Dog May Have Prevented An Incident Last Night

Dog May Have Prevented An Incident Last Night

This is a discussion on Dog May Have Prevented An Incident Last Night within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My (nearly) 2 year old pup, Rocky, is a german shepherd/st. bernard/? mix. He's a bit skittish and wimpish outside our property, but in my ...

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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Dog May Have Prevented An Incident Last Night

    My (nearly) 2 year old pup, Rocky, is a german shepherd/st. bernard/? mix. He's a bit skittish and wimpish outside our property, but in my house or my car, he is the master of his territory. He'll let me know about anyone or thing that gets too close to his territory.

    Sometimes at night, he'll let out a couple woofs. Sometimes he sees one of the neighborhood cats, sometimes he just wants outside. But these common at-night barks are pretty tame, and more playful than anything.

    Well last night at about a quarter after 3, he let out a series of barks that were anything but playful. Out of nowhere, I awoke to very aggressive and threatening barks coming from Rocky.

    I learned something about myself last night, from this.

    1) I now know for sure the difference between his standard "look! It's a CAT!" bark and an aggressive, serious tone (it doesn't happen that often).

    2) A bark like that in the middle of the night WILL wake me up.

    3) When my adrenaline dumps, I choose "Fight" in the "fight or flight" response. Barricading myself in my room isn't even an option (for a couple reasons - I'll explain momentarily).

    4) The shotgun is apparently my preferred choice for HD. I keep an AR, Shotgun, and Pistol all loaded up and ready to go (I like options, so sue me), but the shotgun is all I thought about when it was time to arm myself.

    5) I REALLY need to work on disengaging the safety on my shotgun. I've only had it for a month, so I haven't spent an incredible amount of time training with it. But had I actually needed to use it last night, I would've been wondering why my trigger wasn't working.

    As soon as he let out his threatening, aggressive bark, I jumped out of bed, grabbed my shotgun, and headed out of my room to the hallway. I was immediately wide awake (no sleepy grogginess going on at all), and didn't even need to think at any point between opening my eyes and stepping foot outside my room. It was all instant reaction.

    If you knew the layout of my home, this all may make more sense, but I'll try to explain nonetheless.

    Right outside my room is two hallways. One going straight ahead (bathroom immediately on left, my daughters' room straight ahead at the end, and my office on the right, just outside my girls' room) and one going off to the right. If you come in my house through the front door, the hallway is on the right, and when you look down that hallway, you'll see the bathroom dead ahead, and my room on the left at the end of the hall.

    As soon as I left my room, I started down the hallway that leads to the living room and rest of the house. As soon as I was in the hallway, I saw Rocky walking away from the front door, tail wagging. If there had still been a threat obviously present, he'd still be at the front door. I decided that there was no threat immediately present, but I nevertheless kept on to take a look myself. When I reached the end of the hallway, I looked off to the left where my front door is. There are two windows on either side of the front door that are about 6 inches wide, and run the height of the door. These make it easy to see if there is anyone on the porch. There was nobody so I got closer and made sure there was definitely nobody there or off to the side. The porch and yard where I could see were empty. I went to the backdoor to make sure that nobody was on the back porch either, and found that it was also clear. There was no more movement or other indication from Rocky that anything was wrong, so I patted him on the head and went back to my room.

    I know there are some on the forum that prefer the "stay-in-the-room-shoot-anything-that-opens-the-bedroom-door" method.

    Here's why that wouldn't work in my house, and why I wouldn't do it.

    First off, I learned that apparently my mind just doesn't work that way. I didn't think twice about heading out with the shotgun. There was never any thought about staying where I was and waiting to see if someone would break in or not. It was immediate reaction.

    Secondly, the barricade idea won't work because pointing the shotgun at my bedroom door is the last thing I'm going to do. My daughters' room is straight ahead outside my bedroom. Any shot from my bedroom towards my bedroom door would go through my daughters' door, and possibly hit my middle child, who's bed is straight ahead from there. This would simply not be an option.

    Thirdly, if something ever does actually happen, my wife would be heading immediately to my daughters' room - not locking herself in ours. From there, barricading herself and our daughters in THEIR bedroom would be an option. It also would not make sense to grab the girls and head BACK to the master bedroom.

    Fourth, I'd prefer to eliminate any threat BEFORE it comes anywhere near my daughters' room. And if I head down the hallway, any position of defense or offense that I would be in from there would not have any rounds headed anywhere near my daughters. I would be shooting in the opposite direction.


    I have been worried before that I wouldn't wake up to my dog barking if something is amiss. Sometimes I'm pretty out of it. But last night gave me confidence that I will indeed wake up to him. Good thing to know.


    I'm not sure if there was any threat or not, but Rocky's barking was way out of the norm, and far more aggressive than I have ever heard him. If there WAS a threat, I have no doubt that Rocky changed a would-be burglar's mind about my house being a good target. I give him some serious credit, and an award of some flavor is in order.

    Any thoughts or opinions on the matter? Similar incidents from anybody? What might you have done? Anybody else intimately aware of their choice between fight or flight?
    Last edited by pittypat21; October 28th, 2013 at 07:59 PM.
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    Member Array Nuke0955's Avatar
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    Sounds like Rocky has earned himself a nice juicy steak for dinner.

    We have 2 adult dogs; a 30# basenji (the breed that doesn't bark) and a 75# shepherd/lab/chow/? mix; which have seen their better days. The adult mix will bark a lot like Rocky. After almost 13 years you get to know what every noise they make means.

    Figuring that the adults will be gone soon, we now also have 2 80+#, 15 month old sisters; Cur/shepherd/? mix. One of them went apechit outside in the fenced yard a few days ago and I let them both loose. It appears that they chased a trespasser off the property that was nosing around our detached garage. The LEO that responded to my call (after the dogs and I combed the property) confirmed some footprints that were fresh. I had my 9mm on me but took it off before the LEO arrived. Protecting "the pack" is simply natural for most dogs.

    As far as you grabbiing the shotgun and heading out, I may have done the same. Despite having both a .38 SPL and 9mm at bedside, so is the shotgun. Currently, it's my only gun that has a tactical light and I know that's what I'd have grabbed, too. My wife knows to grab her .380 and both the cell and house phone and head for our safe room where she's to call the cops and grab the AR. But if anyone is already in the house that means they've gotten past the dogs and then it's a fire fight. Someone kill my dogs and they're gonna pay...

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    I had a Dalmatian who started in that way for a few nights. I never could find what she was upset about. It got so
    bad I had to ask the vet for doggie tranquilizers.

    We suspect there was a possum in a tree right outside the room where
    she slept, but that is just a guess. Meanwhile I had an unforgettable experience plus a couple of nights with too little sleep.
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    Member Array amendment4's Avatar
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    I too am a go investigate guy.with grandkids in the house i have to make sure what my target will be.
    Dogs are a very good security system and will deter far more than we will know about.
    I have a Husky with the 2 different colored eyes.
    she has three distinct barks.
    1)moma is home.
    2)sing with the coyotes.
    3)someone has pulled in the drive/or out of their car.

    No. 3 is the only one i get up to investigate.
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I had a Dalmatian who started in that way for a few nights. I never could find what she was upset about. It got so
    bad I had to ask the vet for doggie tranquilizers.

    We suspect there was a possum in a tree right outside the room where
    she slept, but that is just a guess. Meanwhile I had an unforgettable experience plus a couple of nights with too little sleep.
    Rocky regularly sleeps right inside the front door. He's got a lot of fur, and prefers the tile in the doorway over any of the rest of the house which is all carpet. The tile is a lot cooler for him. Thank goodness he likes that spot, because he hears and sees anything that goes on outside of it. He's barked at small animals before, and it is the same bark that he uses during the day when our neighbor across the street dare enter his own driveway. Its more "informational" than threatening or aggressive.

    Thankfully, this isn't something that happens frequently. His standard bark use to make me check things out late at night, but those never happen as late as 3am and I've gotten use to those being for small things, like bathroom breaks or the cat wants in.

    I'd certainly hate to have to tranq him every night. I enjoy having him as a sort of alarm system.

    How did you react during those first couple nights?
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    Good dog...give him a bone. Having lived in a semi- rural area on ten acres until the last few years. Dogs are your early warning system. I had 4'most of the time and never less than 2. I had a ***** that was a 100% alpha. Belle was not just territorial but come into her territory and she would start barking and get all the others to join in. She would not bite people , but loud and would corner animals or people with the rest. They cornered a cougar, coyote and treed too many raccoons to count.

    We had a fellow claiming to be taking a " shortcut " across a field and they cornered him against a detached garage/workshop. It was the middle of the night and he had a screwdriver in his his hand. He claimed to ward of the dogs. He went on his way , but I called the sheriff anyhow. Didn't add up and I did not get a good feeling.


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    The stay in the bedroom approach works now that the kids are grown and out on their own. When kids were at home my first action was to place myself between them and the perceived threat. When things go bump in the night I go 12 gauge seen lots of handgun wounds show up in ER 00 buck not yet. Some one might grab the barrel difficult without sweeping yourself and I could pull the trigger if that's not an option vertical but stroke. Dog(s) learn their barks it pays to know them. Many confrontations are ended or avoided because the dog made a racket. Bacon grease on kibble is appreciated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdave View Post
    The stay in the bedroom approach works now that the kids are grown and out on their own. When kids were at home my first action was to place myself between them and the perceived threat. When things go bump in the night I go 12 gauge seen lots of handgun wounds show up in ER 00 buck not yet. Some one might grab the barrel difficult without sweeping yourself and I could pull the trigger if that's not an option vertical but stroke. Dog(s) learn their barks it pays to know them. Many confrontations are ended or avoided because the dog made a racket. Bacon grease on kibble is appreciated.
    The Marine Corps taught me a few good weapon retention techniques for long guns (Anybody remember the "big circle little circle get back get back "GET DOWN"" technique?). Never been concern of mine!
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    We have several similar stories with our dogs. Once, I went to check the loud warning bark at the front door and started laughing. Our 157 pound Saint Bernard was standing there with his nose just above the doorknob waiting for the door to open. It turned out someone was leaving door hangers in the neighborhood for a food drive.
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    I have had a similar experience (false alarm around 3:00am) and my choice was fight. I also choose the Beretta 92A1 with 17+1 and a light mounted on the rail...two extra 17 round mags also went into my pocket when I grabbed the gun. I've done some training clearing my home with different guns (AR, shotgun, handgun) and for me the handgun seemed to work best for me and my situation.

    I can attest that there is "no sleepy grogginess going on at all"…I'd describe it as fully alert on steroids with a large dose of caffein and adrenaline.

    I also have dogs and can tell you that mine will act aggressive towards any unfamiliar animal (2 legged or 4 legged) that they perceive as a threat. Familiar animals such as the neighbors cat or the rabbits gets one type of bark (how many times do I have to tell you I don't want to see you in my yard...now get out of here) but unfamiliar animals like a coyote or a raccoon or stray dog or human BG will get an aggressive bark (everyone wake up…this thing doesn't belong here…go away now).

    Glad it wasn't something more serious and it looks like you learned/experienced a few things that may help you improve your response/reaction.
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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    Yea, I experienced a testosterone dump awhile back and posted this here sometime ago and the lessons I learned.

    The wife and I were deep asleep when this ear piercing sound woke us up. Coming out of such a deep sleep, it took me a moment to realize it was the wailing of our ADT burglar alarm. If any of you have an ADT system with that ear piercing whistling siren, you know what I’m talking about. You can't communicate in person without yelling, much less hear a phone ring or communicate on a telephone.

    We have had this system for about a year and a half and have never had any false alarms. I was thinking of that and many other things as I grabbed my Remington 870 Express pump action 12 ga. Shotgun, loaded with 9 pellets of 00 buckshot leaning next to the chest of drawers. I quickly realized as I cautiously rounded the bedroom door the long gun is just too unwieldy for all the corners and configuration of my home. So I quickly back tracked and retrieved my Ruger SP101 .357 magnum revolver.

    I had never practiced clearing my home in the event of a home invasion, as I envisioned we would retreat to the master bedroom, call 9-1-1 and stand our ground in the bedroom until the Sheriff's department arrived. Our children are grown and flew the coop, so no one should be here other than my wife and I.

    Shaking hands and somewhat confused on what to do next, not being able to hear anything because of the ear-piercing siren, I decided the siren had to be turned off because it could not be tolerated for any length of time, and I couldn't hear to make a phone call. The single alarm control panel is located in the kitchen at the opposite end of the house. The siren is located on the hallway wall half way between our master bedroom and kitchen control panel.

    As I slowly and carefully made my way down the hall while checking for intruders, the siren was actually hurting my ears, and my hands were shaking. We always keep a living room lamp light on so I did not grab my Surefire flashlight kept next to the revolver. After checking the living room, dining room and kitchen and seeing it was clear, I disabled the siren. What a head relief!

    Fortunately having a pair of reading glasses near the alarm control panel I checked the code on the read out. Code 02, basement motion detector. This is where I always suspected to be the most logical place for a BG to enter. The motion detector immediately activates the alarm, not the 45 second count down for the windows and doors.

    At that moment the telephone in the living room rings, we don’t have a phone in the bedrooms. I’m certain it’s ADT calling about the alarm. The wife had followed me down a few moments later.

    The door leading to the basement has the standard doorknob lock, a dead bolt and one of those useless chain things with the tiny screws securing it. I told the wife to answer the phone as I am covering the basement door hoping no one will come barging through. The ADT person tells my wife, “we have received an alarm from your address, Code 02 basement motion detector, what is your password?” The wife is relaying this information to me as my eyes are trained on the basement door. Fortunately with the adrenaline dump and shaking hands I remembered the password.

    The ADP person asked my wife, “are you going to check the basement or do you want us to send the police?” I thought for a moment… The best course of action was to get the police here quick. She informed my wife they are calling. It was probably 4-5 minutes from the time the alarm went off until ADT called, assuming I immediately awoke when the alarm went off.

    I have a police scanner sitting close to the alarm panel I seldom use and thought this was an opportune time to turn it on to monitor the Sheriffs progress. I live in EBFE and sure enough, the deputy sheriff called dispatch for directions to get here.

    The dispatcher called and informed my wife that the deputy was here and unchaining my driveway gate. The deputy later informed me it was policy to call the homeowner before arrival for safety reasons (home owner with gun). It took roughly 30 minutes for the deputy to arrive.

    While waiting for the police to arrive I happened to look at the clock, a few minutes after 3 A.M. Thinking to myself, from what I’ve read, two to three o’clock seems to be the prime time for home invasions. Like most other places, we have a county drug problem and allot of meth and crack heads.

    Seeing the police car head lights driving up my 200+ yard driveway, I pondered what to do with my handgun. Put it away or keep it near and cover it with a towel or something. Since he was on scene I felt comfortable enough to take it back where it came from.

    I didn’t know if he would come to the front or back door so I turned on the front and back door lights and opened both the doors. He cautiously approached the back door and announced sheriffs department, sheriff's department and I made myself visible and told him to come in.

    I gave him a brief description of what happened and the alarm code. He told me the first bit of good news was my gate was closed and chained when he arrived (no pad lock, just a clip).

    He then cautiously opened the basement door with flashlight in hand, turned the basement light on and slowly started down the stairs. I’m thinking to myself, dude, you need to have your handgun drawn? I’m reasonably certain someone broke in and might still be there. But, I’m not about to say anything as he is the professional and is trained, it’s my over active imagination probably.

    After what seemed to be an hour, but probably only 4-5 minutes, I hear the officer coming up the steps. He was down there for quite some time. Now I’m really wondering where they broke in from and how much damage was done. He asks me a couple questions about my garage door, something about if it locks? The single car garage is separated from the basement with a flimsy hollow door and dead bolt that was not locked.

    With great anticipation, he finally tells me everything looks secure and there was no break in. I can’t tell you the relief my wife and I experienced at that news. It still took us a few hours to calm down before we could attempt to go back to bed as the sun was rising.

    Before departing, the deputy complemented me on my Liberty safe in the basement and we talked a good ten minutes on what could have caused a motion detector false alarm and crime statistics in my county, etc. before he left. A good guy!

    Lessons learned: While I am fortunate this was a false alarm and grateful for such, what if it was the real thing?

    After the deputy departed, one of my first thoughts was, I need to get me a good alert / guard dog. But in retrospect that might not be a good thing. I had a good alert dog at my
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis1209 View Post
    After the deputy departed, one of my first thoughts was, I need to get me a good alert / guard dog. But in retrospect that might not be a good thing. I had a good alert dog at my
    Where'd the rest of your post go?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis1209 View Post
    Yea, I experienced a testosterone dump awhile back and posted this here sometime ago and the lessons I learned.

    The wife and I were deep asleep when this ear piercing sound woke us up. Coming out of such a deep sleep, it took me a moment to realize it was the wailing of our ADT burglar alarm. If any of you have an ADT system with that ear piercing whistling siren, you know what I’m talking about. You can't communicate in person without yelling, much less hear a phone ring or communicate on a telephone.

    We have had this system for about a year and a half and have never had any false alarms. I was thinking of that and many other things as I grabbed my Remington 870 Express pump action 12 ga. Shotgun, loaded with 9 pellets of 00 buckshot leaning next to the chest of drawers. I quickly realized as I cautiously rounded the bedroom door the long gun is just too unwieldy for all the corners and configuration of my home. So I quickly back tracked and retrieved my Ruger SP101 .357 magnum revolver.

    I had never practiced clearing my home in the event of a home invasion, as I envisioned we would retreat to the master bedroom, call 9-1-1 and stand our ground in the bedroom until the Sheriff's department arrived. Our children are grown and flew the coop, so no one should be here other than my wife and I.

    Shaking hands and somewhat confused on what to do next, not being able to hear anything because of the ear-piercing siren, I decided the siren had to be turned off because it could not be tolerated for any length of time, and I couldn't hear to make a phone call. The single alarm control panel is located in the kitchen at the opposite end of the house. The siren is located on the hallway wall half way between our master bedroom and kitchen control panel.

    As I slowly and carefully made my way down the hall while checking for intruders, the siren was actually hurting my ears, and my hands were shaking. We always keep a living room lamp light on so I did not grab my Surefire flashlight kept next to the revolver. After checking the living room, dining room and kitchen and seeing it was clear, I disabled the siren. What a head relief!

    Fortunately having a pair of reading glasses near the alarm control panel I checked the code on the read out. Code 02, basement motion detector. This is where I always suspected to be the most logical place for a BG to enter. The motion detector immediately activates the alarm, not the 45 second count down for the windows and doors.

    At that moment the telephone in the living room rings, we don’t have a phone in the bedrooms. I’m certain it’s ADT calling about the alarm. The wife had followed me down a few moments later.

    The door leading to the basement has the standard doorknob lock, a dead bolt and one of those useless chain things with the tiny screws securing it. I told the wife to answer the phone as I am covering the basement door hoping no one will come barging through. The ADT person tells my wife, “we have received an alarm from your address, Code 02 basement motion detector, what is your password?” The wife is relaying this information to me as my eyes are trained on the basement door. Fortunately with the adrenaline dump and shaking hands I remembered the password.

    The ADP person asked my wife, “are you going to check the basement or do you want us to send the police?” I thought for a moment… The best course of action was to get the police here quick. She informed my wife they are calling. It was probably 4-5 minutes from the time the alarm went off until ADT called, assuming I immediately awoke when the alarm went off.

    I have a police scanner sitting close to the alarm panel I seldom use and thought this was an opportune time to turn it on to monitor the Sheriffs progress. I live in EBFE and sure enough, the deputy sheriff called dispatch for directions to get here.

    The dispatcher called and informed my wife that the deputy was here and unchaining my driveway gate. The deputy later informed me it was policy to call the homeowner before arrival for safety reasons (home owner with gun). It took roughly 30 minutes for the deputy to arrive.

    While waiting for the police to arrive I happened to look at the clock, a few minutes after 3 A.M. Thinking to myself, from what I’ve read, two to three o’clock seems to be the prime time for home invasions. Like most other places, we have a county drug problem and allot of meth and crack heads.

    Seeing the police car head lights driving up my 200+ yard driveway, I pondered what to do with my handgun. Put it away or keep it near and cover it with a towel or something. Since he was on scene I felt comfortable enough to take it back where it came from.

    I didn’t know if he would come to the front or back door so I turned on the front and back door lights and opened both the doors. He cautiously approached the back door and announced sheriffs department, sheriff's department and I made myself visible and told him to come in.

    I gave him a brief description of what happened and the alarm code. He told me the first bit of good news was my gate was closed and chained when he arrived (no pad lock, just a clip).

    He then cautiously opened the basement door with flashlight in hand, turned the basement light on and slowly started down the stairs. I’m thinking to myself, dude, you need to have your handgun drawn? I’m reasonably certain someone broke in and might still be there. But, I’m not about to say anything as he is the professional and is trained, it’s my over active imagination probably.

    After what seemed to be an hour, but probably only 4-5 minutes, I hear the officer coming up the steps. He was down there for quite some time. Now I’m really wondering where they broke in from and how much damage was done. He asks me a couple questions about my garage door, something about if it locks? The single car garage is separated from the basement with a flimsy hollow door and dead bolt that was not locked.

    With great anticipation, he finally tells me everything looks secure and there was no break in. I can’t tell you the relief my wife and I experienced at that news. It still took us a few hours to calm down before we could attempt to go back to bed as the sun was rising.

    Before departing, the deputy complemented me on my Liberty safe in the basement and we talked a good ten minutes on what could have caused a motion detector false alarm and crime statistics in my county, etc. before he left. A good guy!

    Lessons learned: While I am fortunate this was a false alarm and grateful for such, what if it was the real thing?

    After the deputy departed, one of my first thoughts was, I need to get me a good alert / guard dog. But in retrospect that might not be a good thing. I had a good alert dog at my
    Why in the world would you disarm yourself without first ensuring your home was secure and void of intruders?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittypat21 View Post
    Rocky regularly sleeps right inside the front door. He's got a lot of fur, and prefers the tile in the doorway over any of the rest of the house which is all carpet. The tile is a lot cooler for him. Thank goodness he likes that spot, because he hears and sees anything that goes on outside of it. He's barked at small animals before, and it is the same bark that he uses during the day when our neighbor across the street dare enter his own driveway. Its more "informational" than threatening or aggressive.

    Thankfully, this isn't something that happens frequently. His standard bark use to make me check things out late at night, but those never happen as late as 3am and I've gotten use to those being for small things, like bathroom breaks or the cat wants in.

    I'd certainly hate to have to tranq him every night. I enjoy having him as a sort of alarm system.

    How did you react during those first couple nights?
    I didn't mean to suggest that you should tranq him every night. I only intended to relate my experience when my dog got so
    hyper there wasn't anything more to be done.

    You did what I did. I'm also not a stay in the room and wait sort of guy. I swear I investigated our yard multiple times
    with gun in hand before I went back to bed. The dog just wouldn't settle down.

    Our vet wanted to know if I was certain there really wasn't a problem I was overlooking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I didn't mean to suggest that you should tranq him every night. I only intended to relate my experience when my dog got so
    hyper there wasn't anything more to be done.
    Oh no, I didn't think that. Too bad it came to that, though.
    gatorbait51 and Hopyard like this.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
    -General James Mattis, USMC

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