What's up with my dog and my bandsaw?

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Forum topic by TeamTurpin posted 12-12-2012 07:21 PM 1418 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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85 posts in 2083 days

12-12-2012 07:21 PM

I’ve noticed something very strange with my dog. When I run the bandsaw, Boomer comes and sits by my feet. For some background, Boomer is a 12-yr-old Brittany that’s half blind and mostly deaf. He’s never been shy about hanging out around power tools. Even before he started losing his hearing, he’d comfortably rest near the screaming table saw without a concern. I always attributed that to generations of genetics that make Brittanys calm around guns.

Anyway, I’ve been noticing that every time my bandsaw is running, Boomer comes for a visit. And, he ends up next to my feet. I did an experiment this morning. With Boomer comfortably snoozing in the grass by my shop, in a series separated by a few minutes, I ran the radial arm saw, the table saw and the sander (my control group). No movement. I then did some bandsaw work and within 2 – 3 minutes, here he came and sat down at my feet.

What in the heck is causing that? Now, he’s not completely deaf and can certainly hear the different sounds that saws/tools make. But, all those tools are pretty noisy and obnoxious. Could this be a vibration thing? He doesn’t look afraid; he just comes and stands/sits next to me when that saw is running. (The test subject is pictured below.)

Has anyone noticed dogs acting strangely around certain tools?


12 replies so far

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3165 days

#1 posted 12-12-2012 07:28 PM

I’m going to guess that the bandsaw is making a high pitched sound that Boomer either likes or is interpreting as a call from you. Do you remember when this started? Did you change the blade or tension settings just before?

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10519 posts in 3450 days

#2 posted 12-12-2012 07:29 PM

My dogs never acted any different. But, we had two cats that would only come in the shop when the TS was running. One, a tiger, would leap from the bench onto my shoulder and lick my ear while I was sawing. Unnerving the first couple of times but, I came to expect it as soon as I saw him come through the door.
BTW, Boomer is a nice looking dog.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2936 days

#3 posted 12-12-2012 07:36 PM

Boy that sure beats my neighbor’s dogs, every time an emergency vehicle goes by within a mile of the house!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2270 days

#4 posted 12-12-2012 07:42 PM

My dog feels the need to protect me from the planer. If I am doing any planing, he needs to go inside. If he is outside, he will do whatever he can to get between me and the planer, and will nip at my hands if I try to touch it. I have no idea what his deal is. The second I turn it off, he stops barking and calms down.


View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2536 days

#5 posted 12-12-2012 07:43 PM

I’d agree with Elizabeth. I’ve owned enough and fostered enough dogs over the years that I’ve seen dogs respond to all kinds of certain sounds.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2936 days

#6 posted 12-12-2012 07:48 PM

I have a young shop cat that loves to come visit, regardless of the machine(s) in use. I have a short throw rug that I place in all kinds of places—- the TS wing, the planer infeed/outfeed table, and even on my horizontal mortise machine. All I have to do is place the rug where I want it (the safe place), pick the cat up and place her on the rug, and she stays on that rug! And if I need to move her a second time, she will again stay on the rug at the new location. And I thought I was the only one with a strange shop pet! ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2083 days

#7 posted 12-12-2012 07:52 PM

I really didn’t notice this until I built this new shop. My old shop was on a concrete slab. The new one has a wooden floor over beams. I could see how noises/vibrations could be magnified by this floor. No real changes in the saw however. For some reason, this saw is now getting his attention.


View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2223 days

#8 posted 12-12-2012 09:07 PM

I have 2 German Shepherds and they follow me where ever I go and lay down close to where I am working. When I am doing stuff on the Lathe he (Oscar) will lay directly under it and I have to keep telling him to move.

They do get extremely excited, agressive when I use anything with air power though. I hate it when I switch Nail Guns or when I have to Use the air hose. The Female (Naja) is the worst when it comes to the air hose she will bite at it and just go nuts. If I know I am going to use it for a while I will put her in the truck till I am done. I bet the high pitch hurts their ears. Oscar has to always see what I am doing. If I am grinding a moulder knife he will stand right up and rest his paws on the arm rest and watch. I am extrememly carefull when I am at the table saw cause he has done the same there as well. Even when I have to use the ladder, Oscar will actually climb up right behind me and doesn’t know how to get down which is a royal pain at times. I have had to jump off from the last 4-5 steps. You can imagine what could happen if he fell and got his legs caught. If you was to walk into the shop uninvited your now Kibbles and Bits, Once they know you and all is well then your going to get a tongue bath. I won’t bore you with the story how I got Oscar but he is quite the companion.

But I know all the little quirks they have and adjust for that. A small price to pay for what they have done for me. Wow just realized I was ranting on…. Sorry….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3113 days

#9 posted 12-13-2012 05:49 AM

My dog gets scared when I set a glass of water down to hard on the table….I couldnt even imagine what he’d do in the shop….hes a wimp

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Henry6's profile


36 posts in 2048 days

#10 posted 12-13-2012 06:47 AM

This is because of sound of your bandsaw, nothing else. I don’t have dog that’s why I am not able to find out more reasons.

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2320 days

#11 posted 12-13-2012 03:06 PM

my dog comes in tha shop when I fire up the router and stare’s at me and howls like a lonely wolf must be woodshoproutinitis he has

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3072 days

#12 posted 12-13-2012 03:23 PM

My dogs are drawn to my use of the bandsaw as well, but that’s because I cut their rawhides down to size on it! I’m actually thinking of picking up a dedicated, used, smaller bandsaw just for this purpose, if I can find one cheap enough on Craigslist, as well as a little spare room in the shop.

I’d have to agree that it’s nothing more than the frequency/pitch of the saw, now in a new environment with different acoustics that’s drawing your dog to you when you use it.

@Gshepherd, it sounds like at least one of your shepherds comes from working stock, that’s for sure. My father was a K-9 officer for a brief time, until he was injured on the job and had to give it up. German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are capable of some incredible feats, which your story reminded me of, particularly the ladder-climbing bit.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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