Obama Dog Sunny Bites White House Guest On Face

Sunny, the Obama family Portuguese Water Dog, bit the face of a family friend earlier this week when she went to give the dog a kiss. The 18-year-old was visiting the family, and required stitches as a result of the bite that was just under her eye. Sunny is the Obama family’s second Portuguese Water Dog, and follows Bo.

As the Obamas prepare to move out of the White House, and into the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Kalorama, they will be taking Bo and Sunny with them, says the Inquisitr. While the family is staying in Washington, D.C., to allow Sasha to finish school at Sidwell Friends, they have also bought a house in California, and a piece of property in Hawaii.

The Wrap says that while the unnamed 18-year-old was just trying to show affection to Sunny with a kiss, the Portuguese Water Dog perhaps considered the move aggressive, and bit as a reaction. After the bite, the White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, cleaned and stitched the cut, which was located just under the eye.


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While neither the White Housem nor the Obama family have commented on the incident, Sunny was added to the Obama family in 2013, while Bo was already the Obama family dog when Barack Obama was elected president the first time. Portuguese Water Dogs are not known for aggression, so this attack was considered out of character. Portuguese Water Dogs are considered to be good family dogs, and are also a great choice for those with allergies.

TMZ says that Sunny is now 4, and Bo is 8, and both are the same breed of dog. Neither dog has ever allegedly bitten anyone. Photos of the bite were posted on social media, and the friend of the Obamas was said to be upset by the prospect of a facial scar. TMZ reached out to the White House for a comment, but the call was not returned.

Inverse says that this bite by Sunny, a Portuguese Water Dog, is a statistical anomaly, as the breed is not prone to aggression or even nipping. A study by Applied Animal Behaviour Science said that this bite is out of the ordinary.

“These dogs [Portuguese Water Dogs] do not nip: Whether it comes to aggression with strangers, other dogs, or even rivalry dogs, Portuguese water dogs score next to nothing in aggression levels compared to most breeds.”

But it is normal that dogs feel threatened when you get close to their face, and especially with your face, so for dog behavior, this isn’t abnormal.

“Kneeling down to a dog’s level and allowing them to smell and see you is rule number one in being friends with a pooch. Failing to do this and putting a strange face too close comes across as a threat and an invasion of precious personal space. Dogs may get afraid or anxious and, at this point, any reaction is possible. It’s simple fight or flight for any animal — which means Sunny might have just been scared.”

Regardless, normally, dog bites are supposed to be reported, and Dr. Jackson is a mandated reporter, as a physician.

Do you think that this was an isolated incident? Do you have an experience with Portuguese Water Dogs?

[Featured Image by White House Pool/Getty Images]