Barney bites reporter

November 6, 2008

WASHINGTON – Word of warning to President-Elect Barack Obama, you probably don’t want to pet First Dog Barney when you visit the White House on Monday.

President George W. Bush’s Scottish Terrier was not feeling too friendly on Thursday when a reporter tried to say hello and pet him on the White House driveway.

Barney snarled and chomped down on Reuters Television correspondent Jon Decker’s index finger, causing some minor bleeding. White House medical staff attended to Decker’s injury and he will require a tetanus shot.

Below is the video courtesy of April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and we’ll hopefully have a first-person account a little bit later. (Watch to the end of the video for a close-up shot of the incident.)

Obama is in the market for a pooch to keep a promise he made to his daughters to get a dog. But it looks like they’re aiming for a different breed.  However, when Obama visits Bush on Monday at the White House, maybe he will ask if he can keep Barney around after Jan. 20 to fend off pesky reporters.


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Ouch! That dog’s bark is definitely not as bad as his bite.

Posted by Sean | Report as abusive

Apparently, Barney has his own unresolved issues about MSM reporters — yeah, it’s hard to tell ’em apart.

Posted by rabid | Report as abusive

Barney knows his time is almost up, and is trying to grab some last minute headlines.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

Hey Barney, do reporters taste just like chicken?

Posted by Marla Taylor | Report as abusive

We might also find out that Barney’s one of those dogs trained special to bark at black men—it’s an old tradition south of the Mason-Dixon, and if you don’t like it you’re an élitist.

Posted by Jonas Quinn-Venture | Report as abusive

[…] click here […]

Posted by It is just an allegation… he has had no trial « GretaWire | Report as abusive

That’ll teach Jon Dexter to wear his Obama campaign pin to the White House. :)

Posted by Gabrielle | Report as abusive

The reporter so deserved the bite if he really got a bite and I am not sure that he did. I think the reporter is the one trying to make a name for himself.

Posted by Joy | Report as abusive

[…] bit somebody And Obama may not want to pet Barney during White House visit… Tales from the Trail Blog Archive Obama may not want to pet Barney during White House visit | Blogs … __________________ Pet Breeds "Play with me and keep me busy! You have your work, your […]

Posted by Barney bit somebody – Dog Chat – Dog Forums – | Report as abusive

Someone teach that reporter how to approach a dog. If I was Barney, I would have done that a long time ago!

Posted by Jacquie | Report as abusive

[…] First Dog Barney bites Reuters TV’s Jonathan Decker. Lifting a leg would have sufficed. Story plus vid. Damn, they’re a lot nicer to that dog than they ever were to his master, and he never bit […]

Posted by Jules Crittenden » Bad Dog! | Report as abusive

I have a precious Maltese dog. He is going on eleven years old. He definitely has a mind of his own; he will not put up with anything he does not like. Just a night ago, I pulled his hair too hard while preforming our routine nightly grooming and he nicked my index finger. Needless to say, that was the end of the grooming for that night. I told him off but we are still best friends. I think Barney just did not like that camera in his face. LOL..

Posted by Martha | Report as abusive

If Jon Decker’s mom has a Scottie, then he knows it’s not smart to reach toward one too quickly – which is what he did. Terriers react by biting when threatened. Decker’s lucky it wasn’t any worse than it was.

Posted by Sal Roberson | Report as abusive

Good boy!

Posted by Doogie | Report as abusive

Good Job Barney, bite those back-stabbing Reporters.

Posted by Ratt | Report as abusive

Obama should get a rottweiler when he moves into the White House. They can do a much better job of biting a reporter.

Posted by dmorris | Report as abusive

..thats why I have a cat.

Posted by Darryl | Report as abusive

..thats why I hace a cat.

Posted by Darryl | Report as abusive

better get the dog shots, so Barney does not get sick…

Posted by doglover | Report as abusive

Think that’s bad wait until he gets a hold of Michael Moore.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Doesn’t this story flunk the most basic, Journalism 101 test of newsworthiness? …. If the reporter bites the dog then you have a story.

Posted by Willie | Report as abusive

Barney, Barney, Barney
Bad reporter, Bad reporter, Bad reporter

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

[…] était temps qu’on ait un nouveau chien à la Maison-Blanche. Jeudi, Barney, le chien des Bush a mordu un journaliste de Reuters. Il n’avait pas dû digérer les résultats des […]

Posted by Barney, le chien des Bush, mord un journaliste | Herald de Paris | Report as abusive

Sorry, but I think you had it coming – you did appear to take the dog by surprise, and what was it supposed to do ?

I hope your finger heals up, but we all have to remember that dogs are a close relative of the wolf, which is why Mr and Mrs Obama will have to choose the next White House pooch carefully.

Dogs and children can get along wonderfully, but at the end of the day, if a dog is provoked, it will bite and there is little point blaming them for following their instincts..

Posted by Bedd Gelert | Report as abusive

I think that the manner in which the reporter approached Barney (kneeling quickly, shoving the right hand at the dog with the left hand holding papers that may have looked like a menacing object) all show that this reporter has little knowledge of how to approach a dog unknown to him. I think Barney was definitely within his rights to protect himself against this intrusion on his personal space.

Posted by William Schaffner | Report as abusive

A stranger, who the dog sensed was antagonistic towards his master, suddenly extends a hand to do what? Small wonder he got bit! Give credit to the dog for being a good judge of character and forgive him for his instinct to protect himself and the people he loves!

Posted by John Westra | Report as abusive

You should never bring your hand down at a dog to touch it on the top of it’s head. You would not like someone pounding on the top of your head, would you? And, shaking the papers in the dog’s face was not exactly nice, either. Barney did nothing out of the normal. Bad reporter. You were rude.

Posted by Patti | Report as abusive

*sigh* another dog bites man story…

Seriously though. The reporter is an idiot. If a dog doesn’t seem interested in meeting you it is never a good idea to try to force the issue, especially with terrier breeds.

Posted by bcb | Report as abusive

This dog also bit the PR Director of the Boston Celtics in September.

If this was a common man’s dog, it would probably have to be put down.

Posted by Mike Green | Report as abusive

It’s a fake, this is not the real Barney ! Barney is such a sweetie he would never do that, unless the reporter is a democrat, but there is no such a thing.

Posted by Laura | Report as abusive