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When presidential dogs attack

Former French President Jacques Chirac was recently mauled by his white Maltese, Sumo, who happens to suffer from clinical depression. The vicious beast, seen here in 2007 with Chirac’s wife, Bernadette, had become increasingly prone to unprovoked violence over the years and was taking antidepressants. Chirac was treated at a hospital for bites and is ...

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Former French President Jacques Chirac was recently mauled by his white Maltese, Sumo, who happens to suffer from clinical depression. The vicious beast, seen here in 2007 with Chirac’s wife, Bernadette, had become increasingly prone to unprovoked violence over the years and was taking antidepressants. Chirac was treated at a hospital for bites and is expected not to have permanent scars.

This incident wasn’t the first time a presidential dog has behaved aggressively:

  • Last November, Barney, the Scottish terrier of former U.S. President George W. Bush, bit a reporter.
  • Former Russian President Vladimir Putin is reported to have used his black Lab, Koni, to intimidate German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is afraid of dogs.

There are two presidential dogs, though, who couldn’t have created well-publicized biting incidents even if they had wanted to. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s Pekingese, Dot and Buddy, appear to have been placed in hiding.

President Obama ought to be careful which lucky canine he selects for First Pooch.

DANIEL VELEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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