Is a dog barking aggressively at strangers through a screen door acceptable behavior?

I’m not a dog person, but per this thread I am curious. Is rushing to the door to bark aggressively at strangers on your front doorstep generally considered acceptable social behavior, or is it the sign of poorly trained, or otherwise poorly controlled dog?

I know same dogs will do this instinctively, so I suppose I’m asking if it’s poor manners for an owner to allow this potentially obnoxious behavior to manifest itself, or should the attitude be - “If you’re on my property you’re going by my rules and an aggressive barking dog is part of the package for accessing my property”.

Also, I know some of these issues are being discussed in the linked thread, but I specifically wanted to address the larger issue or acceptable dog behavior in society, not just the validity of the mail carriers concerns, which is why I posted a separate thread.

A decent-sized dog can go right through a screen door given proper motivation, so no, it’s not acceptable.

I would find it, at the very least, annoying, if not intimidating. I see it as antisocial and it reflects on the dogs owner. Unless you live in a rural area, w/ plenty of space between houses, I would also wonder how neighbors reacted to frequent barking. I know that it annoys the hell out of me.

Not acceptable.

We have a front door, a storm door, and a big dog. I don’t let him just stand behind the storm door and bark. It doesn’t have a great latch, and he can see the sidewalk from it. If something pissed him off enough (another dog, a cat, a menu delivery person) he could get through it.

Unless the dog is actually dangerous, I see no problem with them “defending their territory” against strangers. A barking dog is the number-one burglary deterrent. They’re also the best alarm system money can buy.

My eldest dog, Bean, is a barker. She looks incredibly vicious to strangers who approach the door, her lips pulled back in a snarl, but she’s perfectly friendly with anyone we welcome into our home. Bean was actually trained to bark like that by the dog training academy I sent her to as a puppy. She’s also trained to stop on command.

My grandmother credits her with stopping a home invasion. (The dog was being watched by my grandma while I was out of town, and a man came to her door late at night and tried to shove his way in “to use the phone.” As soon as Bean started in her blood-thirsty-dog routine, he backed off.)

I know you are talking about dogs in general, but since mine is the one that sparked this thread, I want to point out that I am also annoyed by barking dogs and ours does not bark incessantly. If you come to our front door, she will bark at you.

Barking dogs are a problem in a neighborhood and if you have a dog that barks you should make sure your neighbors and such are not annoyed by it. We have good relationships with our neighbors and have done so. There are dogs on our street that are left outside to whine and bark all day and to me that is much more of a nuisance than a dog that barks when you come to the owner’s door.

I have no dog but the people on each side have big, barking dogs. I love it. Free burglar alarms! They only bark if someone is in the front yards/at the doors (their own or ours). Perfect. Why would I want that to stop???

A dog that barks at strangers AFTER the owner has noticed and told it to chill out is unacceptable. A dog that barks at strangers is being a dog.

While I’m sadly dogless at the moment, in the past I’ve trained my dogs to respond to “Thank you, [dogname]” as the cue to stop their barking. They know they’ve done their job, and that I, the alpha dog, am now aware of the situation and I will determine how we, the pack, will treat this person - as guest, as invader or as something else.

But to expect a dog to not bark at all when her territory is being invaded is just cruel, I think. She is still a dog, and dogs are territorial. That territorial instinct should be secondary to the dog’s respect of me, but it’s still going to be present.

I’ve never had a dog that barked excessively at visitors. But I am sure there may be differences among breeds. I’ve certainly had dogs that let out a bark or two when someone comes to the door, but have had no problem telling them to be quiet. I don’t know what happens when I am not home, but the doors would be fully shut and locked then. Never had a dog that barked through a window.

One time a neighbor said my dog barked when left in the yard, so we stopped leaving him in the yard. I’m not sure exactly how much he was barking, but thought the presumption clearly went with the human.

I’m always a little surprised when I walk my neighborhood, and from within a house a dog hurtles itself at a door or window, barking like mad. Sometimes you really expect the dog to come through the plate glass or screen. And I have known many a screen/storm door with flimsy, unreliable latches.

Sometimes you hear the owner ineffectually yelling “Be quiet.” Wonder when they will realize that doesn’t work and try something else?

Perhaps that is the ONLY thing the dog does wrong and in ALL other respects it is a perfect companion. But I tend to doubt it.

Shoulda previewed.
Very well phrased, Whynott.

I am a single, 50 year old female who lives in the heart of a lower-class urban neighborhood. My 130 lb Great Dane is a complete coward, who deals with her cowardice by barking ferociously at anything that frightens her (which is anything over the size of a large insect). She never bites - she’s far too afraid - and she stops barking the moment she can sniff the incoming person, and starts begging for petting.

Unacceptable? Maybe to you. To me, she’s safety. I *never * worry about house-breakers.

Whynott expresses what I think on it. A dog barking at the door when your trying to talk to the owner is bad. I would want to know someone was on the property.

WhyNot’s nailed it. Dogs should bark, but when told to stop, should stop.