After four years without a dog in the White House, the Bidens’ four-legged boys have arrived.
Champ and Major, both German Shepherds, moved in on Sunday, a few days after President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden.
Major was adopted from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018, making him the first shelter dog to live in the White House.
Champ has been with the Bidens’ since 2008. Joe Biden gifted Jill with the dog just before they moved into the vice presidential mansion.
Champ is “enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace and Major loved running around on the South Lawn,” according to a statement from the first lady’s office.
Champ and Major have joined us in the White House! 💕🐾 pic.twitter.com/R035YnavVo
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) January 25, 2021
Animal rescue groups are hopeful Major will become an ambassador for shelter animals by raising awareness.
Most popular pooches
German Shepherds are second only to Labrador retrievers as the most popular dogs in America, according to the American Kennel Club.
The breed could become even more popular now that two are in the spotlight at the White House.
“I think they’re phenomenal, they’re very loyal,” Toledo Humane Society President Stephen Heaven told WTOL. “Much of the time they’re pretty laid back. They do make good guard dogs as well.”
The arrival of the Biden pets will also mark the next chapter in a long history of pets residing at the White House after a four-year hiatus during the Trump administration.
“Pets have always played an important role in the White House throughout the decades,” said Jennifer Pickens, an author who studies White House traditions. “It not only provides companionship to the president and their family, but I believe it also humanizes and softens their political image.”
Although Major is the first shelter dog to live in the White House, he’s not the first ‘rescue.’ President Lyndon B. Johnson’s mixed-breed dog, Yuki, was found at a gas station in Texas. He doted on the dog and the White House released photos of them “singing” together.