Got a 4am wakeup when there was a LOUD crash in the backyard


September 7, 2007, 04:47 PM
Quick background: we have a big German shepherd, I normally get either my .45 or the 12ga from the safe and put it by the bed every night, then lock it up the next morning before leaving the house, I get it back out when I get home. For one reason or another, I got lazy and didn't get it out that night.

My wife had gone to bed while I stayed up to watch a movie. Alas, I fell asleep on the couch anyway. At exactly 4am my wife came running down the hall yelling at me to wake up (I sleep like a log) There was an extremely loud crash that sounded like it came from the master bathroom (ground level, window opens to backyard) on par with someone taking a metal garbage can and throwing it on concrete. The dog was moving around spooked out and I was groggy having just been woken up. The living room is clear on the other side of the house and around a bend, so I heard nothing and as mentioned, I sleep like a log.

I got a flashlight and she hid behind me as I went back to the bedroom to investigate turning lights on as I went, my first thoughts were strangely not on acquiring a firearm, but purely on situation assessment. The window was closed and everything seemed normal, but after she described things in more detail I got a little more concerned and decided I should investigate the backyard as well for the source of the sound. She stayed in the house while I opened up the back door and went into the backyard. I let the dog come with me and she ran around sniffing and investigating. I was shining my flashlight into the dark when I realized, *** am I doing and I went back in the house and grabbed my .45 out of the safe.

I came back out with the .45 and the flashlight and continued searching around and noticed what was likely the source of the crash. Near the bathroom window were several large aluminum beams that are part of a yard canopy assembly. I couldn't tell if one had been knocked down or not as they were somewhat scattered before, however it would take something quite large to move one. At this point I realized I couldn't hear my dog any more. I called out to her. Nothing.

Now I was kinda worried. I ran around the corner of the house and saw her intently sniffing at a large tree we have near the fence. I rounded her up, did a final sweep of the yard and went back inside. Until I fell back asleep, staring at the window to the backyard I kept imagining that a man's silhouette would appear. Thankfully it never did.

So from that experience I've changed a couple of things. I'm not lazy any more about getting a gun out when I get home and next time I'm going to assess the situation armed...

And I have thought about it since then and have considered the possibility that someone was in the yard and made it over the fence at the tree.

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September 7, 2007, 05:35 PM
Maybe a raccoon ('coon down here), or cat, knocked one over and ran up the tree scared?
Good drill, though. Be prepared.
This just proves that you won't have it when you need it. Be careful.

September 7, 2007, 05:43 PM
not saying you did anything wrong this time.
but next time... just let the dog out and let him/her search it out a bit. If a criminal is still out there, they'll find them and you won't ever have your back to them.

German shepard, ehe? I'd wet myself if I were a criminal. That's like the double barrel 12 gauge w/ 2 rounds of 000 buck and a laser sight/surefire combo equivalent in the dog world. You can't out run them, you can't convince them to be quite.... and if you turn your back they'll drag you down. German shepard's are the greatest home defense weapon I've ever heard of.... perfect for the job. Smart, gentle family pet and darned fast. Pit bulls, in my experience, aren't exactly the best family pets and the one I had wasn't as smart as any other dog I've ever had....well, with the exception of an Afghan hound I inherited.

Mr White
September 7, 2007, 07:21 PM
As I'm sure Unrealtrip knows, you hit it right o the head, Davinci. GSDs are the ultimate guard dog. Pits seem to be all the rage now, but I'd take a Shepherd anyday. I'm no small guy and I know I could body slam a 40# pit that was attached to my arm and make it let go. Not so with an 80# shepherd.

They're smarter, faster and have better temprements when they're not actively trying to kill someone or something. My GSD is the best watch dog I ever had. She just has this attitude that the house and yard are hers to guard and she takes great pride in her ability to do so.

I also have a boxer/pit and he has the boxer's clown mentality. I have no doubt that if it ever came down to it, he'd show his pit side, but he in no way has the guarg dog attitude of my GSD.

September 7, 2007, 07:58 PM
German Shepherds , Dobies, and Rottweilers were bred as guard dogs. Pit Bulls were bred to fight other animals. As a Schutzhund (guard dog) I would take a Shepherd, Dobie, or Rottie over a Pit Bull.

September 7, 2007, 07:59 PM
I know that this isn't a German Shepherd thread but I'd rather have Itty Biddy (our Shepherd) than a back up gun any day.

September 7, 2007, 08:38 PM
GSD's are great dogs. That said, my two Great Pyrenees have had much more of a "surprise" aspect about them. You'll swear that they are nothing more than two lazy white lumps out in the yard - untill they get wind of something that they're not so sure they like. Their "yard" is a 3/4 acre enclosure, and they can cover the ground in a diagonal line in about 6 seconds. I've also since added a Great Dane that I rescued from the side of the road. If there is anybody stupid enough to confront all three of these dogs, they HAVE to be high on something.

September 7, 2007, 10:20 PM
Things that go bump in the night ( or crash bang as the case may be) are problematic. You know in your logical mind that the odds are 99%+ that its just the wind or some neighborhood animal. But you always wonder if this time it might be different.

The last time I heard a loud noise outside at night was just 3 nights ago.
Heard a loud thump against the wall. Stuck my head by the open window and listened, could hear the sounds of rustling paper etc. from where the trash cans are. Figured it was a varmint of some sort doing the midnight
snack raid so I strapped on the 45, grabbed the 20 guage double barrel and loaded it with #7 shot. Stuck a couple rounds of buckshot for it in my pocket and grabbed a flashlight. Snuck around the house to where the noise was just in time to see mister bear making a hasty departure into the sage.
He stopped about 30-40 yards away, could see his eyes shining back at the flashlight. Figured I'd give him a reason to avoid my trash for a while so I peppered his backside with some birdshot. Hopefully he will avoid people for awhile now. Best way to save a bear from being put down is to make their fear stronger than their hunger.

September 7, 2007, 10:23 PM
Bet you'll keep your piece a little closer after a scare like that.

They do make the best first line, but I'll keep my weapons handy too.

September 7, 2007, 10:55 PM
Here is the newest addition to our family...

Kain is 4 months old and weighs 50 lbs...most of which is ears and paws. Dad was 115 and mom was 95 so we expect Kain to be fairly big.

September 7, 2007, 11:49 PM
It sounds like your only safe is a large one, which I'm guessing is slow to open. You might want to supplement that with a fast access handgun safe. Being able to open it quickly really facilitates the switch between secured and available, and back.

I was awoken to an odd sound earlier this week. It only took a second to get to my handgun out of the "safe" while I was still trying to figure out what the noise was. I figured out that it was our lab/chow/shepherd mix in the den, trying to get through a door to our bedroom. She must have sensed the storm coming in, and as usual, she was very afraid. She's VERY good about alerting us to strangers, so I knew by her demeanor that it wasn't a person that made the noise. Still, I kept glancing out the window, also half expecting to see a shadow of a man in the yard.

September 8, 2007, 11:35 AM
So I definitely took away some lessons from that experience about things that I certainly won't repeat. Thankfully it was nothing, but if it really was a zombie, I'd not have been in a very good situation. When following my normal pattern, the rule is I let the dog loose, then followup with the shotgun/1911, something which I am no longer lazy about in any way.

My safe is pretty big and a dial combo lock so its not too quick to open, I like the suggestion of a faster access safe for the handgun near the bed, or maybe one of those standing corner locker type arrangements for the shotgun. I also should follow that advice on having the wife dial 9-1 and wait... Anyway, my dog is my alarm, when there is a person present she always smells them first and gets kinda huffy. If she sees a shadow at the door/window she is barking, so her lack of barking led me to believe it must have been some kind of large animal.

I definitely got too lazy/comfortable though and I'm not going to get caught with my pants down again. I know 99% of the time its nothing, but I'd rather not be unarmed on that 1% day.

My girl is 80lb and she is fast, no man could outrun her. So if I do get an intruder in the house, if she doesn't kill/maim him first, he's getting a chestfull of 00 or a .45 doubletap.

btw: those are some awesome dogs you guys have :)

September 8, 2007, 04:28 PM
Best mistake you can make, the one you can survive and learn from.

Whenever you feel too tired to prepare yourself then just try to remember this little incident.

Stay safe. :)

September 8, 2007, 08:20 PM
MachIVshooter, what breed is the one in the middle? :) j/k

September 9, 2007, 04:51 AM
When I am watching the bad chainsaw /whatever movie I always ask why the people keep going outside in the dark when they have a perfectly good house with lights to stay inside?
Why again did you go outside?

September 9, 2007, 07:43 AM
I think I would have stayed inside as well and let whatever was there come and find me, too many dark places to hide in my yard :eek:

That might evan have been a good time to call 911 and let the LEO check the yard out while staying inside on the defensive. If somone did come in and you had to fire they would already be on the way and you would be on record for calling in a possible intruder. How would that work out legally if you fired? :confused:

A dog will give his life to defend yours, a cat will run away at the first sign of danger.

As for the dog, my Shi*zhu would show any burgler the silver AND my gun for a biscuit :D

Jerry Morris
September 9, 2007, 08:14 AM
I also have a boxer/pit and he has the boxer's clown mentality. I have no doubt that if it ever came down to it, he'd show his pit side, but he in no way has the guarg dog attitude of my GSD.

I have both, a Boxer and a German Shepard. You want to take another look at the Boxer. I can tell you one thing about the Boxer, it was bred for a reason. The clown aspect is an accident, they are all clowns, until it comes time to do what they do best.

When a 60+ pound Boxer latches onto you, you might want to body slam it, but don't count on being able to. Many times breeding takes it effect. Where did the Boxer go to on a Bull? THE NOSE! And if it wanted to hold an arm, pieces are likely to come off that arm.

I grew up with pit bulls. I do not understand how this current situation came about with them. Unless, these are rogues in the breed. A pit bull takes on your arm, those jaws are likely to crush the bone.

You gain respect, after you have seen a few dog attacks. I am a dog person and I used to be rather cavalier with them. Not any more. A dog defending its own turf and family is somethinh to worry about.

Even so, dogs can be dealt with. You just REALLY do not want to do it at arms length. My dogs are part of the alarm
system. I am the "Pit Bull", the one with the gun.


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