U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Dogs
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 7,275,049 times
Reputation: 1913

Advertisements

Just curious about why my dog would have reacted this way. Gracie is a lab/rottie mix that I have had for 2 years since adopting her from the humane society. In all of this time, she has never shown any signs of aggression, although she is protective (she will bark when people approach the house, for example). But she has always been friendly to people and to other dogs.

This morning we were on our regular walk at a local park. We usually see other people and often other dogs on the trails. When this happens, Gracie gets excited when she sees other dogs, but her reaction to people who walk by ranges from mildly curious to total disinterest. This morning as usual we met 4 or 5 other people and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But then for some reason, when we neared one man who was walking alone and at least to me didn't seem any more threatening than anyone else, Gracie began snarling and growling and pulling on her leash as though she wanted to go after him.

Afterwards we continued our walk and met 1 or 2 other people, and she was back to her normal self and showed no reaction at all.

I was totally surprised (and a little embarrassed) at her reaction to this man. She has never done anything like this before. Any ideas as to what could have caused this type of behavior?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:05 AM
 
2,893 posts, read 5,279,568 times
Reputation: 1978
I think Gracie didn't like him, viewed him as a threat to his pack, and was warning him to stay away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,376,483 times
Reputation: 4848
My dog loves all dogs and humans and runs to say hi to everyone he meets. That said, every so often we come across someone (usually a man) that he will not let anywhere near us. He barks and chases him away. I have never seen him act like that until recently.

I'm usually out with him and my husband, and he doesn't act like that in front of my husband, ever. But now that my husband travels for work all the time and it's just me and the dog, he seems to be extremely protective of me around certain people.

Dogs can sense things you can't. I used to be embarrassed for his behavior, especially since this is a dog that never shows any kind of defensive behavior, but now I realize he may be sensing something I don't and I don't want to punish him for that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
7,556 posts, read 11,867,193 times
Reputation: 4516
Dogs can have PMS, if that's not been taken care of.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:19 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 34,464,964 times
Reputation: 4036
Was he making eye contact with her? While people regard eye contact as a positive sign, to dogs it's an aggression signal. It's very difficult to educate people about that: dogs that are given stares or direct eye contact from people consider that an aggressive stance and it's time to warn them that any closer and they'll be in trouble, so they growl.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:35 AM
 
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,212,019 times
Reputation: 5741
Oh yes! I'm so glad someone has brought this up.

Animals can sense things that we can not. And for whatever reason, your dog did NOT like something about the man you 2 stumbled across. You mention she was adopted out of the Humane Society. It could be something as insignificant as, his long dark hair or demeanor reminded her of a former abusive owner, or - he could be a complete stranger having just finished strangling a small child in the nearby bushes and was making a nonchalant-yet-hasty escape... you have no idea. But leave it to your dog's better judgement.

For whatever reason, if a person doesn't pass my animals acceptance test - they don't get through the door, no matter what. Because there has always been a reason.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:42 AM
 
11,678 posts, read 14,373,153 times
Reputation: 19062
Yes, dogs know when to react. I have a very sweet pit who loves people, but one man in particular came to my door and she growled at him. When I tried to shut the door, he put his hand up and tried to keep me from doing so. She knew what he was up to before I did!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 7,275,049 times
Reputation: 1913
Quote:
Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
Dogs can have PMS, if that's not been taken care of.
She has been spayed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
Was he making eye contact with her? While people regard eye contact as a positive sign, to dogs it's an aggression signal. It's very difficult to educate people about that: dogs that are given stares or direct eye contact from people consider that an aggressive stance and it's time to warn them that any closer and they'll be in trouble, so they growl.
This is possible, although if he was making eye contact I'm sure he wasn't the only person who did. Gracie looks a little threatening due to her size and she has the coloring and the big head and thick chest of a rottie. People do tend to hesitate a little and take notice of her when they see us approach.

I appreciate everyone's comments. It's true that I don't know anything about her background, but I believe she likely was mistreated in the past. She tends to be very skittish at sudden noises or movements, but her response in the past has always been more of a "flight or flight faster" than "fight or flight" reaction.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:04 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,025,684 times
Reputation: 30379
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
My dog loves all dogs and humans and runs to say hi to everyone he meets. That said, every so often we come across someone (usually a man) that he will not let anywhere near us. He barks and chases him away. I have never seen him act like that until recently.

I'm usually out with him and my husband, and he doesn't act like that in front of my husband, ever. But now that my husband travels for work all the time and it's just me and the dog, he seems to be extremely protective of me around certain people.

Dogs can sense things you can't. I used to be embarrassed for his behavior, especially since this is a dog that never shows any kind of defensive behavior, but now I realize he may be sensing something I don't and I don't want to punish him for that.
When I'm out in the yard with my labrador, he barks at a specific male neighbor whenever he is within eyesight. Last week, my neighbor told me that my dog never barks at him when my husband is in the yard. I thought that was odd so I checked with my husband, and my husband confirmed that the dog doesn't bark at the neighbor. That means that my lab feels the need to protect me from this man, but somehow feels that my husband is safe. Weird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylandkitten View Post
Oh yes! I'm so glad someone has brought this up.

Animals can sense things that we can not. And for whatever reason, your dog did NOT like something about the man you 2 stumbled across.
When I was dating, every single man my Peekapoo didn't like ended up being a complete jerk. Dogs are a great judge of character!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:19 AM
 
24,843 posts, read 32,306,457 times
Reputation: 11452
I had one employee my dogs just did not like. He worked a few jobs last fall. This spring I did not call him back. I think they just knew something.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Dogs
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:08 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top