I have said before that Chessies can be protective of their people, places or things. Our Chessies do not go around looking for trouble. But if they perceive potential trouble, they will go into protection mode.
There is no mistaking when Storm is protecting. If someone she doesn’t know approaches she will sound the alarm by barking. For example, if we are somewhere and someone walks up to our truck, you would think Cujo was inside, (not really but she does make a good showing ). She lets everyone know not to mess with her stuff.
Thunder is different. He is more laid back and doesn’t bark very often. When he goes into protection mode, I doubt people who don’t know him even realize it.
Last week was a good example. We were at a park training and it was very crowded. It is a good size park which means that you can spread out from other people. We ran some land marks on a large grassy area and were waiting to use the water. There were three people down by the water with four dogs off lead. It is usually not a good idea to throw bumpers in the water if there are other dogs off lead. All the dogs may want to go for the bumper and it is not very helpful for training. So we waited our turn to use the water.
We put Thunder in a “sit/stay” on the tailgate of our truck while we waited. Pretty soon one of the dogs, with person in tow, broke away from the group. The dog meandered around and eventually came within about ten feet of our truck. I don’t know if it was the dog or the woman, but Thunder started to get a little antsy and got up from his “sit”. We told him again to “sit” and he ignored that command came over and sat right next to me on the tailgate so that his side was touching mine. He didn’t growl, he didn’t bark. He just sat there and watched the two until the woman and her dog moved away. I doubt that woman had any idea.
That is Thunder’s style. If he perceives a threat he will put himself between us and whatever he thinks is a problem. He may be standing, or sitting, or even lying down. He will be perfectly quiet, but watching and ready.
Do your animals protect? How do you know?