Why Does My Dog Not Like Some People?

Why Does My Dog Not Like Some People?

While many people think that getting a dog to like them is as easy as offering a few treats and a pat on the head, most pet owners know that this is not true. There are just some people that you know your dog does not like.

Hello, my name is Valerie, and I am the owner of Bentley, who’s a Clumberdoodle. I write animal articles for Officiallypets, as well as taking care of my furry friend.

While I am continually training Bentley to do clever things, sometimes he just does not want to be friendly to someone he dislikes.

While Bentley gets on with most people, there is one man in our village that he simply does not like. It’s not like the guy has ever done anything wrong; in fact, he’s a great person – until he and Bentley meet. Better for all if we take a different route!

Why does my dog not like some people?
Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/australianshepherds/2726134661

So, why does my dog not like some people?

Well, I found some facts that may influence the dog’s feelings.

Eye contact and body language

Eye contact is important. When humans avoid eye contact, it is seen as suspicious or even telling lies, but in dogs, eye contact is seen as a threat. When you look slightly to the side, your dog sees it as a sign of respect.

Making wide arms to hug a dog is not going to sit well with him; neither will he be happy for a stranger to make broad movements with arms. Erratic movements disturb the dog.

Tone of voice

Dogs enjoy hearing happy voices. They don’t like deep or angry voices, so if the person you meet speaks very deeply, chances are your dog won’t like him, which may be why dogs almost always like women. They have lighter voices, rather than deep booming tones.


Because your dog has the most zing sense of smell, he will be able to pick up on things like vinegar and citrus, which he won’t like.

When your dog first meets a stranger, he will sniff a hand. If he likes the smell, they’ll be friends. If not, your dog will ignore the person and go off to find a nicer smell.

Often if your dog dislikes other dogs, he will also hate people who smell like their dogs.

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Trauma in the past

Rescue dogs who have been beaten or abused will likely not like anyone who looks or sounds like the abuser which explains why a dog may cower or growl around one sex and be fine around the opposite sex. Anyone who talks like, or even looks like the abuser will not find a friend in the dog.

There are several ways to ease the situation when your dog and the person meet, and there are ways that you can calm your pooch down until he learns to trust the person.

So, while these are all valid points, the essential point for your dog not liking some people is very simple.

Social eavesdropping

We see this in everyday life, so there is no reason why it should not be relevant to our dogs. Take any couple who are devoted to each other. Now add a person who one of them dislikes. You will notice right away that the partner will not like the person either. No-one needs to say anything for this to take place. One person reads the body language of their partner, and subconsciously chooses between the two.

Your dog spends all day looking at you and learning what makes you happy. He probably knows before you do that you are sad or angry. Your face may change without you even realizing it, but your dog sees it and interprets it.

When we are scared, we give off a chemical which no-one other than your dog can smell. If we are anxious about anything, the dog knows it and will want to protect you.

When we get angry, we may frown even before we speak. We might not know that we are frowning, but your dog has already noticed it and wants to make things calm again. If you are frowning because you see someone you don’t know or like, your dog senses that this is a situation he should protect you.

The bottom line, then

Think about the person your dog does not like. Is the person overly noisy or aggressive? Does he try to approach your dog too fast? Does he try to stare your dog down? All of these will draw an adverse reaction from your dog.

There are dog-training routines that can teach you how to calm your pooch down when he meets the person he dislikes.

Or perhaps your dog just knows how you feel? While we all try to be polite, some people simply get on your nerves. We all know that person who irritates us beyond belief. Maybe the fact that your dog does not like the person is nothing more than a true reflection of how you feel! If that’s the case, the solution is simple – take your walk in a different direction so you and your pooch can enjoy it without aggravation.


“Why Does My Dog Not Like Some People?”

Guest Author: Valerie Holyoak (see BIO below)

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Are there people your dog doesn’t like? Do you know why?

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