Checking out noises/upset dog

Checking out noises/upset dog

This is a discussion on Checking out noises/upset dog within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; 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 ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    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.

    Suggestions?


  2. #2
    Member Array RAC55's Avatar
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    I also live in a rural area and luckily, my little ankle-biter only starts growling if she senses a person outside. She totally ignores animals. I am a night person , so I'm up 'til all hours of the morning. If something doesn't sound or 'feel' right outside, I go and investigate. I'm in the process of setting up my HD weapon with a good tactical light and maybe a laser so I don't have to carry a flashlight in my other hand. I want both hands free to have a secure grip on the weapon while searching.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    Actually, I think you will hear that you should stay in your house and not leave to "investigate". You are armed and inside a secure building. Going outside eliminates one of those two defenses. As to carrying your gun pointed at the ground, I have learned that if not holstered, then it should be in a ready position. My 2 cents.
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapnketel View Post
    Actually, I think you will hear that you should stay in your house and not leave to "investigate". You are armed and inside a secure building. Going outside eliminates one of those two defenses. As to carrying your gun pointed at the ground, I have learned that if not holstered, then it should be in a ready position. My 2 cents.
    I think you are probably right on that. If there's noise outside I should probably stay in the house, make sure doors are locked. Maybe get upstairs into the 'safe room'. As for checking inside the house, maybe I should wait a few seconds to hear if there are more noises, then keep it holstered or ready and carefully check?

    I don't think I need to go as far as properly 'clearing' the house, unless there's substantial evidence of a break-in, like coming home to a door ajar or the like. Right?

    Again, I'm happy to hear I'm wrong and what to do right. I'm definitely still learning. I did read through the NRA book that came with my CCW course, but it didn't quite cover something like this.

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    I live in a subdivision, but back up to a large tract of land + woods.

    If I call 911, there is no doubt an urgent situation. For everything else, I investigate anything out of the ordinary. However, I also keep my firearm holstered and concealed while doing so. Sometimes, it's one of the neighborhood kids trespassing back there. For some reason, people tend to think that if it's untouched land, well maybe nobody owns it? Who knows... However, I don't want to scare the poo out of my neighbors by coming up on them with a gun visible.

    I also tend to not use a flashlight, but instead allow my eyes to adjust. If there is a bad guy out there, I prefer to find him before he finds me. To not feel free to investigate the security of your own property would be a shame.
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    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    My GF was sick at home this weekend, trying to sleep, & kept hearing a banging noise outside which would make our dog bark.
    After a while, she went outside & discovered it was a neighborhood kid throwing a ball at our fence.
    She asked him to stop about 3 times & he finally left.
    Shortly after, his Dad came down & bitched my GF out saying his kid had every right to be doing it, & that his wife
    would be down to settle things as soon as she got home.
    The wife never showed up.

    Unfortunately I was gone shooting, I would have loved to have been there.
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    The police will quickly tire of responding to 911 calls because your dog is barking at an armadillo is digging up grubworms in your back yard. You can only yell "Wolf" so many times before you're labeled a nuisance. I also don't want to live in fear of going out of my own house, regardless of the time of day.

    If you feel secure investigating "bumps-in-the-night" yourself, do so, with due caution. If you don't, call 911--but I wouldn't make a habit of it.
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    If you feel secure investigating "bumps-in-the-night" yourself, do so, with due caution. If you don't, call 911--but I wouldn't make a habit of it.
    I do for the most part feel secure about it. I'm just worried that it's a false sense of security.

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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    I send my dog out first. If there is someone in my back yard that should not be there, the screaming from that person will let me know. My dog is a German Shepard. If it a critter diging up my wife's flowers, well the dog will take care of that too.
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    Senior Member Array Caertaker's Avatar
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    I echo the sentiments of those who are reluctant to cede the advantage of a known secure location. Although I do carry a flashlight, I plan on flashing it in the eyes of anyone I encounter to temporarily destroy their night vision placing them at a further disadvantage while I take my next step.
    "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations” – James Madison 1788

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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caertaker View Post
    I echo the sentiments of those who are reluctant to cede the advantage of a known secure location. Although I do carry a flashlight, I plan on flashing it in the eyes of anyone I encounter to temporarily destroy their night vision placing them at a further disadvantage while I take my next step.
    I use a SureFire p2x fury. Low beam to look around, with another tap for full blinding illumination. It's often pretty dark here, can see the Milky Way.

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    Senior Member Array Lish's Avatar
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    We are rural, on 5 acres so neighbors aren't real close and most can't even be seen due to trees and such. My Rottweiler typically only barks for a reason and she has freaked me out twice in the last few weeks staring right at the front door, hair on neck raised, barking and growling. Never did find what she was barking at recently. I WILL NOT go outside, not even open the door. I will look out the windows, check the video camera on the driveway and check out the windows again. I'll only call 911 if I have a real reason to, and have twice in the past, once for a break in attempt and once for someone suspicious on the property. I even took pictures through the window and printed them for the responding deputies.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    City folks will tell you ..... stay inside and call 911.

    Country folks will tell you..... take your gun , your dog, and check it out (have phone in pocket ) .

    I'm on the country side of things. Because you get used to the fact you are there on your own, and self - dependent, and it's too far for a deputy to come out unless you have someone they need to arrest.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    set up motion activated perimeter lights pointing out from the house,turn off all interior lights that could silhouette you,one problem with walking around with a light source is if it's a BG they will know where you are before you spot them,if they are armed and want to harm you you will be at a disadvantage,I would secure doors and windows and observe from inside in the dark while he is blinded by the security lights,most thieves will run if they lose the cover of darkness especially on motion activated lights.I keep a loaded shotgun ready besides my pistol
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    Member Array MrsHB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    set up motion activated perimeter lights pointing out from the house,turn off all interior lights that could silhouette you,one problem with walking around with a light source is if it's a BG they will know where you are before you spot them,if they are armed and want to harm you you will be at a disadvantage,I would secure doors and windows and observe from inside in the dark while he is blinded by the security lights,most thieves will run if they lose the cover of darkness especially on motion activated lights.I keep a loaded shotgun ready besides my pistol
    Ditto on all counts. We have open lawn all around the house, landscaping is kept knee-height or lower (no hiding places for BGs), doors are locked and alarm is on every night, barking dogs are in yard and motion lights are mounted on every side of the house.

    Get within 30 yards of the house and you will find yourself spotlighted with barking dogs around you.

    You are also in range.

    99% of nighttime barking is from roaming varmints - mostly cats.
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