George W. Bush and his Scottish Terriers

Barney was the First Pet of George W. Bush during both his terms of office, and
became one of the most famous of all the presidential dogs.

The dog, along with his other Scottish Terrier Miss Beazley, and his English
Springer Spaniel Spot, were much loved by the press, and were often mentioned in
newspapers and other media.

Barney developed quite a following during his time in the White House.

While George Bush's term was President, Barney starred in a number of films produced by the government. This began in 2002 when he appeared in "Barney Cam," and he continued releasing short films until his final video - a Christmas themed feature - in late 2008. Barney still has a strong following today, with a number of websites devoted to providing information about the dog, including his film career and favorite hobbies.

He has also had his own Facebook page since 2010. Barney wasn't always happy to put up with all the media attention though. During 2008 he bit two reporters - one on the finger and one on the wrist - which the administration took as a sign that he was "done with paparazzi."

The terrier also had some issues with some other dogs. According to Dick Cheney's memoirs, his Labrador called Dave had to be banned from coming into contact with Barney after attacking the President's dog. Not only did Dave chase Barney through Camp David, he also led him straight into a dining room containing cabinet member's wives - a major faux pas!

The choice of breed is an interesting one, as Scottish terriers are hardly the large and robust breed that you'd expect from the most powerful man in the world. Even Vladimir Putin disagreed with George W. Bush's choice, as he felt that leaders should own larger dogs like his own Labrador. Many people feel that a President should own a breed with a more imposing appearance, as this could reflect on the President himself. Politics is all about appearance after all, and some observers commented that Barney didn't have the right "look."

This view ignores the personality of the breed. Scottish Terriers are known to be extremely self-confident and self-assured, not to mention fearless and determined. These are the perfect qualities for any President's dog, as it wouldn't be appropriate for the First Dog to be shy or scared during public appearances. George W. Bush also loved to spend time on his ranch, which is an environment where a Scottish Terrier would fit right in.

Scottish Terriers are, in general, loyal to their owners, although this loyalty often only stretches to one or two people. It's pure speculation, but as a President the thought of having a dog that's loyal to you alone must be quite attractive. It was often joked - sometimes by the President himself - that Barney's support of his decision making was one of the few he could rely on. A life size statue of Barney and a portrait of Miss Beazley can be seen in the Presidential Pet Museum in Glen Allen, Virginia.