Saturday, October 10, 2009

GUARDING THE HOUSE, by Guest Blogger Barry

One of my most important jobs as a dog is to guard our house.  I am good at doing this job because I have a lot of German Shepherd Dog in my pedigree, and GSDs were bred to guard flocks of sheep.  We don't have any sheep at our house, but if we did, you can be assured that I would keep them safe from any wolves that were in the neighborhood.

German Shepherd Dogs have been used to guard lots of other things besides sheep, though.  They are particularly good at guarding their people and their people's property.  This is why I guard our house -- both because it is Mom's property and because it is My Territory.  Also I guard Mom because otherwise someone might attack her, and then who would feed us?  I take all these responsibilities very seriously!  Here's a picture of me looking fiercely out the window, watching for likely intruders.  This is a position in which you will often find me.

Mom says that I do my job too well, which is a silly thing to say, because how can you do a job too well?  I feel that the house must be protected against anyone who comes here.  So when someone comes to the door -- or even just walks through the yard -- I bark viciously to scare them away.  And if they come in the door, I will lunge at them and knock them down and bite them.  This is how I do my job properly.

However, Mom says that sometimes she actually wants someone to come in the house.  She says it is okay for friends and repairmen to come in, but I disagree.  This is why when someone comes to our house, Mom makes all of us dogs go out in the back yard before she opens the door.  And if she is expecting someone to come over, she will actually shut me and Mel up in the bedroom or out in the yard or send us to Doggy Daycare.  I think she is crazy for doing this because she is just opening herself up to Stranger Danger.  But Mom says that she is more worried about opening herself up to a lawsuit if I bite somebody.

Anyway, that's how things are at our house.  I try to do my job as well as I can, but Mom thwarts some of my best efforts.  It's a very frustrating situation.  And now, with Aunt Cheryl coming to visit, Mom is threatening to make me wear a muzzle most of the time Aunt Cheryl is here, which is not a happy prospect at all.  The last time Aunt Cheryl visited, I was really pretty good about letting her be in our house, although I nipped at her a few times when she was going up stairs or otherwise moving around.  The thing is, I'm mostly okay with people being in the house as long as they are sitting or standing perfectly still.  It's just when they start moving around that I get all worried and decide it's not safe for them to be here.

I will just say, in closing, that I am very proud to be part of such a noble tradition of guard dogs.  Here is a photo I would like to share of a GSD who actually lives in Germany, our breed's homeland.  This dog is guarding the border between East and West Germany.  Of course, this border does not exist anymore, so there's no need to guard it now, but I am sure this noble dog has been assigned other useful guard dog work.  And in the end, that is all we dogs can do -- just love our people and our homes and do our best to keep them safe.


  1. Oh, Piper, you tell such wonderful stories. I thought you might like to see this picture of Bo

    He is black and white like you!.....but you are my girlfriend....your boyfriend, Hank

  2. Barry you sound like a very thorough guard dog, and obviously you love your family and territory very much! I totally understand, because I have a German Shepherd myself, named Zeke- you might even remember him from Pooches' when you and Mel would come and visit. Zeke is also a very good protector! His favorite thing to do is to "check the perimiter" at night. He is ok with people coming inside if I say so, unless it's the mail lady. I'm willing to bet though that his start in life wasn't nearly as hard as yours, so I understand where you're coming from. I'm glad you have a mom who understands you too and gives you a great home!

  3. Dear Aunt Kerry,
    Thank you for understanding my protective instincts! I miss seeing you at Pooches, and I wish you would come back there. Mom is taking me and Mel there tomorrow because Aunt Barbara is coming to our house, and she is afraid of me -- as well she should be because I am so ferocious and protective!
    Your friend, Barry