The Whitehouse Welcomes President Joe Biden’s Dogs into Their New Home.


Carolyn Kaster

President-elect Joe Biden smiles as he speaks Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Ava Mohler

It has been four years without four paws in the Whitehouse. Last Sunday, the Bidens welcomed their two German shepherds, Champe and Major, into their new home in the Whitehouse. Among the pair, Major is the first rescue dog to ever live in the Presidential Mansion.

Presidential pets provide more than just companionship for the first families. They give the public something to focus on other than politics, not getting caught up in scandals, and give a sense of relatability to the President. Almost every United States President in history has had a pet, Obama even bringing a puppy into his family to celebrate his inauguration. Donald Trump was the first to break the trend in well over a century, the only other Presidents to not have pets while in office were James Polk and Andrew Jonson.

Upon arrival, the pair settled in quickly “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace, and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.” stated Michael LaRosa, spokesperson for the first lady. Major has come a long way; from the sickly puppy he once was. He was one of six puppies rushed to the E.R. after ingesting a toxic substance. Though after recovery with the Delaware Humane Association, he was adopted by his current owner, Joe Biden. Now Major is three years old and is living his best life. In spirit of Joe Biden’s Inauguration, the Delaware Humane Association sponsored an “indoguration” to celebrate Major and raise awareness, this fundraiser raised over $ 200,000 in funds.

Along with their canine friends, the Bidens also plan to add a cat to their family. The Whitehouse has had it fair share of exotics, take Rebecca the raccoon for example. She was President Calvin Coolidge’s pet, and was gifted by a supporter that proposed she should be cooked for Thanksgiving dinner. However, she got much the opposite and was given a collar with the words, “Whitehouse Racoon” embroidered. JFK notably had a pony named Macaroni, and President Martin van Buren was gifted two tiger cubs by the Sultan of Oman. President Harry Truman notoriously quoted: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Many first families have followed suite with this remark, 31 of 46 U.S. Presidents have had a canine friend join them at the Whitehouse while in office. 

Whitehouse Pets have served as much more than companions for the first families, for they give a sense of humanity and relatability, and are as much of a piece of history as the Presidents themselves.