at the White House.

Major reportedly bit at least two people during his time in D.C., and the White House stated that experts felt the dog would be best living in Delaware among “a quieter environment with family friends.”

Presidential Dogs
President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden received a new family member, a German shepherd puppy named Commander. Here, Major can be seen on the left alongside previous first dog Champ, who died in June.
Mandel Ngan/Getty

However, that didn’t stop Major from expressing his excitement at receiving a new brother, especially after his previous companion, the Biden’s 13-year-old dog, Champ, passed away in June.

The Oval Pawffice, an unaffiliated Twitter account for the first pets that tweets from the dogs’ point of view, said that Major was “pawsitively thrilled to welcome him to the family.”

“This is the best Christmas gift ever, my wish came true. #NewDOTUS [Dog of the United States]!” the tweet continued.

President Biden is a known dog lover, and has previously spoken of his lifelong love of German shepherds. However, in addition to Commander, there will soon reportedly be another four-legged first family member.

Rumors had long circulated that the Bidens would be adding a cat to the mix, and the first lady said in an interview this past April that the cat was “waiting in the wings.” However, little had been said of the cat beyond this.

At least part of the mystery was unshrouded during Commander’s reveal, as Michael LaRosa, Jill Biden’s press secretary, said that a female cat will be arriving at the White House in January.

In addition to the first couple’s dog, another pooch named Charlie, who is reportedly owned by President Biden’s granddaughter Naomi, has been seen hanging around the family during their trips back to Delaware.

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.


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