The Truth About Joe Biden's Dogs, Major And Champ

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he promised his daughters that, win or lose, they would get a dog after the elections. What wasn't said was that then-VP Democratic candidate Joe Biden had also promised his wife, Jill, that if he and Obama won, they would get a dog, too. The Christian Science Monitor says Jill made sure her husband wouldn't forget his promise by taping up different dog photos in his plane.

According to, Obama fulfilled his promise when Bo came into the family in 2009 (Sunny arrived in 2013), and Biden lived up to his promise, by getting a three-month old German Shepherd from a breeder in Pennsylvania, who was named Champ by Biden's granddaughters. 

Biden's decision to buy a dog from a breeder didn't sit too well with pet adoption advocates, who in 2008 said that 4 million animals a year are put down because they don't have owners. "We are surprised that Sen. Biden chose to purchase a dog from a commercial kennel since he has been a leader on animal-protection issues and has championed a number of important animal-welfare reforms in the Senate," Humane Society of the United States executive vice president Michael Markarian said at the time.

But it seems Biden got the message, and things were very different when it came time for the family to get a companion for Champ.

Joe Biden adopted Major 10 years later

Major joined the Bidens in 2018, after the former VP's daughter Ashley sent her father a Facebook post with information about a litter of six German Shepherd pups which had been exposed to toxins and had been hospitalized. The puppies were having issues and were being fostered, and it was during that time that the Bidens decided to make Major their own (via The Bark). 

The Delaware Humane Association marked the adoption with a post on Instagram saying: "Today is Major's lucky day! Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden! The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official. Best of luck and thank you for being one of our Friends for life!"