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Updated on October 24, 2014

Meet Barney!

Hi there. My name is Barney. I'm a little Cairn Terrier (Never heard of them? No worries we'll cover what breed I am and where we come from later). Suffice it to say that I'm a big dog trapped in a little Dog's body. I'm next to no trouble, (except for when there are Cats, Toys, Mice and open gates, Ok sometimes I'm a little trouble!).

I live here in New Zealand with my family, they adopted me when I was a little puppy hardly able to climb a stair (OK so I'm still hardly able to climb a stair, but that was five years ago and I'm a middle aged adult now!)

Just recently some strange things have started happening in our house and it's got me really confused. By the way I'm the cute looking one,

the person holding me thinks he's my owner!

What happened, well that started about six months ago when my Buddy changed from going out every day to a place he called work and stayed home for a week! After that week he started disappearing for the day again and my Walkies pattern resumed, but last week it all changed again and he had another week at home (funny creatures, these Humans) but this week it got really strange as he's started going out at night and staying out all night, he calls the place "work" that he's going to, but it's played havoc with my walk time and now I really don't know when it is as he seems to like taking me in the afternoons when all my friends are asleep where before I walked in the evening when they were all at the gates waiting for a good talk to me!

Barney's buddy

The Human one

Hi There. I can see by the intro that you've met Barney, our lovableand intrepid Cairn Terrier, so I thought that I'd better say hello. Barney's been with us for just over five years now, he was only four weeks old when we first saw him. He's a pedigree and if we had the papers I could prove it to you, though at the times he does get called a Mongrel, or worse a Mutt, but that's usually when he's not listening. (Actually that's most of the time, especially when there are cats to chase!)

Let's explain, well you see I'm a Dog person, but my wife and daughter are both Cat people! We already had two cats with us at the time (one has gone to the big cattery in the sky and has been replaced with another) this meant it was my turn for a pet!

Barney is one of those pets where there's never a dull moment, everyone thinks he's still a puppy (he's only nine inches tall and twenty four inches long!). I can pick him up with one hand (but he doesn't like to be picked up too much). Everything that comes into the back yard is chased and even the local Rugby club has been warned that if their ball comes over our fence they need to knock and ask to get it back (considering they play tournaments there that's a surprise). Kind of came about when the ball came over once and I told the guy that if they came over the fence again and Barney got out it would take the thirty of them two hours to catch him! (even the Cats aren't that fast and Rugby games only last for an hour and twenty minutes!). Our favourite games are playing with the remains of the balls that he's destroyed. We did buy him a basketball thinking that he's too small to be able to pop that one, but we didn't reckon with his sheer determination.

Barney's Origins

Where he's from

The books tell us that the Cairn Terrier is actually the oldest of all the Terrier breeds, They are close to the original stock from which all the others came from. For centuries they didn't have a name, but in the early 1900s when one was entered into a dog show (they're a tough working dog and not a fragile lapdog) they managed to offend the sensibilities of some of the other breeders (the again, if they're like Barney that's not a surprise) and had to come up with a name. The first name they had was the Skye short haired terrier (They are originally from the Isle of Skye) but that got on the wrong side of the Skye terrier breeders so the name was changed to Cairn Terriers because they were used for hunting rats and vermin in the Cairns of Scotland.

Wikipedia says that they are a "Big dog trapped in a small body" and I love that descritpion, after reading what they said about the breed if I didn't already have one I would want one!!! Barney fits their description perfectly!!!

Did you know that if they were Human Cairn Terriers would almost all be left handed! They are intelligent and intuitive!

Anyway, to where he came from. Yes, at some distant time in the past (within the last hundred years) his ancestor arrived from Scotland and settled in New Zealand. In 2005 we were looking for a dog, the first one we got was a three year old called Toby. Toby was a good judge of character, but didn't have any tact and he bit someone who was later to cause us some grief (not over the bite) so he had to go back to the pound as we couldn't have a dog who would bite around a young child (our daughter was five at the time).

The pound were so horrified that they'd missed the territorial streak in Toby that they said they would find us a dog free of charge, they couldn't but the local SPCA (society for the prevention of cruelty to animals) had just taken in a puppy cairn terrier from a breeder who couldn't look after him anymore. He was four weeks old at the time, they told us that if we wanted him we could have him. It only took one look for the wife to say yes, she knew I'd be thrilled at having a 'real dog' and she'd be thrilled that he would be a small one!

Imagine the scene three weeks later with two labradors, a boxer, a doberman and a German Shepherd (all at least six months old) pitted against one three month old Cairn Terrier at puppy obedience school, which side should win? I can tell which side did win Barney! He was dripping with saliva from the encounter, hyped to the max and tearing in and out of them. Thankfully the Vets had them in a room with no furniture, it was puppy socialization time and my wife swore she'd never take him again! I'm glad there was no furniture as the bill for fixing it could have been horrendous!

This was the time when we realized that Barney is so small he has no room for fear! He has no fear! He knows what he doesn't like, but that's different. He hates water, he discovered this when chasing ducks and they flew off the boat jetty of the local river, Barney tried to fly as well! He discovered that dogs don't fly and that he doesn't like water! Unfortunately it was after he'd left the end of the jetty and was airborne, destination, the river. Ducks still get chased, but the brakes have improved!

A few of Barney's favorite things

Barney's favourite place is his crate. He sleeps inside the house, but rather than having a messy basket we got a little dog crate for him, when he goes in there he knows it's his world and he loves it. We've had to line it with an old curtain that he's fallen for, we've tried to throw it out a few times, but each time he's rescued it from the rubbish and promptly fallen asleep on it!

Dog Crate | MidWest Life Stages 36" Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate | Divider Panel, Floor Protecting Feet, Leak-Proof Dog Tray | 36L x 24W x 27H Inches, Intermediate Dog Breed
Dog Crate | MidWest Life Stages 36" Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate | Divider Panel, Floor Protecting Feet, Leak-Proof Dog Tray | 36L x 24W x 27H Inches, Intermediate Dog Breed

Barney loves his crate, especially when the old curtain is in it. It's really easy to keep clean (all you do is change the curtain and wipe it down with disinfectant every few weeks). If you want him 'shut out' all you do is put a blanket over the top and he'll go to sleep. It's worth the investment


Why Barney?

Who's responsible

Here I have to admit the truth, I wanted to name him something else, but at a family meeting we decided that the naming rights should go to the five year old who'd fallen in love with her new friend and the naming rights were give to my daughter.

At the time she used to watch a TV programme about a purple dinasaur called Barney and she loved the colour purple so she decided to call him Barney.

We are fairly involved in our local church and at the time the Minister's last name was Barnes, when he found out what we'd called the dog he was really happy as he thought we'd named the dog after him! I didn't have the heart to tell the truth, not at least for a few weeks and by then our dog and his dog were firm friends. They were to supply more than a few laughs before "Buck" the big old labrador who has been the only dog to stop Barney in his tracks went to the big kennel in the sky.

Buck was twelve, but when he visited he would rejuvinate and lose years. They would play for hours but then Buck would tire and lie down, Barney wanted to continue so he would jump on Buck and play, Buck bided his time, then quick as a flash up came the paw, in went Barney and down came the paw like a thunderclap and Barney was pinned to the deck! All they did was lick each other.

Even now, three years after Buck left us Barney still hopes to see him. Since then Barney has met other great mates from the Animal world.

Barney's idea of fun

Great things to do with a small dog

One of the great things about Barney is that while he may enjoy lots of walks he isn't very big. This is great because we can enjoy taking him for a walk without him wanting to pull my wife and daughter's arms out of their sockets. Barney loves his walks, though half the fun is the game we almost have to play to go for one. He'll come and pester me for a walk (usually it's been right after his evening meal, now, with me working nights it's often in the afternoon, this is the cause of the confusion!) but as soon as he sees the lead he runs to Mum as if for protection! As soon as the lead is on he's ready to pull you out of the door and loves the walk.

Barney hates cars! At least he hates travelling in them, he equates it with trips to the vets or to the kennels (occasionally, if we're going away for the weekend we've put him in one, he caused havoc last time and when we went to pick him up he escaped from the attendant and ran back to hype all the other dogs up one last time as if to say "I'M OUTTA HERE, AND YOU'RE STILL STUCK!!!"

Anything that lands in our back yard is fair game, in fact while writing this lens I read an article on Wikipedia saying that Cairn terriers should NEVER be allowed off the lead outside the yards of their owners as they can't resist the urge to chse anything smaller than themselves! By the way a word of warning here, most of us who own cats as well have been told that cats can protect themselves and a good swipe across the nose will sned the dog running. That's true of Dogs who feel pain. CAIRN TERRIERS DON'T! I've lost count of the times I've had to rescue one of our two Cats from him.

Barney loves playing with anything that moves and makes noises. Balls are his favourite man-made toy.

The best thing

He's a loyal friend and is too small to know fear.

Photos of Barney - Edit this to add photos of your pet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
"Do I really have to go outside? Can't I go to my pen instead?""Come on Daddy, lets go play"It's raining, but I can find shelter anywhere!LEAVE ME ALONE, MORNINGS SHOULD BE BANNED!!!Let's play a game"hurry up and drink your coffee! I want to play""Don't talk to me!"
"Do I really have to go outside? Can't I go to my pen instead?"
"Do I really have to go outside? Can't I go to my pen instead?"
"Come on Daddy, lets go play"
"Come on Daddy, lets go play"
It's raining, but I can find shelter anywhere!
It's raining, but I can find shelter anywhere!
Let's play a game
Let's play a game
"hurry up and drink your coffee! I want to play"
"hurry up and drink your coffee! I want to play"
"Don't talk to me!"
"Don't talk to me!"

Some of the favourite things Barney enjoys - simple yet fun

Barney loves these. Great for both the small and large dog

Read up on breeds of Dog

Read up a little on whether a bredd is the right Dog for you

From the other side

A word from Barney's nemesis

Every hero has a nemesis. someone without whom the hero of the tale can't exist. Well I'm not quite a villain, but there are times when I'm his mortal foe. (usually when I'm walking past his food bowl when he's eating).

Usually we co-exist in peace, but there are times when it can get interesting. You see, I'm allowed on the furniture and Barney isn't! I can snuggle up next to the Humans, but Barney stays on the floor. I'm Bubble the Cat!

We've been together about five and a half years, though I will point out that I arrived first with another Cat called squeak, but sadly squeak got sick and didn't make it. Dad wanted a dog so we relented and got him Barney (he was the only male in the house at the time so we thought we'd get him another male for company). It works Ok and Barney has his job and I have mine, we get on really.

Two years on - Same family, new home

Ny new favorite place to hang out/ I'm watching my Bone!!
Ny new favorite place to hang out/ I'm watching my Bone!!

It's hard to think that I've been on Squidoo for two years now. Than you to all the folks that visited the lens the first time, it was fun. Since then we've moved house and I've made new friends in the neighbourhood. The houses all around us have dogs too and we have a great time barking at anything that goes on around although I'm pretty good and don't bark at night.

My owner has stopped his silly job at night and I don't feel that I have to guard the place. (Kind of giving me stress that was!) so now I;ve got a bone that's almost as big as me that I lie outside with and just enjoy the sunshine (I gnaw at it occasionally). Mostly I just enjoy lying with it and chasing anything that comes within paw distance. Sometimes I forget myself and even have a go at chasing the Humans but that usually ends in me being sent to bed (I don't bite though)

We've also found a great place to go for walks and I'll see if they can put some pictures on this lens as it's a really neat place by the river where I can go and check out all kinds of things.

Enjoyed this Hub? Then do me the honor of sharing it with your friends

New Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Was that a Duck?Where'd my Bone go?Leave me ALONE!What a view!Come on Dad! Lets find out what's down this path!
Was that a Duck?
Was that a Duck?
Where'd my Bone go?
Where'd my Bone go?
Leave me ALONE!
Leave me ALONE!
What a view!
What a view!
Come on Dad! Lets find out what's down this path!
Come on Dad! Lets find out what's down this path!


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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      He's also a bundle of mischief, but we love him! Glad you enjoyed it.


    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Lawrence, I was looking through your list of hubs (wow, I have a lot of reading to do. They all sound fascinating), but when I saw the photo of Barney I knew I had to stop and read, and so glad that I did. What a delight he is! Thank you for sharing him with us.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      You're right he has. At the moment he's out by our ranch slider guarding his bone but keeping an eye on us. Our animals are really part of the family.

      Each one has their own personality and so much fun. Take your time getting a puppy as it does change the dynamic of the family and kitty might take a while getting used to each other. We're fortunate that Barney and Bubble got used to each other

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Barney sounds like he has totally settled himself into your lives and into your hearts.

      Right now I only have Milo, the kitty, but may have another pup soon.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Glad you liked the hub. Barney and Bubble are two real characters.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very well done! I like the story lay out of your Hub. You did a great job! I love learning about the different aspects of dogs, and i enjoyed Barney's story. Voted up!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Barney's pretty unique and we love him like crazy. We've discovered that he has favorites even among his blankets and his all time favorite is actually an old torn (totally dilapidated curtain that he's 'rescued' from the throw out pile a few times!

      One of the keys is using a favorite like that the first few times then they get to realize that the place is friendly and it becomes 'Home'

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      I'm so happy to meet your little guy Barney, and was surprised that he really liked the crate. My pup cried the first time I tried to put her in one to potty train her. She decided it wasn't for her. After a few nights of sleeping on the floor next to her I agreed :)

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Barney. My name is Joey and I wish we could play together. I'm a German Wirehaired Pointer but I love to play. It sounds like you have a lovely family and they are taking real good care of you. Say hello to Bubble for me.

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      5 years ago

      Aw, he's adorable! I'm more of a large dog person normally, but my cousin has a couple of Cairn teriers and I must say it's hard not to smile when they're around. Lovely to meet your Barney - and, of course, the handsome Bubble. :)

    • ismeedee profile image


      5 years ago

      Love the witty way you got the animals to tell the story- Barney is lovely and so is his nemesis!

    • Ninche profile image


      5 years ago

      Barney has such a serious face, it's adorable! Than you for sharing your story!

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 

      6 years ago from Vancouver

      It's great to meet Barney. I knew the name of Cairn Terriers - I'm a Wade Whimsies collector and we have some cairn terrier figurines - but I've never "met" a real one before.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i love you barney.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      6 years ago

      It is no wonder Barney won your hearts! He couldn't get any cuter!! Love this lens!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Barney is absolutely adorable! Congratulations on making Squidoo's 50 Dogs We Love list!

      Blessed by a puppy luvin Squidoo Angel

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Three Cheers for Barney!

      Cheers, Cheers, Cheers

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Barney - you look like a genuine sweetie! Welcome to Squidoo!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such a nice dog, I love dogs, great lens!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Such an adorable doggy! Thank you for sharing Barney's story. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Barney is too cute

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Cairn terriers are fun. My bagpipe teacher had one, and it was a charming dog. I like our dogs because they don't pull my arm off either - that is something that is especially good about a small one. Nice!

    • DLeighAlexander profile image


      6 years ago

      Cute, feisty little dog!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Barney is cute! Nice lens!

    • micheleburke profile image

      Michele Marie Burke 

      6 years ago

      What a great lens! Barney is quite cute. My Brussels Griffon, Benny, has a cousin who is a Cairn. They are something when they get together! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Barney is so cute!


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