(Venus, TX USA)
My wonderful Brutus is what I call a "mess". He is 150 lbs. of confusion to me sometimes. I knew nothing about this breed of dog until he adopted us about 6 months ago.
For some reason, he decided after 4 years of living with a neighbor about 20 acres from us and having been there since he was a baby, he didn't want to live there anymore. He showed up in my yard full of dirt, briars, burrs in his coat and just plain nasty and a tangled mess.
He was gentle from the start, not afraid of anything, no sign of being vicious or anything. Just like he wanted to hang out a while. Well, he never left. I did find out who he belonged to, called his owner and was told that he hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks. We took him back, but he wouldn't stay. He kept coming back to our house.
I asked his owner if he was going to do anything to keep him home. He said that there must be kids at our house because Brutus loves kids. I told him I had 2 grandkids ages 5 and 7 that lived with us. His owner said that if I wanted to claim Brutus, it would be ok as long as I promised that he wouldn't be mistreated. I told him that was definitely a promise.
We had to have our 15 year old chow put down a few years back. And because we loved her so much, we didn't think we could go thru another life event like that and vowed not to have another pet. We are in our late 60's and figured whatever pet we took in next might outlive us so we just decided not to have another dog....until Brutus!
His previous life was that of an outside dog having nothing to herd or take care of other than a bunch of chickens. We have no other animals at all. Now he is an inside dog only going out a couple of times during the day to do his business and out for a couple of hours at night to roam and then come in for the remainder of the night.
We didn't have to house break him. He just came in that way. He is a pack dog. I am the alpha female. The only ones he displays any aggressive behavior to are the grandkids if they get near his chew bone. Other than that, they can do anything they want to him and he accepts and loves them.
He follows me from room to room never letting me out of his sight, even going to the bathroom. When he goes outside at night, he leaves the front door barking, and it's constant barking all over our 5 acres. When his rounds are made, he comes back in for the night.
Even though his barking is a constant thing when outside, I have my doubts as to how much of a guard dog he is. He is so gentle, even to strangers. Therefore, I really don't know that he would actually physically fight anything or anybody off our property if the opportunity presented itself. But that's ok. He is a 150 lb. gentle giant to us. And we love him dearly.