I’ve read countless times that dogs behave better when they have a job. Some are trained to sniff out bombs or drugs, others pull carts, a few, the happiest probably, carry drums of liquor to skiers stranded somewhere on an Alp.
My Maggie never trained to do any of those things. She’s the definitive house pet… mostly well behaved, but possessed of a few bad habits that I’ve simply allowed to develop over time because they didn’t bother me enough to correct.
This chocolate lab of mine has always taken her patrol duties in the yard seriously – birds, squirrels, and cats have all felt her wrath at one time or another. Interlopers are less welcome by her than they are by me. That’s saying something. Since we moved, though, she’s taken on a whole new role.
The front windows aren’t quite floor to ceiling but they’re big enough to give her an unobstructed view of the front yard and the street beyond. Her domain is all she surveys. My working dog has appointed herself protector of the cul-de-sac. Every living thing that moves upon it is fair game for her hell-hound-like bark and ferocious snarl. Children on small motorized scooters are particularly hated enemies. The barking for them is the loudest and most long lived.
Technically I should probably be correcting her at every opportunity… but if I’m really dead honest about it, I’m not sure I hate the idea of everyone who drives, walks, or otherwise wanders past having a thought that herein lives one of the most vicious dogs on the face of the earth. It’s not a job for your typical working dog, but it fits in just fine around here.