In the story “8 Things I No Longer Do Because I Have Dogs,” I shared that killing bugs tops my list of don’ts because the sound scares Spot and Dolly. One good thwack! will clear the room.
Turns out, I’m not the only pet parent who does things differently — or not at all — to appease the ears of her pups.
Tracy commented: “I don’t stab frozen dinners with a fork anymore to ventilate the plastic. The sound drove my dog crazy, and now as soon as she sees me take one out of the freezer she goes absolutely ballistic. I have to carefully peel back the corner of the plastic or gently slit it with a knife. Then I allow her to attack the box.”
And Riki added: “I no longer watch any TV show or movie that has animals in it. My Shih-Tzus (three of the four), which I lovingly call Team Shih-Tzu (because it’s us against them), will bark at the TV if they see or hear an animal until you change the channel. The leader of the pack knows the sounds of commercials and comes running from other rooms when she hears the first little sound. It’s really cute for about five seconds. However, it is fun to watch the reactions of people when they see it happen for the first time. I wouldn’t change my heathens one bit!”
Let’s now turn the topic of discussion to sounds our dogs love to hear. I’ll start with these five:
When I started working from home three years ago, Spot and Dolly quickly learned that an open laptop meant they must amuse themselves. The sound of my laptop closing, though, signals the end of work and beginning of play. Spot immediately goes for a toy, while Dolly begins stretching for the activity to come.
As a rule, I don’t feed Spot and Dolly processed people food. My father, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with tossing a cracker or chip their way when I am not around. Because of this, Spot and Dolly come running whenever they hear the sound of a food bag opening, and they sit in eager anticipation of junk-food goodness (or badness, in my book).
Near our home, a small, manmade lake hosts a healthy population of ducks year-round. They begin quacking amongst themselves as soon as they see Spot and Dolly approaching, which makes the pups want to reach them even sooner. We usually sit near the water to watch the winged creatures, who watch us back warily.
I don’t tolerate nuisance barking well. Not only does it disturb everyone within hearing distance, but it also indicates a dog in distress, one with issues going unaddressed. Spot and Dolly tend to be pretty quiet by nature, with Dolly occasionally barking at Spot during play but never loud enough or for long enough to bother my neighbors.
The doorbell ringing proves the exception, with both pups excitedly announcing the arrival of someone or something. Yes, I could train them to not bark when they hear the bell, but it happens so rarely, and they have excellent manners otherwise.
It’s an obvious sound for such a list, to be sure, but it’s one that brings Spot to his feet no matter the time of day or night. More than once, I have accidentally stepped on a squeaky ball in the dark and had to explain that I was only going to the bathroom, not waking him for a 4 a.m. game of fetch.
Are there sounds your dogs love to hear? Or hate, for that matter? And how do they react? Please share them in the comments!