When the door bell rings, and lets face it, even when the bell doesn't ring - but a plastic bag blows on the road in front of our house , our very own brand of alarm system monitoring starts barking.
When the kids next door come out to play in the snow, our alarm barks. When the wind blows, and the trees dance in the front yard, our alarm barks.
In the months that we have had Smokey, not once has someone come to the door unannounced.
We still crate her when we leave the house, but very soon I feel that we will be able to trust her loose int he house - just based on how weekends go. Friday and Saturday night, becuase we are able to sleep in if she is rowdy in bed, we let her join us in bed. This morning she stayed in bed with us, with our bedroom door open, until we woke up at 12:30.
There were no things chewed and she had no accidents waiting for us to step in on the floor. I feel that if she can go twelve hours loose and basically unsupervised (me and hubs sleep like the dead) that she will be fine if she is loose while we go for a coffee.
When that time does come, I know that I will feel a lot better about leaving the house empty. You see, her barks are a threat of imminent tongue slurping not bites - but wanna be robbers don't know that!