I knew bassets weren't known for their protective behavior, and the one time before that George has been called upon to be protective, we still had Rosie, who led the charge and showed him what to do. Still ...
The other day I took him for a short walk after work. I wasn't going to go very far because he's been awfully stubborn about heading home lately, but I figured the park was close enough that it wouldn't hurt to go that far.
In the park, along the back, some houses back up to the fence that separates the park from their yards. We had paused so George could sniff and pee, and man came up to the fence to ask what kind of dog he is. So I told him. Then he started telling me about his uncle who raises fighting roosters. I didn't want to hear about that, for pete's sake, so I urged George to move on, and then the guy asks me my name. I didn't want to tell him THAT, either, so I kept urging George to move on. Of course, he chose that moment to get stubborn. This man was seriously giving me the creeps, we were out of sight of anyone else, and George would NOT budge. In fact, he wagged his TAIL at the guy.
Finally I got him to go a bit further, and then tried to get him to head back toward the street, which of course he wouldn't do, and I happened to glance up and this man had worked his way between some really tall lilac bushes perpendicular to his own back fence and was peering at us through those bushes. He had to climb a fence to get to that spot in that length of time. Now I was REALLY feeling creepy, and again, tried to urge George to MOVE so we could get back to the street side and in view of all the people who were out in their yards, and George would not BUDGE. I fought him all the way back to the street and even had to carry him partway.
Mind you, I didn't expect him to attack the man or something, but every other dog I've had, of all breeds and no particular breed, has picked up on it when somebody is threatening me (even if I only imagine they're threatening me) and gotten protective and obedient. When we had a tornado siren once, the dog we had at the time was at my heels instantly, with her hackles up, when I said, "Basement! Now!" and snuggled up close to me the whole time. She probably didn't understand WHY I was frightened, but she knew I was and that was all she needed to know to get protective. That's just one example. George was totally oblivious to everything except that he didn't want to go home.
So we won't be taking any more walks without my husband (and I"m seriously considering a nice can of pepper spray besides) unless we stay in our own backyard or at least on our own street where I know almost everyone.