Pooch Patrol

I’m posting this here because I doubt anyone has a factual answer that can be supported with citations.

As I creak into middle age, I’ve decided I must walk a mile or more every evening to stave off creeping decrepitness. I’ve got several mile routes staked out around my neighborhood, most of which involve my walking past my northerly next-door neighbor’s house.

I’ve noticed something.

When I do walk past that house, my neighbor’s dog escorts me, on his side of the fence, barking and growling, and sticking his head out under the fence where his half-dug holes are, to snap and generally communicate his passionate desire to put me thoroughly asunder for treading so close to his master’s realm.

When my neighbors are home.

When they’re not home, the dog will look over when I walk by, but I don’t get the histrionics. What’s going on here? I figure that it’s a.) he knows his precious people are away and there’s nobody around that he needs to protect, b.) he’s a slacker - he knows the boss isn’t around, so why bother? - or c.) something else explains it.

So, TM, whatcha think? What’s up with Cpl. Pooch?

Some performers just have to have an audience.

More likely, the mutt only sounds the alarm when there’s someone who can be alerted (or defended).

I agree with Zenster. I had a dog when I was a kid who chased cars all the time but didn’t do it when I or my sibs weren’t home. And he never chased the school bus. Go figure.

Your neighbors have trained the pooch to react to strangers (although at this point, you may may be able to be his buddy if you brought a couple of doggie biscuits along with you).
Or not. My husband trained our Dobie many years ago (against my wishes) to go nuts when the mail fell through the slot in the front door - and during the holidays, a bell was on the door which sounded as our postman delivered the mail. Even after we moved to a house which didn’t have a front door mail chute, when I brought out that bell, Vader would go into full attack mode.

My guess is it si a possessiveness thing. The dog isn’t defending his home…he’s defending his people. He probably wants any potential attention to be lavished on him so he’s telling you to get lost. If there is any petting to be had he aims to be the sole recipient.