When a newcomer comes on stage, the dog always stays alert. Your dog will immediately notice new people, but sometimes barking at them, sometimes not. His rant may indicate aggressiveness, defensiveness, or just anxiety.
Why does he react differently to people? Does he know things you don’t? No one can sum up the reactions of all dogs. Of course, each case is unique, but we can look at the way dogs perceive the world, and perhaps understand this interesting question.
1. People smell.
People have different smells to dogs. Dogs smell much better than humans, in fact they are 10,000-100,000 times better.1 Because of this difference, we can’t imagine all the information our dog can get from someone’s smell. Surprisingly, well-trained dogs can even distinguish the smell of twins from the same environment and eating the same diet. The dog may smell where you have been and who you are with, maybe for a long time.
Your dog may smell something very subtle on a person, making him growl, and your person’s nose will never notice. This shouldn’t bother you. Your dog may perceive something he has learned to associate negatively, such as a strange dog or fear of the smell of another dog. All dogs are the product of their own experiences, and since they cannot tell us these experiences, we can only guess.
2. Some people just look gloomy.
Some people seem to be afraid of certain dogs. Compared with smell, dogs are less dependent on vision, but still to a large extent. Dogs use facial recognition to communicate with each other, and people cannot see facial features like dogs. When a dog growls at one person instead of another, he may see something that reminds him of the threat in his memory.
People’s body types, characteristics and exercise patterns are also different. Some people’s characteristics or exercise patterns will remind your dog of threats, and even make your dog look unfamiliar with them, so he feels scared and insecure. We know that if the dog moves suddenly or wears a hat, even familiar people can pose a threat to the dog.
3. You can help your dog understand humans.
If you know that the person your dog growls is well-intentioned, try to teach your dog not to feel protected or protected around him. Use a pocket full of dog’s favorite snacks to master it. Make sure your dog is well-trained, he knows that it will elicit a good response when obeying orders. Repeat this training often so that the dog knows what to do without thinking. Then, when the newcomer approaches, have your dog perform well-trained behaviors and reward him. Then ask your friends to request and reward.
However, don’t doubt the character of this person, just because your dog will growl at first. This may just mean that they smell like something your dog can be sure of, and you can build his confidence through training and rewards.