In the run-up to the US election, Joe Biden pledged to “put a dog back in the White House” and posted a series of loving photos with his two German Shepherds.
But within six weeks of taking office, 14-year-old Champ and three-year-old Major have been banished from their new home and sent back to Delaware after the younger dog had what was described as a “biting incident” with a member of White House security.
Major, the first rescue dog to live in the White House, “has been known to display agitated behaviour on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security” people familiar with the situation told CNN and were removed last week.
While the condition of the security staff member is not known, the White House has tried to play down the incident with one official telling NBC News, “They will be back.”
They added that “with the First Lady travelling for three days, Champ and Major went to Delaware to stay with family friends.”
Mr Biden has had a long association with the breed, telling ABC: “I’ve had German shepherds from the time I was a kid.”
Champ is the older of the two dogs, having been bought from a breeder as a puppy shortly after the 2008 election.
Major was fostered by the Bidens in March 2018 from the Delaware Humane Society – the American equivalent of the RSPCA. The family adopted him eight months later.
But it is not the first time that Major has caused trouble for the President.
In November, Mr Biden fractured his foot while playing with the lively canine in Delaware and had to wear a walking boot for a number of weeks.
It appears that adjusting them to life at the White House has not been easy.
“I’ve been getting obsessed with getting our dogs settled because we have an old dog and we have a very young dog,” Jill Biden said last month during an appearance on ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show.’
“They have to take the elevator, they’re not used to that, and they have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So that’s what I’ve been obsessed with, getting everybody settled and calm.”
Across the pond, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may sympathise with Mr Biden’s struggles.
Dilyn, a three-year-old Jack Russell cross has reportedly caused chaos in Downing Street and at Chequers, where he chewed furniture and antique books, costing the Prime Minister a “four-figure repair bill.”
In a moment of rage, Mr Johnson is alleged to have shouted for someone to “please shoot that f****** dog.”
Other allegations include that Dilyn has urinated on members of Downing Street staff and that he humped the leg of Dominic Cummings.
But the President insists that his two dogs are well behaved.
“We trained them from the beginning,” Mr Biden said in an interview with People magazine.
“Champ is old, he’s 14 years old and he was extremely well-trained by the Canine Corps and he thinks he’s Secret Service, but Major, who is a big, little dog, is about a year-and-half-old and the only rule Jill has and he follows it: do not get up on the furniture.”
The White House has been contacted for comment.