My dog Snookie has an understanding about noise level and rules. He might understand these things better than most teenagers.
Snookie knows a lot of things. He is an astute observer who likes to please. Like many dogs, he has assigned himself the job of keeping watch. If anything seems amiss or there is a sound or movement out of the ordinary he likes to notify us with a bark. He has a significantly loud one.
Often, I disagree with his need to bark. More often, I take issue with the amount of barking. My usual way of letting him know is to bellow, “SNOOK, NO!” He usually stops when I do this but sometimes he thinks the intruder, whatever it might be, warrants more woofs in decreasing decibels before he will stop.
It goes like this:
Snookie: (loud) “Woof, Woof, Woof!”
Me: (yelling) “Snook, No!”
Snookie: (less loud) “Woof, woof.”
Snookie: (same loudness) “Woof.”
Me: (furrowed brow) “No!”
Snookie: (sotto voce) “woof.”
Snookie gets the last word.
Somehow, he has learned he is not allowed to bark when staying in a hotel. I find this amazing. He immediately reads in me, upon entry, a no negotiation stance. He doesn't test it. He must pick up a definite “off the home turf” vibe.
We live on a dirt road with little traffic. Snookie has learned that if cars pass early in the morning he is not allowed to bark loudly. One woof is okay. His job is being a dog, after all. And dogs bark. But we are trying to sleep.
In Snookie's mind, these cars are intruders. They should not be there so he won't let them pass without a bark. Since we get annoyed by this (it wakes us up) he has learned to bark softly, like a whisper bark. Who knew dogs had a sense of decibel delivery? Apparently they do. At least Snookie does.