Checking out noises/upset dog
I live out in the country a bit. I do have neighbors but we're spaced out with about an acre apiece.
Every now and then while watching a movie or talking in the kitchen after the kids have gone to bed, our shepherd mix will suddenly run out the dog door and start barking her head off, or I'll hear a sound that doesn't belong in the house.
Since I've started carrying around the house, I'll usually draw my gun and keep it pointed at the ground while carefully investigating in the house, then if the dog is upset outside, I'll grab a flashlight and carefully check over the patio walls, fence etc.
Since reading here and elsewhere, I'm starting to think maybe this is a bad course of action, both from safety and liability standpoints. My question to the many seasoned people here, especially LEOs, is, what should I actually be doing?
The police are few and far between here, and I think it would be a bit ridiculous to call 911 every time we hear something go bump, or the dog barks at a passing animal. On the other hand, I don't want to just sit in the living room or kitchen waiting for someone to present themselves.