Bad Dog Gets a Shot at Being Good

Illustration for article titled Bad Dog Gets a Shot at Being Good
Photo: Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP (Getty Images)

Major, the youngest of the president’s two German shepherds and a certified Bad Dog, has been given the chance to reform his terrible behavior.

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At least that appears to be the case if this White House statement isn’t euphemistic: On Monday, Michael LaRosa, spokesperson for First Lady Jill Biden, said that Major would be receiving “some additional training to help him adjust to life in the White House.”

“The off-site, private training will take place in the Washington, D.C., area,” he continued, “and it is expected to last a few weeks.”

Since assuming his new residence, Major, a three-year-old rescue, has had two separate “biting incidents.” The first came in early March, when he nipped at a Secret Service member, resulting in what White House officials termed a “minor” injury. The second occurred mere weeks later, when he bit a National Park Service employee who was walking him on the South Lawn, requiring the employee to seek treatment from the White House medical unit. In between the two incidents, both Major and his older brother Champ were sent back to Delaware for a brief time out and for Major to receive some training.

It seems that the training didn’t do much to alter Major’s behavior, but, as the Intelligencer points out, there’s at least one canine behavioral expert who believes that the sort of training Major initially got wasn’t setting him up for success. I’ll buy it!

We at Jezebel are tragically divided on the question of whether Major is a bad dog because he bites, or a good one that the media wants to be bad. I’m of the opinion that Major is a bad dog who wants to be good, which, I believe, is what all dogs want in their heart of hearts.

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.

DISCUSSION

operasara
meatball77

Major is a good dog. He saw danger and protected his dad. The people he nipped are obviously suspect.

Hopefully they can give him the training that will help him be successful in that environment, perhaps some working dog training. Previous white house dogs have bit visitors in the past. It’s not exactly the easiest place to be a dog.