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What You Should Know About Joe Biden’s Dogs, Champ and Major

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

I’m a huge dog person, so I couldn’t be happier knowing that there will be a dog in the White House once again! Joe and Jill Biden’s dogs, named Champ and Major, are adorable German Shepherds. Here’s what you should know about the pup-ular pair!


Barack Obama and Joe Biden were running the Democratic ticket for the 2008 election. Joe had made a promise to his wife, Jill, that if he and Barack won the election, they would get a dog. Jill wanted to make sure he kept his word, and during the 2008 campaign, she taped pictures of dogs to the seats of his plane. Joe kept his promise, and in October of 2008, the vice president-elect got Champ. The name ‘Champ’ was chosen by Biden’s granddaughters, and it was a name that had emotional significance for Joe. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Biden would tell crowds about how his father would say to him, “Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!”

During his vice presidency, Biden would hand out plush versions of Champ. Champ is currently 12 years old.


Major is Champ’s two-year-old younger brother. While Champ was purchased from a breeder, Major is a rescue dog, and will be the first shelter-dog to live in the White House. Major and the rest of his litter were introduced to the shelter after they had gotten into an unknown toxic substance, making them very ill. Luckily, the puppies recovered, and Joe and Jill ended up fostering baby Major. He later became a permanent part of the Biden family.

It is believed that Major’s name also has significance to Joe. His late son, Beau Biden, was a major in the Delaware National Guard. Although this origin of the name has great sentimental value to Joe, it has never been confirmed. Major had his own “Indoguration” on January 17, and all of the event’s proceeds went towards the Delaware Human Society.


Hi! I'm Olivia, and I'm a sophomore at Mizzou studying Atmospheric Science. I spend my free time listening to music (Glass Animals are my favorite), watching documentaries, looking at the sky, and playing Pokemon Go, Fortnite, and The Sims!
HC Contributer Mizzou