The newest residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have arrived: the Biden family’s two German shepherds, Champ and Major.
The dogs officially joined President Biden and Jill Biden, the first lady, in the White House on Sunday, said Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for Dr. Biden.
“Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace, and Major loved running around on the South Lawn,” Mr. LaRosa said in a statement
Dr. Biden confirmed their arrival on Twitter on Monday. “Champ and Major have joined us in the White House!” she wrote.
Their arrival ends the longest period at the presidential residence without a pet of some kind since President Andrew Johnson’s term, from 1865-1869, according to the Presidential Pet Museum.
The Biden family got Champ from a breeder in 2008 after Mr. Biden was elected vice president, according to Politico, and they adopted Major in 2018 through the Delaware Humane Association, making him the first rescue dog to live in the White House.
Mr. Biden has occasionally posted on social media about his pets. “No ruff days on the campaign trail when I have some Major motivation,” Mr. Biden wrote on Instagram in October.
Later that month, he wrote on Twitter: “Some Americans celebrate #NationalCatDay, some celebrate #NationalDogDay — President Trump celebrates neither. It says a lot. It’s time we put a pet back in the White House.”
The tradition of presidential pet ownership dates to George Washington’s two terms, and has been carried on by 31 of the 46 presidents. Donald J. Trump was the first president in more than a century without a pet. Johnson, the last pet-less president, was known to leave flour out for a family of white mice that were living in his bedroom, according to the Presidential Pet Museum.
Major and Champ’s predecessors weren’t just cats and dogs: Theodore Roosevelt had horses, dogs, a Hyacinth macaw parrot, kangaroo rats, five guinea pigs and a one-legged rooster, as well as a short-tempered badger named Josiah and a green garter snake named Emily Spinach. Calvin Coolidge kept a raccoon, named Rebecca, according to the Presidential Pet Museum. Herbert Hoover had several dogs as well as a wild opossum named Billy.
More recent four-legged White House residents include Bo and Sunny, two Portuguese water dogs belonging to Barack Obama and his family.
The Bidens have also said that they have plans to get a cat.