Dogs and delivery vans

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As far as I know, my dog really doesn’t have any issues with 18-wheelers – admittedly, since we live in a neighborhood where you don’t see a lot of tractor-trailers rolling through, his experience with them is rather limited. But on the rare occasion that, say, a household goods moving truck rolls through or a large furniture delivery truck drives by, my dog really doesn’t pay them much attention.

But when the UPS or FedEx van rolls by or, God forbid, stops in front of our house, well, you would think a foreign army had parachuted onto our front yard and was preparing for an invasion. This dog – a Labrador-greyhound mix that’s as loyal as they come but can run like the wind – absolutely goes berserk.

First comes an immediate out-of-the-blue howling that’s a loud as a jet engine. Then the nonstop barking. Then he circles the perimeter of the house interior, like he’s checking for any signs of an intrusion. It gets worse if the delivery person decides to ring the doorbell – a cruel joke since there’s no way he or she couldn’t have heard the freaked-out canine. The snapping doesn’t stop until the delivery van finally pulls away, and then it’s like nothing happened – he just flops back down on the floor and seemingly goes back to sleep.

Just through casual chitchat with other dog owners, I found out this wasn’t a unique phenomenon; their dogs behaved the same way when a package arrived at their doorstep or next door. So I decided to do some research on the subject (well, I typed the words “dog” and “UPS” and “FedEx” and “truck” in the Google search bar – thorough investigation, huh?). A variety of helpful answers popped up, and you know if they’re on the Internet, they must be true.

Some “experts” claimed it’s the way the brakes are built on these types of delivery vans and that a high-pitched sound inaudible to humans drives dogs bonkers. Others claimed it’s the design of the diesel engines in these trucks that make the noise that sends canines over the edge. But other online folks believed that the dogs simply were doing what they’ve always done better than anybody – guard their territory and protect their owners.

Whatever the cause, we at our house have learned that if we order something online, we’d better track the shipment and know when it’s going to arrive – and have a good set of earplugs close by.