Leaving the house? Put the dog on.
May 18, 2017 10:22 AM   Subscribe

When I was a kid (in the 80s), my family had a tape recording of a big dog walking around and growling and making himself known -- on an endless loop, as it was some sort of neverending cassette -- that we’d put on when we left the house to fool nonexistent burglars in our suburban neighborhood. Did anyone else have a dog tape?
posted by thursdaystoo to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My uncle has a motion sensor thing of a dog barking.
posted by brujita at 10:33 AM on May 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

When we were kids, my sister and I had a copy of this record that we used to play for laughs. I think we must have found it at a yard sale or something.
posted by dfan at 11:52 AM on May 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

It was sort of a joke when I was a kid (70's?) that you didn't want to tell people you weren't home so people would occasionally have an answering machine message that had a very clear dog barking on it. My friend's dad made a joke answering machine message that basically said the standard we are not home blabla and then ended with "$CATNAME guard the house!" It was basically funny because there was some of this fake-dog stuff going on.
posted by jessamyn at 5:30 PM on May 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

It was good enough for Archie Bunker...


posted by DMelanogaster at 1:37 PM on May 19, 2017

My grand father had one of these! He loved weird stuff like this and I have no idea where he got it. My great aunt lived alone until she was 90 or so and she had it at her house after he died, and she got a lot of comfort from it. I'm not sure where it ended up but I loved it as a kid.

Here's how it worked- it was a box with a speaker and some kind of motion detector. As it wound up (after being switched off) it started with a higher pitch and it went "WOOOOOP woof woof woof" - which we thought was hilarious. It would bark once or twice and then more as you got closer maybe even higher in pitch? or speed? I can't remember exactly, except that it was just like a real German Shepherd that goes bananas when someone comes to the door. She would turn it down/off (with "down, boy, down!" as needed if she didn't recognise the visitor.) It had a volume and I think maybe a pitch control. The funny thing was, if you were putting it on, you had to quickly get away because it would bark a LOT because you were, of course, very close (and touching it!)

Two "dog box" stories-
My grand father dropped dead when he was out one day and when the police went to the house (he lived alone, so there was no one home), the neighbour told them that his sister in law lived just up the street so they could tell her. As they were leaving my aunt's house, one said to her "oh, and you'll have to get someone to feed the dog." ... "he doesn't have a dog??" That's when we found the box. Of course it works best as a security device if people don't know you have a dog box!

My Great Aunt was a lovely older lady, very sweet, very polite, very proper and moral. The council was doing an 'unregistered dog blitz' where they were going house to house checking for pets and registering them with the council (and charging!) She got a knock at the door and the man says "So, do you have any pets- any dogs?"
"No, no I don't have any pets." she says. BARK BARK BARK BARK.
"Are you sure? I can hear a dog." BARK BARK BARK
"no, no, no dogs here." (smiling sweetly) BARK BARK BARK
"hmm. I guess it must be the neighbours dog then?" BARK BARK BARK!
"I guess so! Thank you, have a lovely day" (close door)
She told us later her dilemma- of course she didn't have a dog, but didn't want to tell a 'strange man' that her guard dog was a phony! He was very confused about it!

I remember seeing something similar in an electronics hobby shop, as a kit- this would have been the early 2000's.
posted by freethefeet at 5:12 AM on July 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think I'd heard of this but didn't have one. Today it seems like this niche has migrated to Alexa / Echo as well as YouTube etc. There's also those motion sensors and other specialty guard-dog-sound kit.
posted by churl at 8:23 PM on July 24, 2017

All In The Family, ep #2.4 (1971): "Edith Writes A Song".

Cued to the moment when Archie reveals his new "Save-Your-Home alarm system".

Stick around to see Cleavon Little and Demond Wilson chew the scenery, a couple years ahead of their break-out roles.
posted by Herodios at 11:46 AM on July 26, 2017

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