So today the kids and Gretchen (17 weeks) are in the yard playing while I'm cleaning house. I hear a deep, loud, mean-sounding series of barks and my first thought is that there's another dog in my yard. I have 6 acres. I run to the front door and see this:
A neighbor came today to ask to borrow our tractor as their son got his truck stuck in the creek. My sweet Gretchen ran and got between the neighbor and the kids and started barking a serious “back off” bark. The kids tried to go around her to talk to the neighbor and the herding instinct kicked in and she was nipping them into a herd away from the neighbor.
I couldn’t help it and had to laugh at what I saw. Told the kids and the neighbor she’s simply doing her job. Introduced the neighbor to Gretchen and she stopped barking but wouldn’t allow unfettered access to her kids. She stuck to them like Velcro. I was fine with this as this isn’t a neighbor I’m close to and would prefer a little suspicion pending my arrival. My poor neighbor thought she was nearly full grown. She's only 35 pounds. She certainly had the bark of a full-grown dog.
We live rurally so a protective dog is valued around here. The neighbor complimented me on Gretchen’s willingness to watch over my kids.
This is the first time I've seen anything other than silly puppy brain out of Gretchen. I saw her all bowed up, ears fully alert, and meaning business. I'm happy with what I saw.
Now to just get her to understand that no, the cats really don't wanna play.