A DOG’S DNA PRELOADS them to be “territorial.” At least that is what the experts say to explain why dogs get excited and bark at strangers. Generally, a dog’s impulse is to protect. Watson’s was to get nervous.
Whenever anyone came to our front door and rang the bell, Watson would leap up and run to the door at half-speed, “boldly” whimpering all the way. Immensely curious about what—or who—stood on the other side, Watson was usually equal parts nervous and wishing to be boldly curious. If we didn’t answer the door quickly enough, he’d whimper louder and run around until he found one of us to open it. It was a peculiar thing to observe—a dog nearly undone by an internal, consistent battle between curious and nervous.
But curious always won out over nervous.
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