President Joe Biden’s two dogs have been temporarily banned from the White House after 3-year-old Major was involved in a “biting incident.” The bite was apparently minor, but it reminds us of the fact that dogs sometimes behave unpredictably when under stress.
“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,” said the White House press secretary.
The Bidens’ dogs were whisked back to Delaware to stay with friends for a few days. According to the White House, this had already been in the works. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden didn’t want to leave the dogs in unfamiliar territory when she left town for a few days to tour U.S. military installations.
The dogs will soon return to the White House, presumably with some additional training and help acclimating to the busy residence. Recently, Jill Biden said that the dogs have to get used to using the elevator and going outside with a lot of people watching.
We could be seeing more bites this year
Although the Major Biden incident wasn’t serious, it’s a good reminder to think about dog bites now that spring has sprung. This is the time of year when more people are out and about, often encountering dogs. With more people and dogs mixing, there is just more opportunity for aggressive behavior.
This effect could be even more apparent this year, as many more people have adopted dogs during the pandemic lockdowns. Indeed, animal shelters have had a hard time keeping up with the demand.
As have dog trainers. While many people who got new animals during the pandemic are doing well, some people have found the process of training and socializing a dog to be a challenge. Dog trainers are scheduled out many weeks in advance.
That could mean that we will be seeing many more untrained or poorly socialized dogs around this year, which could increase the chance of bites.
If you have been bitten in North Carolina, you may have recourse from the dog’s owner, as owners are ultimately responsible for any harm their dogs cause. While dogs get “one free bite” in North Carolina, there may still be options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.