by Goldy, 04/28/2008, 10:21 AM

My dog barks ferociously at passersby, with a kinda cartoonish “let me at ‘em, let me at ‘em” demeanor, as she presses menacingly against a flimsy fence she could easily leap over if she had anywhere near as much bite as bark. No doubt folks walking by my house find it annoying. I find it annoying. But she’s a dog, and defending one’s territory is what they do.

What I don’t get are people, like the guy outside my house right now, who stop in their tracks and angrily scream back at the dog to shut up… which of course, only enrages her further. Stupid fucking humans.

21 Responses to “In defense of dogs”

1. "Hannah" spews:

Goldy,

This cracked me up! I, too, have a barky dog…and she is a small dog. All bark, no bite, yet people never cease to amaze me when they yell at her to “shut up”. Is that how they talk to children screaming and playing in the front yard?

2. YellowPup spews:

And don’t get me started on those damn squirrels!

3. Marvin Stamn spews:

People should be smart enough to understand it’s not the dog’s fault. Just like kids that are unruly, the blame lies with the owner/parents.

4. Spike spews:

For once, I have to disagree with you. Don’t you think it is reasonable for a person to walk past your home without a loose dog leaping up in threat just a few inches from his elbow? Have you never been startled by a dog left unrestrained doing that to you? Is it funny to have an animal “defending his territory” when you are merely walking by on the public sidewalk?

That dog should NOT be free to terrorize your neighbors. If it is not friendly, it should be allowed nowhere near the fence. The problem is not the dog, it is the owner who thinks that every stranger should see the transparent innocence of snookums.

Control your animal, Goldy.

5. Jane's Other Dog spews:

” … like the guy outside my house right now, who stop in their tracks and angrily scream back at the dog to shut up.”

Step outside and tell Bill Clinton that he’s finally gone too far. No wonder faithful dog Buddy (http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/z/B/clinton_buddy.jpg) couldn’t take it anymore and committed suicide.

6. Jane's Dog's Addiction spews:

Link to Buddy, not Puddy:

http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/z/B/clinton_buddy.jpg

7. Goldy spews:

Spike @4,

Yeah, well, if my dog was inches from anybody’s elbow you might have a point, but the fence is set back five feet from the sidewalk, atop a four foot rockery, so it’s certainly all bark and no bite. And I don’t leave her outside late at night or early in the morning, so as not to wake the neighbors.

But my larger point is… how stupid do you have to be to angrily yell at a barking dog to make it shut up, and then to get angrier still when that doesn’t work?

8. Spike spews:

Your setting does give you a few points in your favor, but the main issue hasn’t changed. The dog is aggressively attempting to show its territorial instincts and barking loudly at a passerby. I would think this is not a question of “stupid” but of fear and anger, two emotions that call out the man’s angry and defensive responses. Smart people can be frightened by what you describe. I think people who own dogs should see that they are trained not to do what your dog is doing. You see it as cute and harmless, but your neighbors don’t.

9. calvin spews:

Even more stupid for you to blog about the incident, rather than go outside and actually talk to the person face to face?! Holy egos batman, you and the guy who dislikes your dog sound like a married couple.

10. rhp6033 spews:

1. Some cities (but not me) consider this to be “menacing behavior” by the animal, and you could be cited.

2. Yea, the guy is stupid. But he’s probably got bigger problems than just the dog. I probably wouldn’t want to go outside and try to talk with him anyway. If he get’s that mad trying to yell at a dog, imagine what he might have in store for you.

3. I’ve got a similar problem with my daughter’s dog. She picked up her dog at the pound, and apparantly it had been running free for a while somewhere around the Lake Stevens area. Get’s along great with humans, but doesn’t get along well at all with other dogs, despite several attempts at training. I got her to stop jumping over the 5 foot fence by stringing electric horse wire along the top. But she still charges the fence and barks like crazy when another dog passes by, even if on the other side of the street. My daughter tried a collar which sprays an unpleasant odor when she barks, but we found it went off everytime our other dog barked, also. (Poor dog – the little pipsqueek dog starts barking, and the big dogs is running in circles, trying to get away from the collar spraying fragrance toward her nose).

11. A dog's best friend spews:

1. A dog barking is not menacing, a dog growling is. Any city that had an ordinance that called a barking dog menacing is stupid beyond belief. However, I usually find it works better to quietly tell the dog to hush.
2. There are people out there who are afraid of dogs who consider barking to be menacing. I have a service dog, who happens to be very quiet, but I tried out another dog who barked at everybody, and had to give her up because of some of the people in my apartment building. If they had given me time, I could have trained her to be quiet, but noooooo……
3. Friendly dogs get stolen out of their yards, and/or abused by passers-by. If I had a yard, I would want the dog to bark at strangers.

Of course, I have the advantage of a lifetime lived with dogs, including working for a year in an animal shelter. I know which dogs are menacing. Strangely, I usually found that small dogs, when cornered, were more likely to bite, but once you got your hands on them, would settle down. Big dogs just barked their heads off. Except for the pair of Bernards (they were no saints) we used to get who had been trained by their owner to bite women. And of course the asshole couldn’t/wouldn’t keep them in his yard, so they were always getting picked up.

12. Dutch spews:

The first thing which came to mind reading this was: Like Father like son…or maybe in your case more appropriate: Like Owner, like Dog :-)

13. rhp6033 spews:

We used to have a chow which was a great dog. Hardly barked at all (a trait of the breed). They tend to imprint upon their family and are very loyal and protective, but they don’t do very well if they are abandoned or given away to another family.

But a lot of people had heard bad things about chows, so some consider all chows to be dangerous, which is quite silly considering the number of ones we have known over the years.

They do, however, have this “thing” about german shepards. I’ve seen lots of chows go crazy at the site of a german shepard. Something about the two breeds just doesn’t seem to mix.

14. rhp6033 spews:

We used to have a chow which was a great dog. Hardly barked at all (a trait of the breed). They tend to imprint upon their family and are very loyal and protective, but they don’t do very well if they are abandoned or given away to another family.

My chow was an escape artist. If we left her in the yard and then went away, she would dig under the fence – or chew her way through the fence, only to sit on our front porch and wait for our return. her dad was even worse – we used to laugh at tales of how he could open window and gate latches, even garage doors, to get out.

We also found out our chow loved spagetti and cake, you couldn’t leave either one on a table or counter and leave the house while she was inside. She would find a way to get at it. It was hilarious to come home to see a half-eaten sheet cake on the table, with the chow sitting there with frosting all over her snout, trying to give the “who – me?????” innocent look.

But a lot of people had heard bad things about chows, so some consider all chows to be dangerous, which is quite silly considering the number of ones we have known over the years.

I’ve only known one incorrigibly bad chow over the years, and it was raised as a junkyard dog by an alchoholic who fed it primarily beer. Poor dog was probably suffering from DTs.

Chow’s do, however, have this “thing” about german shepards. I’ve seen lots of chows go crazy at the site of a german shepard. Something about the two breeds just doesn’t seem to mix.

15. Rob spews:

Come on Goldy – bad behaviour on the part of your dog. Control it.

16. Dr.Freud spews:

Ah, vat ve haf hier ist just das projection of oneself onto the innocent annimal:

Let’s investigate and explain:

My dog barks ferociously at passersby,

I am constantly spouting wildly on my blog and radio

with a kinda cartoonish “let me at ‘em, let me at ‘em” demeanor,

I really would like a permanent job as a radio host or journalist because I know so much better…

as she presses menacingly against at flimsy fence she could easily leap over

There are many opportunities out there …carpe diem, Goldy, Carpe diem

if she had anywhere near as much bite as bark.

I think that stands by itself

But she’s a dog, and defending one’s territory is what they do.

That’s what they do

:-)

17. rhp6033 spews:

Dr. Freud @ 16: Okay, even I have to admit that was funny.

But in my opinion, it applies with even greater force to Hannity, Limbaugh, or O’Reilly. I imagine them as acting like they are ferocious dogs, only to accidently break through the fence, and then to realize that the dog on the other side is going to call their bluff! They would be wimpering and running back home with their tail between their legs, trying to crawl between the legs of their master as they beg for protection!

Someday I’d like to see them try to spout off like they do on the radio/TV in a local blue-collar pub, and then getting their clock cleaned by someone they insulted by calling them an “America-Hater”.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

Boeing loses aerial tanker contract.
CEO yells at vice president for sales.
VP yells at chief of engineering.
COE yells at division superintendent.
Super yells at foreman.
Foreman yells at worker.
Worker yells at barking dog on his way home.
Dog chases cat.
Cat attacks parakeet.
Parakeet wonders what the fuck he did wrong.

19. carl spews:

In fairness, your dog is mean.

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

Unwanted Pets Can Be Saved, No-Kill Movement Argues, But PETA Keeps On Killing

“‘Over-population is a myth,’ says attorney Nathan Winograd, whose recent book ‘Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America’ chronicles the rise of the no-kill shelter movement. ‘With better outreach and public relations, we can find homes for virtually all of the healthy animals we are now killing.’

“As proof he points to a string of communities across the country whose shelters have managed to stop euthanizing all but the sickest animals. …

“Shelters in Virginia, New York and San Francisco report successes similar to Nevada’s, and communities in more than a dozen states have announced no-kill goals and added legislative mandates to their agenda.

“King County, Wash., passed a law requiring area shelters to achieve an 85 percent save rate by 2009. San Antonio, Texas, is aiming for zero kills by 2012. And Ivan City, Utah, saved 97 percent of its shelter animals beginning in 2006 when the animal control ordinances were rewritten to prohibit the euthanasia of healthy animals.”

Meanwhile, PETA continues to be a strong advocate of euthanasia, and kills 85% of the animals it “rescues.”

http://www.newsweek.com/id/134549

Roger Rabbit Commentary: The dog Goldy met at Montlake has died but the Rabbit family has a brand new rescue puppy. Our burrow contributes to the no-kill movement by saving one life at a time.

21. Matty spews:

I would suspect that if you have a neighbor venting his frustation with your dog while at the fence…there are probably a lot of other times your dog is barking when nobody is around the fence.

Chronic barking dogs are common and, unfortunately, even more commonly are owners that chronically ignore neighborhood peace by thinking they have a right to inflict their barking dog on others.

Do your neighbors a favor and shut the dog up by keeping it inside a garage, kennel, or the house….and take it for a walk more often.