Expert gives tips on how to adjust your dog to new environments after Major Biden biting incident

Animals and Wildlife

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– When does a minor dog bite become a major incident? When the dog is Major Biden, the president’s pooch. One of President Joe Biden’s pets is in the doghouse after a biting accident.

“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,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in her daily press briefing.

Dog experts says that is not surprising behavior for a 3-year-old German Shepherd in a new place.

“Whether you’re moving to a tiny house or to the White House, any change in environment can be very stressful for dogs,” explained Mystic-based dog trainer Michael Shikashio.

Shakashio is an expert in dealing with aggressive behavior in dogs. He says they often give you a warning before they act.

“If we can see the subtle signs, maybe just a subtle stare, we’re going to be able to respond appropriately and give that dog some space,” Shakashio said.

He says space is just what the dogs may be lacking at the White House.

“If the Bidens were clients of mine, I would say, ‘first, let’s find a space in the White House that’s actually where the dogs can go and just relax and have their own space without the intrusions constantly throughout the day,’ and then gradually expose them and get them used to certain people,” said Shikashio.

On the first dogs’ Instagram page, Major apologized to the Secret Service member he nipped, saying “I hope he can furgive me.” A lot of dogs may be feeling stressed soon. Many families got “pandemic puppies” that have only known a handful of people their whole lives.

“As things start to open up again, I think we’re going to see an increase in more of these situations, because now the dogs are going from a very secluded situation and environment,” Shikashio said. “Now they’re in this big world, so again, take your time and gradually expose your dog to those things.”

He says remember to always let dogs approach you first. As for Major, he and Champ Biden are staying with family friends in Delaware right now, but according to their latest Instagram post, they’ll be back in the White House soon.

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