I love my dog. I really do. But sometimes, she loses her mind for a day or two and drives my family and me nuts with constant barking. Maybe her puppyhood is to blame. Lexi is a one-year-old German Shepherd. I am not sure she still qualifies as a puppy, but let’s just suppose that large breeds take longer to mature. She is, at best, a teenager.
Anyway, she was never much of a barker until recently. Lately, there are days she barks at literally everything. We try to tire her out, but that doesn’t always work. She will nap peacefully only to wake at the slightest noise, wake refreshed and ready for round two, or wake so tired she has the zoomies and barks even more.
After a particularly annoying day, I felt compelled to chart all the reasons she had to blast our eardrums with her insistent noise-making.
1. Package Delivery
We are a household of five adults and more than one Amazon Prime membership. As a result, it is not uncommon to have three or more deliveries made to our address in a day. So, of course, Lexi has to let us know that a truck has arrived and danger is approaching the porch in no uncertain terms.
2. Mail Carrier
I try to reassure her that we LIKE the mail carrier, but she disagrees. Loudly.
3. Passing Dogs
The sidewalk on our side of the street is not continuous. So, most dogs and their handlers use the sidewalk across the street. The offenders are not directly in front of our house, but their presence is still a cause for alarm. Heck, most of them don’t even look in our direction. They probably know an annoying dog lives here.
Our neighborhood and backyard are rife with squirrels. Since our last dog was too slow to catch them, generations of squirrels have taken up residence nearby. Now they taunt Lexi with brazen dashes from tree to tree and casually toss the remains of nuts from above in hopes of hitting us on the head. Lexi chases them every chance she gets, but when she’s stuck inside, barking is all that can be done.
5. Has to Pee
Lexi is trained to ring the cute little bell that hangs on the back door when she has to pee. Since she chewed up the bell, it no longer rings, but she still smashes the remains of said bell against the door repeatedly. When we don’t respond fast enough, it’s bark time.
6. Has to Poop
Oddly enough, the bell does not seem to be associated with the urge to do potty number two. Instead, we are subjected to instant, loud barking that may be accompanied by pulling on our hands to guide us to the door just in case we can’t hear.
7. Knock on the Door
Naturally, a knock on the door deserves a bark. Not several minutes of barking, though. A short notification is acceptable. While generally pretty smart, this dog is having trouble learning the meaning of “stop.”
8. Passing Car
Our street acts as a shortcut between two busier avenues, so she can hear cars zooming past all day long. We might not notice them if she didn’t alert us. Thanks.
9. Wind Blows
Maybe a sign we need new windows?
10. Leaf Falls
She was fascinated by them when we brought her home at 8 weeks old and still needs to tell us about them sometimes. But, how does she hear them from inside the house?
11. It’s Just Fun
Seriously. I think Lexi genuinely enjoys getting a reaction from us. Her goal in life is to interact and play, and barking is hard to ignore.
12. No Apparent Reason at All
She will wake from a dead sleep or suddenly stop playing with a toy and start barking in a state of alarm. We try to give her the benefit of the doubt, but often we can discern no reason at all for the ruckus. Unfortunately, this random barking happens often and is especially maddening.
We love Lexi. She’s just being a dog, even when she is out of her head. She’s trying to communicate, and we are not getting it. It is really the humans in the house that need to be trained to teach good behavior. So I guess this list is my way of saying we are trying to understand you, Lexi. I’m sorry we don’t speak dog, but we know your barking means you love us, too.