Champ, Presidential Pet German Shepherd, Dies at 13


Champ, a German Shepherd who helped restore the president’s time-honored tradition of keeping a pet in the White House, died on Saturday.

Champ was 13 years old and “died peacefully at home,” President Biden and Jill Biden, the first lady, said on Twitter.

“In our happiest moments and in our saddest days, He was with us, sensitive to each of our unspoken feelings and emotions,” they said. “We love our sweet, good boy and will always miss him.”

The Biden family’s other German Shepherd, Major, began roaming the White House in January after a four-year hiatus with pets at the residence during Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

Major was recently sent off for training after a series of bite attacks.

Mr. Trump was the first president in more than a century to not have a pet, said Andrew Hager, the historian at the Presidential Pet Museum residence.

The Biden family got Champ from a breeder in 2008 after Mr Biden was elected vice president, according to Politico. The Bidens named the puppy Champ in tribute to Mr. Biden’s father, who said to his son, “Get up, Champion” when life was challenging.

Champ was a gentle dog who hunted golf balls as a puppy in the front yard of the Naval Observatory and loved chasing after the Bidens’ grandchildren, the Bidens said.

As he got older, he curled up in front of a fireplace at the feet of the Bidens.

“Even though Champ’s strength waned in his last days when we got into a room, he immediately pulled himself up and kept wagging his tail,” said the Bidens. “Everything was immediately better when he was next to us.”