Meet Barney, the Bad Dog Behind the 2006 $1.3 Million Teddy Bear Museum Massacre

This is the story of Barney the Doberman Pinscher: a former very good boy and security guard in England. His 6-year career in security was spotless, and by all accounts, he excelled at his job and was a pleasure to work with. Then in 2006, that all changed one fateful night… With the destruction of around 100 rare collectible teddy bears with a value of over $900,000! In 2023, that would be approximately $1.35 million!

Meet Barney, the Bad Dog Behind the 2006 Teddy Bear Massacre

Barney and his human coworker were night security guards at a children’s museum called Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset, England – just like any night. But this night, there was a special exhibit of collectible teddy bears. The human, Greg West, thought the inciting incident was when he gave a lil’ too much attention to a teddy named Mabel. And note Mabel wasn’t some random teddy: she was a 1909 German-made Steif teddy bear whose former owner was Elvis Presley!

Barney the guard dog at the teddy bear museum massacre

Barney, who was always a good boy up until this point, suddenly went into a berserker rage, mauling and ripping up as many poor teddies as possible. It took 10 minutes for his human partner to tackle him. But that was enough time to damage or destroy around 100 innocent teddy bears. Elvis’ teddy Mabel was worth £40,000 at the time, equaling around $97,000 today. The museum manager asked the security company to no longer send Barney, saying, “I really don’t want to see anything bigger than a Jack Russell.”

About 100 bears were caught up in this frenzied attack, some were merely little chews, whereas some of them had some quite devastating injuries. Heads pulled off, arms, legs here and there, it was a total carnage really. I’ve never seen such a mess, there was stuffing, fluff and bear bits everywhere.

Daniel Medley, General Manager, Wookey Hole Caves, Speaking to the BBC

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