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what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 20, 2014 03:34PM
has your dog ever barked vociferously at a person when it's totally out of character?

this has happened to us while on a walk exactly twice in the last year. each time the person has been a stranger, but he encounters strangers all the time on our walks. again, both times have been on our usual walking territory, but other than that he has met hundreds of strangers on these walks.

he's an *extremely* friendly dog and goes up to everyone looking for some love. except for two people. what gives? makes me wonder if there is some dog sense of these two of which he is aware and I am not. he's still agitated and it's been 30m later.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 20, 2014 03:36PM
They smell.... wrong.....



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 20, 2014 03:38PM
dogs do have heightened senses, and some bark at people that they sense rub them the wrong way..., but it's hard to tell what they don't like unless you've trained them, or they've trained you as to what 'it' is that's causing the barking.



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2014 03:38PM by Buzz.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 20, 2014 03:42PM
Our doggies have always been very good judges of character. The people they REALLY don't like have been untrustworthy. Including the kid that stole from our house. The dogs hated him from the start.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 20, 2014 03:45PM
I don't think it's a sense, although they supposedly can sense fear and will react to it, not always the way you would like or expect.

I think they just don't like some people just like some people don't like some people for no known valid reason.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 20, 2014 03:47PM
I should add this is from about 200ft away...

got me a little weirded out all the same, seeing his very uncharacteristic reaction.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 20, 2014 03:48PM




Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: May 20, 2014 03:57PM
I used to walk a dog who reacted negatively to angry men and men under the influence of alcohol or possibly other substances that affect mood and coordination. Angry drunks were very unpopular with him.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 20, 2014 04:07PM
Quote
ka jowct
I used to walk a dog who reacted negatively to angry men and men under the influence of alcohol or possibly other substances that affect mood and coordination. Angry drunks were very unpopular with him.

verrry interesting; I thought these two people may be exactly that.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: May 20, 2014 04:08PM
I trust me dog.



That old man - he don't think like no old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive."
If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport. And I'd be a TSA agent.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: testcase
Date: May 20, 2014 04:15PM
"Dumb" animal is actually a very poor description in most cases.


30+ years ago, my neighbor had two dogs that were always outside (each had its' own dog house). I quickly learned the differences in their barks and, several times in the middle of the night, "those" barks had me quickly pull some clothes on and, check the property (with flashlight and service weapon handy). Happily, nothing ever came of it which, I chalked up to the dogs' vigilance scaring off whoever didn't belong.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: May 20, 2014 04:24PM
Perhaps the dog is experiencing cognitive dissonance. Malcolm Gladwell discussed this in his essay "What the Dog Saw." A summation:

Dogs are very attuned to humans and get confused when they pick up mixed signals from humans. A mismatched facial expression and body posture may confuse a dog.

It could also be that dogs can tell when aliens are trying to pass as humans.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: May 20, 2014 04:25PM
Quote
Todd's keyboard
It could also be that dogs can tell when aliens are trying to pass as humans.

we'll go with this.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: numbered
Date: May 20, 2014 04:35PM
I shared a large house with a number of housemates after college. The women who shared with us used my Golden Retriever as a "jerk-detector": if the dog reacted negatively, they would not hang out with the guy or see him again.

Most of the time the dog just wanted someone to throw the tennis ball. Every once in a while, the dog would want nothing to do with the person.

The women claimed the dog was infallible. They ignored his reaction a few times and suffered for it. (Even cat-oriented women relied on the dog's opinion.)
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: May 20, 2014 04:39PM
Quote
graylocks
Quote
Todd's keyboard
It could also be that dogs can tell when aliens are trying to pass as humans.

we'll go with this.

Agreed. It makes the most sense.



It is what it is.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: SKYLANE
Date: May 20, 2014 04:52PM
I watched a lot of Cesar Milan programs "The Dog Whisperer" over the past several years. It is interesting to see how he teaches owners how dogs react to energy of the beings around them along with how posture plays a role in this. I would say for those instances where your dog was barking at the stranger on rare occasions, I would certainly heighten your awareness.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: May 20, 2014 05:24PM
Years ago when my dog was still alive, he went after some "poor old drunk with a cane" in the dog park. My dog was an affable Labrador who didn't do things like that. I apologized profusely but ended up having to leave the park because my dog was hating on that guy.

The next day some of the other dog park folks told me that a little while after we left, this "poor old guy" began hitting people's dogs with his cane and kicking them as well. They had to call the cops. Everyone complimented my dog on his accurate take on the guy.



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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 20, 2014 05:56PM
Quote
$tevie
Years ago when my dog was still alive, he went after some "poor old drunk with a cane" in the dog park. My dog was an affable Labrador who didn't do things like that. I apologized profusely but ended up having to leave the park because my dog was hating on that guy.

The next day some of the other dog park folks told me that a little while after we left, this "poor old guy" began hitting people's dogs with his cane and kicking them as well. They had to call the cops. Everyone complimented my dog on his accurate take on the guy.

of perhaps the "poor old guy" got pissed at gods in general when your dog went after him and then he began hitting people's dogs with his cane and kicking them as well.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Linda2
Date: May 20, 2014 05:58PM
Trust your dog!
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: josntme
Date: May 20, 2014 06:53PM
I found that my Lab, Kelley, was a good judge of people. I hired day laborers and would take them by for a visit with her and if she liked them I hired, if not I took them back and paid them for their time. I ignored her judgement a few times and found they were lazy and untrustworthy.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Ammo
Date: May 20, 2014 07:25PM
Could it be possible that the dogs in these situations are reacting to unconscious signals from their owners?



Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. —Wendy Mass

Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - Carl Jung
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: fauch
Date: May 20, 2014 07:29PM
My dog is the same way, there are a few people she just does NOT like, for no discernible reason.... Smell probably has a lot to do with it though...
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: DRR
Date: May 20, 2014 07:36PM
Some dogs don't like certain things - a type of hat, or sunglasses. From 200 ft away I'm more willing to suspect it's this than a smell.

Or it's possible those people don't have souls.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: Don C
Date: May 20, 2014 09:22PM
We had a Bichon Frise across the street that would get excited if I was just in my front yard. If we were both out, he would come up to be petted but he sure made a racket when he was inside the house. Two other Bichon's in the neighborhood make a racket if I am just walking by on the sidewalk; one of those I've never been near.

I sure wonder what they are detecting in ME! (At least my cat loves me.)

Well, as much as you can tell from a cat, of course.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 20, 2014 10:09PM





Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: August West
Date: May 20, 2014 10:35PM
Quote
Ammo
Could it be possible that the dogs in these situations are reacting to unconscious signals from their owners?

My thoughts also.



Picasso in his studio after the liberation of Paris, taken by my friend and mentor.

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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: CW2V
Date: May 20, 2014 10:42PM
Please....

So much FUD about the "trust your dog."

I used to read meters and had to deal with dogs every day. Most of the time, dogs would flip out at the sight of the uniform, go nuts and then feel victory as I walked away to go to the next house. It would happen with my friends dogs after work. Once I was out of uniform, they were fine with me. I was bitten by dogs that "don't bite" (Hey owner, just not yet. I'm reading your dog right now and he's gonna bite with you around.)

I used to go into backyards with so called "bad dogs" that other readers would pass by and miss the read. A lot of the time, these dogs just were large and of a breed that some people would fear. But if I could read the dog well enough and keep them in front of me, I was fine. Many times I would actually play fetch with them. Super friendly dogs, just large and mean looking with bad reputations.

I don't blame the dogs that would go crazy, but I definitely took offense to owners who claimed "good judge of character" when their dogs growled and barked at me. Bullsh!t. Unless they thought that paying for the exact amount of electricity they used monthly was some kind of perverted evil, they had no reason to judge me. NONE. Projecting BS.

Did the dog that attacked that small kid last week know something about that kid that was bad? Perhaps he sensed the next Hitler?

My daughter is somewhat afraid of dogs as she had a bad encounter when she was younger and she is allergic. So she tends to shy away. Dogs sense her fear and tend to react more aggressively with her. Is she a bad person?

That said, of course you cannot discount a loyal animals sense if they perceive danger. But remember sometimes it can be way off base. We are the animals with the sentient brains that can tell the difference between a bad person, and just the guy who delivers the mail everyday, or the UPS driver. Or someone with a hat 200 feet away. Or a mustache.

BTW, I'm usually the one in the room that dogs seek out for attention as I will accommodate them with ear scratches and "good boys" (just not when in uniform).

So let's not get crazy here.

</end rant>

CW2V
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 20, 2014 11:02PM
Quote
August West
Quote
Ammo
Could it be possible that the dogs in these situations are reacting to unconscious signals from their owners?

My thoughts also.

not in the least in my case; i didn't even see these people until the dog started up.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: May 20, 2014 11:03PM
I'm not crazy. I told one anecdote about my normally friendly and loving Lab. That doesn't mean I think dogs never bark or growl for a myriad of reasons besides "sensing bad people". Even a dislike for a drunk isn't all that amazing, it's pretty sensible if the drunk is a nasty drunk and they pick up on it. I have several stories about my dog growling at strangers but they were occasions when I flat out knew he was sensing my discomfort and reacting to it, so I didn't bring them up here.

As for being a meter reader, I have heard that dogs dislike meter readers and postal carriers because they come to the house all the time yet are never allowed in, raising the assumption that the household doesn't want them in the house. The dogs are just making sure that you know you are not wanted.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2014 11:04PM by $tevie.
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: CW2V
Date: May 21, 2014 12:05AM
Quote
$tevie
I'm not crazy. I told one anecdote about my normally friendly and loving Lab. That doesn't mean I think dogs never bark or growl for a myriad of reasons besides "sensing bad people". Even a dislike for a drunk isn't all that amazing, it's pretty sensible if the drunk is a nasty drunk and they pick up on it. I have several stories about my dog growling at strangers but they were occasions when I flat out knew he was sensing my discomfort and reacting to it, so I didn't bring them up here.

As for being a meter reader, I have heard that dogs dislike meter readers and postal carriers because they come to the house all the time yet are never allowed in, raising the assumption that the household doesn't want them in the house. The dogs are just making sure that you know you are not wanted.

I wasn't directing my vitriol at you $tevie, just the general overall broad brush-stroke that when dogs react a certain way, they must have an innate sense of something is "wrong" (in this case, a person who may be dangerous, when "wrong" could just be someone who is afraid of dogs, or the dog just senses their owners are uneasy with a certain person). Dogs react without the empirical knowledge we have in most situations. I mean, I'll trust a dog that heads to the hills when the tide goes way out, but I'm not going to call the cops on the mailman. I've known people with dogs who were mistreated by certain people, and therefore were very, very mistrusting of a certain gender, and others that mistrusted all people.

And the part about my daughters fears causing dogs to become more "agitated" around her I think points out that dogs can sense things that may be "off" with people, but sometimes those things may be very innocent things that can be exacerbated by the dogs reaction to it. And worst of all, what we can sometimes assign to these reactions as humans, such as "good judge of character."

I actually did hear someone say that to their dog on my route one day, so yes, I do have a sore spot.

And I totally agree with the meter reader/postal worker explanation. They bark, we leave, crisis averted.

I don't wear the uniform anymore. I am now on the good side of the force, so it's all good.

CW2V
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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: May 21, 2014 01:44AM
Good timing for this article. It isn't addressing our topic exactly, but it is an interesting tangent.

In dogs’ play, researchers see honesty and deceit, perhaps something like morality

[m.washingtonpost.com]



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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 21, 2014 04:07PM
Could it be possible that the dogs in these situations are reacting to unconscious signals from their owners?

In some cases, this is no doubt the case.

On others, not so much.

While I don't believe an animal can assess character, I do believe they can pick up cues from behavior that they mistrust.

Reading dogs correctly is invaluable to trusting your dogs "judgement". And I'm sure that they respond on a "thing" that might set them off, to a myriad of cues and observations that lead them to a reaction ("conclusions" might be too strong).

I couldn't stand a guy my kid brother used to hang with. The guy was no good on all sorts of levels. The guy never came by the house, and I tried to warn my brother off. One day the guy did come by. He knocked on the door and as I opened it, my dog came charging out and headed straight for this guy. No bark, just a low growl. I was able to grab him, but he stood up and kept trying to get at the guy anyway.

This was highly uncharacteristic of my dog. I don't know why he didn't like this guy. He got no cue from me, and I don't think he took anything from my conversations with my brother.

I *like* to think he was a good judge of character. I just don't know.

But I truly believe the cat was defending the boy, not the turf.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

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And hope is a lousy defense.

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Re: what does my dog know about these people that I do not?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 28, 2014 08:03PM
Quote
CW2V
Quote
$tevie
I'm not crazy. I told one anecdote about my normally friendly and loving Lab. That doesn't mean I think dogs never bark or growl for a myriad of reasons besides "sensing bad people". Even a dislike for a drunk isn't all that amazing, it's pretty sensible if the drunk is a nasty drunk and they pick up on it. I have several stories about my dog growling at strangers but they were occasions when I flat out knew he was sensing my discomfort and reacting to it, so I didn't bring them up here.

As for being a meter reader, I have heard that dogs dislike meter readers and postal carriers because they come to the house all the time yet are never allowed in, raising the assumption that the household doesn't want them in the house. The dogs are just making sure that you know you are not wanted.

I wasn't directing my vitriol at you $tevie, just the general overall broad brush-stroke that when dogs react a certain way, they must have an innate sense of something is "wrong" (in this case, a person who may be dangerous, when "wrong" could just be someone who is afraid of dogs, or the dog just senses their owners are uneasy with a certain person). Dogs react without the empirical knowledge we have in most situations. I mean, I'll trust a dog that heads to the hills when the tide goes way out, but I'm not going to call the cops on the mailman. I've known people with dogs who were mistreated by certain people, and therefore were very, very mistrusting of a certain gender, and others that mistrusted all people.

And the part about my daughters fears causing dogs to become more "agitated" around her I think points out that dogs can sense things that may be "off" with people, but sometimes those things may be very innocent things that can be exacerbated by the dogs reaction to it. And worst of all, what we can sometimes assign to these reactions as humans, such as "good judge of character."

I actually did hear someone say that to their dog on my route one day, so yes, I do have a sore spot.

And I totally agree with the meter reader/postal worker explanation. They bark, we leave, crisis averted.

I don't wear the uniform anymore. I am now on the good side of the force, so it's all good.

CW2V

Dogs will react completely differently if situations change.

When any of us boys were home when we were kids ( actually a male human in the house) the friendly milkman could come in, without knocking, put the new milk in the fridge, grab the empties, talk to the girls or any of us and leave.
The dog wasn't interested.
If there was no male human in the house the milkman could not enter the house.
Period.
Just the way the dog was.
Took us a couple 'altercations' to figure out what was going on.
The dog had protective rules and we had to accept them.
They weren't taught.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
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