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Growling and protecting or a little looney?

Ford Girl
November 8th, 2007, 02:36 PM
Hi, not sure if last night was a full moon or what, but Dazy was off her rocker. Once it got dark, she got REALLY jumpy, kept checking the window, growling, mini-barks, hair standing on end, ears perked and 100% focused on the window, all her muscles flexed, she was very intense. She'd come over and stand infront of us, almost like she was guarding us, while we watched tv on the couch, then back to the window, then over to us again but this time infront of us, between the coffee table and the couch, hovering over us, than back to the window. We normally ignore her when she acts this way, cuz it's usually a cat or a flyer kid, and it usually last about a minute, at one point we got up to look out to see if there really was a concern, and we saw nothing. It went on for about an hour. She had about an hour hard exercise last night, before all of this.

Now, I know its good for them to protect us as in alerting us to danger, but after an hour, there was no danger that we could see or hear. So we started correcting her, and eventually had to put her in her xpen. She went in grumbling, which isn't like her at all. We couldnt get her eyes off the window. I put her out side for a pee and she barked her head off, paniced almost, I immediatly brought her in, and I went outside alone to the front of the house and saw nothing. Nothing.

We don't want to ignore her if it's a real threat, and we don't want to ignore the signals, but what do you do if you don't see anything to be alarmed about, or anything for that matter? I don't want to encourage nurotic behavior either? It kinda gave me the heebeegeebies! Something was freaking her out. What do you think?

November 8th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Sometimes they see and smell things we can't. Shade used to get really nervous outside the house in Tahoe sometimes and I wouldn't see anything, but knew that she did. Coyotes and bears are good at staying out of sight, but she could always smell them. Can you look around your house now that it is light out and see if there are any foot/paw prints? Is she still freaky today?

Ford Girl
November 8th, 2007, 03:51 PM
Well today I put her in day care to burn some of that nervous energy off, she was really wound up last night! I did look this morning, and nothing. She also slept thru the night and settled once we penned her.

I guess I was wondering, do you acknowledge it, ignore it, go see what it is, try to calm her down? I'd hate to feed nervous energy and I'd hate to ignore a legit threat.

November 8th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Amber has done much the same thing - whenever she goes to the window and barks I go over, look out - if I don't see anything untoward, I just say "all clear" and go back to what I was doing. If she persists, because - yes, dogs do smell and/or sense what we do not - I do the same thing about three times then if she still does it - she is sent to her bed.

A couple of times it's been a strange cat that has been around, other times I have no idea what caused her to act like that.

She is considerably better than she was - she used to go into a frenzy over every little thing outside but the times are now much fewer and further between..

November 8th, 2007, 06:52 PM
You got ghosties and ghoulies???? :eek:

One night when the grrrrls were little them out the front door and Bridie immediately started barking her silly head off. For the life of me I could neither see nor a thing out of the ordinary. It wasn't until we got to the parkette which is about 500 yards away and she headed, barking all the way, to the bench did I notice that the bench had been moved. :rolleyes:

I do much the same thing as the two of you ~ get up and check, give her a "Thank you, it's okay" ~ after all she's just doing her job. But, if she persists after a few Thank You's, she's told to lie down and be quiet ~ after all I've done my job, which is threat asssessment.

November 8th, 2007, 07:19 PM
You got ghosties and ghoulies???? :eek:


What about ETs, chupacabra, or Bigfoot? Just kidding...

white wrabbit
November 8th, 2007, 11:11 PM
could it of been possible her reflection she saw in the window?

November 8th, 2007, 11:19 PM
We get a lot of 'after hours' guarding on days/nights where we've heard lots of wolves/coyotes/bear hounds baying/barking/howling...also after days of excessive deer activity. We also know that our dogs will 'go off' if a chipmunk farts within 50 feet of the house. :rolleyes:

Usually, I'll check it out once or twice, tell them everything is fine, and if they persist, just tell them to knock it off. They usually do. Occasionally, though, they'll be jumpy all night and the next morning we'll find evidence of bears :eek: or some drunk that ran his ATV down the ditch and up the other side. :rolleyes: We're grateful that the dogs keep us posted, and dangers at bay, even if we are a little short of sleep the next morning. :o

November 9th, 2007, 01:22 AM
Cally did that too sometimes, If I couldn't see what it was I'd let him out the back so he could see what it was through the side gate, I let him bark for a little bit, then I'd call him in. Occasionally he would persist @ the front door - one time I leashed him & took him out the front, let him lead the way, there was a skunk across the street sauntering through the neighbourhood looking for hiding places. No we didn't get sprayed I saw it before we came near, once he knew what it was & sent it on it's way he settled down.

Another time it was barking @ the back & basement doors - there was 2-3 raccoons in the hugh pine tree in the backyard so I let him out onto the back deck which was gated (so he couldn't get into the yard) & stood there with him watching the raccoons (they seemed fascinated by us too :D) - had to tell him "quiet" a few times but he enjoyed watching - would've prefered chasing though ;)

Since I too was the curious kind & always wanted to know just what he was barking @ I always acknowledged & let him check it out or I would look & tell him "it's okay" - & he was good with that (although much less hyper than Dazy too :rolleyes:)

Perhaps you have raccoons or skunks in your neighbourhood or someone lurking in their car :eek:

November 9th, 2007, 06:42 AM
I had an indoor/outdoor cat when I was a teenager (many moons ago) and one night I let him out of the house through the back door, his fur fluffed and he hissed. At first I didn't see anything and thought maybe another cat so I grabbed him and threw him back into the house. When my eyes adjusted to the dark I saw it was a couple of teenagers lying on the ground. They were breaking into cars in the parking lot that backed onto our house.

I personally would not ignore when an animal is trying to tell us something.

November 9th, 2007, 06:13 PM
Molly does the same thing, she seems to get an idea in her head and then every noise, shadow, anything, reinforces it. Usually I will go and check it out after a couple of barks, growls... if I don't see anything I say "it's OK" and ignore her (and quietly check that the door is locked :laughing:).
Sometimes I will play with her for a while to get her mind off whatever she thinks is going on, the distraction really helps and, I think, doesn't reinforce the behaviour :fingerscr

I think part of the problem is that when dogs start to get edgy, we get a bit edgy and they sense it so they get EXTRA vigilant and attentive (IMO)

November 10th, 2007, 10:19 AM
I bet it was an animal that Dazy could smell but was out of sight. Toby does the exact same thing when there is a skunk in the neighbourhood. Fortunately I'm able to figure that out by the smell and avoid a dog-spray situation!

I just do what Mummummum mentioned...

I do much the same thing as the two of you ~ get up and check, give her a "Thank you, it's okay" ~ after all she's just doing her job. But, if she persists after a few Thank You's, she's told to lie down and be quiet ~ after all I've done my job, which is threat asssessment.