Shadow-dog, if taunted and aggressed upon by a home invader who was beating me to death could, I imagine, tear any beast, animal or human, right in half, quite literally, within seconds. That’s a quite limited circumstance. He’s been shot by pellet guns a number of times, but he’s never jumped the fence, never taken revenge. Goooood daaaaawg! He’s totally socialized, having grown up for his first year and a half eating at the high school cafeteria. I’ve never seen him not be friendly with visitors to the rectory, who, mind you, stay dutifully behind the gate. Smart, that.
Shadow-dog might look ferocious in the two second video above, but this is simply an inviting squeak-bark to play offered to the back-fence neighbor’s dog, who has learned to look bored and not deign to respond (though in this video you can hear that other dog in the background offering his own weak-bark commentary, not having mastered the squeak-bark).
This exchange could also be characterized as baiting, by either dog, challenging when you know that actual consequence will come about. One of the parishioners once brought Blue-dog (a Weimaraner). We tried to socialize them with the fence between them and they both realized that they were beloved dogs to their owners, and that their owners were there. Then we put them in the yard together. Soooo, that didn’t work at all. They are both alpha dogs. They are both extremely protective and neither is willing to share anything, least of all space on the earth, unless of course, with, say, Laudie-dog, who is about a third the size of them and given over entirely to deescalation.
But even Laudie-dog, if pushed, can be equally ferocious. Maternal protectiveness even for the likes of this human being kicks in like male aggressiveness never could. She’s proven it, having actively saved me from snakes and lynx and coyotes and red wolves and a grey wolf and bears galore and even – extremely traumatically – from a panther. All that was in the hermitage. She can discern who’s bad and evil among human beings, having gone into protective mode (though without attack, just warning) twice, among the hundreds of human beings she’s met. I didn’t see it the bad and evil aspects of those involved, but she sensed it. I wouldn’t put it past the two she did this with that they likely killed a dog just before coming over. She knew. Goooood daaaawg! Actually, the neighbor to the hermitage confirmed that he wouldn’t have put such malicious violence past them. Mostly, Laudie-dog is calm, content, happy, always a smile, even if, sometimes, woken up and drowsy, just for a picture: