It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

In Defense of Aggression. A long winded dog story.

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 10:18 PM
When my brother and I were very young, my mother was a hobby breeder of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The few litters her dogs produced were beautiful, true to breed standard, and the line is still going strong. Mom was an unlikely dog trainer, for many reasons, but somehow, our two dogs were whip smart. The male knew every command in the book, as well as hand signals. The female was one of the smartest domestic pet dogs I've ever personally met. She would open and close the door for herself if she needed outside; she was the type of dog who had a sense of timing. She knew when the school bus would drop my brother and I off at the end of the road and pick us up.

We lived on a large farm, and people would come and go all day. One afternoon, my brother and I were playing outside, dogs in tow. Our mother and a friend were sitting on the step doing whatever young mothers were doing in the late eighties. A truck came down the drive way, stopped, and a man got out. He walked quickly toward my mother and her friend, and before he could get there, our female dog was in between them. She was growling, low in her chest. I can't remember the exact conversation, but the man asked my mother to call off the dog, to which my mother replied, how close do you need to get? In the end, the man was looking for my grandfather, Mom told him where to find him and he turned to go to his truck. In a moment of, what I can only deduce to be sheer idiocy, the man decided to growl at my brother and I like a bear. As you can imagine, the dog didn't take kindly to her humans being threatened in such a ridiculous way. She ran up behind him and bit the back of his shoe. Mom shouted, "Get back!" and the dog let go, sauntered over to us and sat down.

Later at dinner, my grandfather was upset that the dog had scared a potential new client. He asked her why she let the dog be wary towards strangers. Mom asked him if he valued his grandchildren, because she certainly couldn't scare anyone off. He then laughed until he couldn't breathe while telling everyone about how the man had almost pissed himself.

That beloved dog is long gone, but mom still always manages to have a dog that knows it's territory and defends it. I never picked up the knack of dog training (My dog is a #-zu who is more likely to pee on you than bite you. I guess that's terrifying enough.), but my significant other is much like my mother, our other dog is a mastiff; she's sweet and lazy and goofy. Basically, she's a big loveable wrinkle. Somehow over the years he's trained her to know when familiar people are at the door. I have no idea how he accomplished this, but she knows. We have a large yard that she loves to roam. She never bothers passers-by on the sidewalk, or even pays attention to them; but if they step in the yard...first she'll let out a warning bark, and you only get one warning. This is her families yard, and if you are to take two steps into the yard...well, she looks extremely terrifying, I'm sure, while running at you full tilt, with teeth bared. Just ask the friendly neighbourhood garbage collector who dared to come into the yard to pick up a stray pop bottle he saw. Did she bite him? No, and she never would have. She stopped two feet in front of him and acted out the stages of rabies until he was back on the side walk. Then she shook off her jowls, grabbed the pop bottle, and chewed it up, prancing around in the grass. After this incident, the dog catcher paid us a visit and scolded us about our aggressive dog. She's not aggressive, we told her, she's territorial. We don't expect her to know the difference between a man picking up garbage in the yard, and a thief looking to steal tools, or garden equipment. If you're worried about that, she said, get a garage. My boyfriend told her, why would I bother, just so someone could break in the garage?

I have no idea how SO trained her to be like this, but tonight, I am forever grateful. We live in a very small town. We never lock our doors. For the last few days, SO has been working out of town. I don't really mind staying home alone, it gives me time to catch up on the TV that only I like and sit in the bath until I'm pruney. Tonight after retiring to bed at the geriatric hour of 9:30pm, the dogs and cats and I all snuggled up, I heard something outside. I thought maybe my boyfriend was home early. Excited, I got out of bed and started walking down the hall towards the front door. Before I got too far, the dog pushed past me snarling and barking. I got just far enough down the hall to see someone open the front door and step inside. It wasn't my boyfriend. My heart stopped. Frozen, I watched the man step into the mud room, and our dog slam into the glass door that separates the hall. Time was immeasurable, but as the dog tried to break through the glass of the French door, the man turned around and left, not even bothering to close the outside door.

I came to my senses and ran, jello-legged, into the front room and saw a car pulling out of our unused, and kind of hidden, second driveway. I called the police, who were able to stop a car matching my description pulling onto the highway. An officer came to the house to speak with me and informed me that based on what they found in the car, the men were likely just looking for an easy robbery. He said he couldn't tell me the details, but I was probably safer having not been alone with the man.

I'm alone now, waiting for the SO to get home, he's an hour away. Do I feel completely safe? No, I think my body is going through some adrenaline issues. Am I afraid though? No. Did I lock the door? No. The dog is here on the bed with me; she's the best alarm system we could have ever purchased. Our aggressive dog, well trained and alert, gives me the freedom to be home alone; to leave the door unlocked.

Get a handle on our aggressive dog? No thanks, she was raised that way.

posted on Nov, 20 2015 @ 12:05 AM
a reply to: Atsbhct
Aggressive or protective? There's a difference but I guess it's a matter of perspective.
Funny, it censored the breed of your dog. #zu.
ETA: LOL it did it to me, too. Is there any way to type the name for that breed of dog without getting censored? That's hilarious.
edit on 20-11-2015 by Skid Mark because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 20 2015 @ 04:40 AM
a reply to: Atsbhct

I don't believe it's a matter of training. It's instinct.

Our black Lab, border collie mix will get between myself and my grandchildren when I'm tussling with them. He just barks and light nips anyone who gets physical with them...tail wagging. If it was someone he didn't know- not an alpha- then I suspect the reaction would be stronger.

Perhaps dogs can be trained out of that instinct, but I'd bet not an easy thing at all.

This mix Lab and border collie has both territorial and protective instincts. He is family.

posted on Nov, 20 2015 @ 04:34 PM
a reply to: Atsbhct

I'm always inclined to trust my dogs' judgement of people. There's a guy that used to live in our neighborhood, and my male hound didn't like him. And it was obvious that he was scared of the dog once the dog expressed the dislike. Every other person he meets, mostly, he is very friendly.

top topics

log in