While no one (grounded in reality) would hold it against you in assuming there are very few "good guys" in the White House at any one time, there's at least one Good Boy (in training) hanging out in the nation's most powerful office — and he's preparing for some company. Major Biden, the younger of President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's two German Shepherds, is preparing to undergo some special training before he's introduced to the newest member of the Biden family: the first feline.
"She's waiting in the wing," Dr. Biden told NBC's TODAY show co-anchor Craig Melvin of the family's latest four-legged friend, an incoming cat sibling. Meanwhile, Major has already started his feline-friendly training. "They took him into a shelter with cats," Dr. Biden explained. "He did fine."
Major, a 3-year-old rescue dog adopted by the Biden family in November 2018 from a Delaware animal shelter, has had a somewhat difficult time adjusting to life in the White House. In early March, Major "nipped" a secret service agent. Luckily, no skin was broken, a secret service agent said at the time, and the incident was described as "extremely minor."
"Champ and Major, the president and first lady's dogs, members of the family, are still getting acclimated and accustomed to their surroundings and new people," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press conference on March 9. "And on Monday, the first family's younger dog, Major, was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual, which was handled by the White House medical unit with no further treatment needed. It had been previously planned already for the dogs to be cared for by family friends in Delaware during Dr. Biden's travels to military bases this week — she has a three-day trip this week — and the dogs will return to the White House soon."
Then, later in the same month, Major bit a National Park Service employee while on the South Lawn of the White House. The employee required medical treatment from the White House medical unit, according to CNN reporting, "out of an abundance of caution." But to Major Biden's credit, this is all new to him, he's just trying to see what's what, and that guy probably had it coming?
Leigh Dempsey, a certified professional dog trainer and owner of the dog shelter Major was adopted from, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that most dogs who enter a new home experience three days of high stress and need to sleep and relax, then it takes another three weeks before they begin to acclimate and trust their environment and an additional three months before they show their true personality.
"It's important to think about Major being well within those first three months — I think maybe only two months he's been in the White House — so he's right smack dab in the middle of that acclimation phase," she said. "So that's a big component to consider."
As for how long it will take for Major to get used to the newest four-legged member of the family, that remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, though: There's no denying that despite a few "incidents," Major is and always has been a Good Boy.
"He's such a sweet, lovable dog," Dr. Biden said. "He really is."