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My husband was away for three nights working out of town. He was on night shift so when he came back home it was about 1am. I was sleeping of course and Caeda was sleeping with me on the foot of the bed. When he got home Caeda leapt to her feet stood completely rigid and barked twice then launched off the bed.
I didn't see the rest, but apparently she was pretty impressive/scary. When my DH opened the door and went to come in all he saw of Caeda was hackles and teeth charging him. He said hi and extended his hand. When she was within an inch of him her hackles dropped, her head dropped a bit and she started doing her "wiggle dance"....that awesome full body wag that she greets us with, accompanied by some happy grunts.
I'm kind of proud of her, and feel a little safer that if a stranger bust in she would be in protection mode, or at least let me know for sure something is going on, AND she identified my husband before sinking in teeth.

Now my questions: is this any real indication of what she might do if there was someone breaking in? Does this mean she would actually attack or would she just give a stranger the wiggle dance as soon as they said hi and she smelled them? My family had a dog once whose most lethal move was to lick someone to death. Should I train her to be less protective (I'm thinking on the off chance a friend unknown to her came by)? Like I said, I'm kind of proud of her, but at the same time I wonder if its a behaviour I should try to manage (or heck....cultivate and put on cue rather than her just decide to potentially go into attack mode). Also, I wonder if her lunging on the leash sometimes when she sees people/dogs/vehicles could be an extension of being protective rather than just excited and curious. Thoughts anyone?
 

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I came home at a very unusual time one day when I was younger and when I came in, Neeka was looking very frightening. She was growling and standing all stiff- but she loosened up as soon as I called her name and she realized it was me. We didn't do anything about it. Chances are, if there's someone Caeda doesn't know coming in without knocking at 1 am, it's reasonable for her to go into protective mode. Whether it's reflective of what she would do to someone she didn't know, I don't know.

Meh, the way I see it, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I wouldn't try to capture it or reward that behaviour because it could be a real problem if it spreads to being protective during situations where it isn't necessary. I would just leave it alone. I don't think it would have anything to do with barking on walks, but it could be. An unknown assailant in the middle of the night doing a highly irregular thing seems like a way different thing to react to than the normal occurrence of seeing things in broad daylight on walks.
 

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When my DH opened the door and went to come in all he saw of Caeda was hackles and teeth charging him. He said hi and extended his hand. When she was within an inch of him her hackles dropped, her head dropped a bit and she started doing her "wiggle dance"....that awesome full body wag that she greets us with, accompanied by some happy grunts.
Great piece of work.
 

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How does she act when strangers come to the door? If she's fine with the mailman, then she's probably not overly aggressive. A lot of dogs will get super-protective when it's nighttime, their master's asleep, and they suddenly hear someone enter the house.
 

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I consider that my dogs' job. I don't know if they'd follow through with a real attack if an actual stranger broke in but at least I'd know someone came in and they'd put on a good show.
 

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I consider that my dogs' job. I don't know if they'd follow through with a real attack if an actual stranger broke in but at least I'd know someone came in and they'd put on a good show.
Agree. Greater Swiss, Biscuit has done the exact same thing you describe to both me and my husband, if one of us comes home late after the other and the dog are asleep. She goes nuts briefly, then calms down and goes into propeller tail licking wagging mode as soon as she realizes who the "intruder" is. But she's fine with houseguests and strangers. If Caeda is OK with houseguests during normal waking hours, then I would count this behavior as a bonus -- she's just doing her job, being a watchdog and keeping an eye out for grizzly bears. It's pretty unlikely that any welcome guest would waltz into your house with no warning when you're all asleep, anyway, right?
 

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My brother's placid standard Poodle did the same thing to him, under the same circumstances. I agree that it is a bonus reaction for a friendly dog, unless you see it getting out of control. BTW, saying something, as well as blowing in the air will give both smell and hearing cues....
 

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My mom's dogs use to do this when my step dad came home at night. They'd leap off the bed and charge him, teeth barred, until he said something. Then once they realized who it was, their whole demeanor would change and they'd get all happy-wiggly.

Good for Caeda :) I wouldn't encourage it, but I wouldn't discourage it either. Because she knows your husband, and so long as she realizes it's him, she'd never hurt him. And you never know, someday it may not be your husband walking through the door...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How does she act when strangers come to the door? If she's fine with the mailman, then she's probably not overly aggressive. A lot of dogs will get super-protective when it's nighttime, their master's asleep, and they suddenly hear someone enter the house.
She's usually pretty interested in getting at them....some barking at first, jumping at the door a bit, that's with strangers and friends. We've never let her at a stranger without a proper introduction, but with friends if she gets to them she wags and if really excited jumps impolitely sometimes. I've never seen her be aggressive with anybody (other than a minor guarding incident with us, now resolved).

We don't have many people come to the door though, we live in the boonies. That's part of the reason that I'm kind of happy about her reaction, on the off chance somebody broke in with bad intentions there would be no one near enough to hear me yell for help.

Overall I guess I should be pretty proud of her, she did put on a heck of a show, I heard the barking part, it wasn't play barks! My heart skipped a beat for a second since I wasn't sure how it was going to go, then I heard my husband giggling and the dog grunting :)
That's my girl!
 

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My dog is a Rottie and very protective by nature , but with very good judgement on when to set off the alarm.
People can come to my door and walk by the house with their kids and dogs and she just watches them carefully.
She walks on a leash without pulling and is happy to meet other dogs and people.

but ,
Strangers should not enter the house or yard without proper introduction.
Anyways...
I ride motorcycles..
Last week I was in the garage..I put on my motorcycle helmet and leather jacket to take the bike out for a ride.
I came in the house to get my wallet and...Holy Sheit!!!!
There is probably the Meanest looking dog I have ever seen in my life..Ready to attack!
(Roxxie never saw me wearing a helmet and leather jacket..)
I tried to tell her "its me!!"..but..No way could she hear me over her own barking and my wife screaming.
I ripped off the helmet ...
Immediatly Roxxie could see it was me ...and she apologized for the case of mistaken identity..
by acting like a puppy and licking my face for an hour or so.
 
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