I spent the weekend with my family, including my grandson, Ben. What was incredibly interesting to me was the role that Baewulf took in becoming a guardian for Ben. In a series of photos I took, I recorded some beautifully demonstrated guardianship of Ben between Baewulf, my almost 11 year old long coat, black and red retired service dog, and baby Cloud.
Here comes trouble for two year old Ben, in the form of a young GSD puppy named Cloud.
Watch out, Ben!
As far as Ben is concerned, Cloud is still too close for comfort!
Help is on the way, in the form of ten year old Baewulf.
He is the “peacekeeper” of the pack and is forever watching interactions to be sure the peace is kept. When he feels something is uncomfortable or going to be uncomfortable or unsafe, he intervenes.
Here Cloud starts sniffing the ground as a calming signal.
Baewulf is just a little assertive right here, making it very clear to Cloud that he shouldn’t bother Ben.
Notice how Cloud looks away to honor Baewulf’s intervention.
Baewulf is demonstrating splitting.
Splitting is when one dog comes between someone a dog feels protective of, putting distance between the person (or dog) and another person or dog. It is a natural and very desirable behavior.
“I’ve got your back, Ben.”
Splitting is a very calm, peaceful, usually very relaxed and appropriate behavior.
See Daddy’s hand right there near him? NEVER leave young children alone with any dog.
Cloud has moved back behind Baewulf, leaving Ben alone.
Cloud then goes away from Ben, and does some more sniffing.
“Thanks, Baewulf. But now you’re in my way”
“Would you please MOVE?”
The situation is under control. Both Baewulf and Cloud move away from Ben.
Photos by Fran Jewell, Jewell Reflections Photography