Realizing Bella was following us, I turned around and we headed back towards home. Bella is a very smart dog. She knows when she's being naughty and responds with a tail tucked under and a sad look on her face. She also know what I expect from her. In the past when Bella was a "bad girl" and crawling under the fence to go into the ditch I could holler at her "Bella, bad girl, get back to your sheep!" and she would bust a move back to where she is supposed to be. As I neared to where I had last spotted her, I kept a keen eye out for her. Not seeing her I thought she'd returned home.
You can imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw her leading me home, just as she leads the sheep into and out of the pasture. Stopping, I shout at her to get home, tell her what a bad girl she is. And... she ignored me. Her tail didn't drop, she didn't speed up, nothing! This is not normal behavior for this dog. When I stopped for traffic. She stopped. When I began to move, she began to move.
Puzzled, I kept heading home. Once we reached our land, she pulled back and as I turned into the driveway, she ran back out into the pasture. Initially, I had thought she wanted to play with the other dogs. But if that was the case, my giving her trouble would have sent her on the way. She literally acted as though she was guarding me - much as she guards the animals on the place. Her behavior was the same. I don't know if it's because we've had a lot of predator action lately or if it's because I've been sick and she decided I needed watching. Either way, she was in definite guard action and I was the animal she was taking care of.
Anyone who knows Guardian Dogs knows that when they bond and when they go to work, there is very little you can do to dissuade them from doing their job. In the future, I won't be leaving for my runs without someone watching Bella to keep her on the property.
Bella - good dog or bad girl?