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Dog Doorbell Virgins

Our doorbell never rings. Pretty much … never. That’s the beauty of living on a fully fenced hunk o’ land with a locking gate. Other than the few times it came up in the Relaxation Protocol (detailed, tedious dog behavior modification), Lilly and Ginko haven’t heard our doorbell ring. So, imagine my adrenalin rush and their curiosity when it went off Friday in the middle of a quiet working morning.

Not so much a ding-dong as a ba-ling. The bell rung.

Because the bell has sounded just 3-5 times in the many, many years we’ve lived here, the dogs don’t associate that noise with the front door … which played to my advantage.

They ran to the dining room windows to bark at the man outside. Stranger? They knew that. Ba-ling? Not so much.

And, since an L-shaped half-wall separates the dining room from the entry hall, I didn’t have to wrestle my canine pals — who like me were a little freaked that someone got close to the house without permission.

Did I let them bark? You bet your butt I did … especially Ginko, who was using his Scary, Big Boy Voice.

(Only my rural, remote pals will understand that unique brand of “Hark, who goes there?”)

It turned out to be nothing dangerous. It was just a guy from our electrical co-op. He needed to fiddle with something in a box that’s on our land. That meant turning off our power for a bit. He’d climbed the fence from the house next door because he warned them too of the brief, very local power outage he needed to create.

So all is well, as usual, around here.

But it did make me laugh to realize my two pups are essentially Dog Doorbell Virgins. I’d bet that’s somewhat rare these days.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

MarthaAndMe - April 11, 2010

Ours rings probably once every two days so my dogs are used to. One of them barks but more because he just thinks it’s required. My parents dogs however, who are visiting this week, make me nuts. One of them barks at cars that go by on the street – or any perceived noise outside. It drives me nuts.

Alisa Bowman - April 8, 2010

For some reason, my 5 yr old thinks it’s great fun to ring the doorbell and then watch the dog go nuts. It’s not so fun for me. I imagine it’s not fun for our dog, either.

Heather Sheldon - April 7, 2010

Wow- I would think people would thing twice before jumping a fence and approaching a house in our neighborhood. Nearly everyone has dogs that can access the yard via dog door and though many of these dogs are sweeties when appropriately introduced, they may not be so polite to strangers approaching the house!

Sam - April 6, 2010

Marge knows what the doorbell means and had a brief period where she growled when it rang, but lately she just kind of gets all antsy about it. She gets put in the basement for her own comfort when someone comes in (since she’s got that whole thing about people coming through doors).

Like you said, I think that your dog’s barks are a good thing, since you live in a quiet, secluded, place.

AC - April 6, 2010

“Scary, big boy voice” Haha, I’m all about Kona using her big girl voice too. She’s pretty darn scary looking when someone approaches the door. I thought about working on correcting this behavior, but quickly decided that Kona’s allowed to announce someone’s arrival however she pleases.

D.K. Wall & The Thundering Herd - April 6, 2010

We live so far out, we don’t have a door bell. The first clue we have a visitor is the sound of a vehicle on the gravel driveway.

The dogs all gather at the window and look out. Not many people think of approaching a house with 6 Siberians staring out the window.

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell - April 6, 2010

We don’t have a door bell and all of our dogs still bark when one rings on television, which is pretty funny! 🙂

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