Nature | Did You Know

5 Reasons Why Dogs Don't Like Certain People Even If They Love Everyone Else

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There is nothing more heartwarming than becoming a dog's chosen person. They will sit with you, they will follow you around, and they want nothing more than to make you proud. But what about all those other people that they don't pick?  

Whether it's your neighbor's kids, your uncle, or some person who always comes to the dog park, every dog seems to have one or two people that they just want nothing to do with. Or even worse, they may actively hate them, barking at them angrily or running away when they see them.    

It may leave you wondering what the heck is going on, but as it turns out there are a few reasons why your dog has decided that these people are the enemy.  

1. Smell

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Dogs obviously have very good noses, so much so that they can basically tell what you've been up to all day.

Have you ever noticed that your dog seems to smell your pants a whole lot more after you come home from someone's house where there was a dog? They are looking for the culprit of this lingering dog smell. Personally, I think it's because they get a little jealous, but who knows.  

But, if your dog smells something that isn't very appealing to them, they are going to stay away from it. And if that smell is coming from a person, they may not trust them.

Their sense of smell is a lot better than ours, and they can pick up on a lot that we can't. So while you may not think that you can smell anything, they may be smelling some kind of citrus, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or mothballs which are all smells dogs tend to despise.

2. Tone of Voice

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While you may think that because dogs don't understand English that your words don't matter, but the tone of voice you use is incredibly important. Those big ol' ears are all the better to hear you with, you know.

Studies have shown that dogs react to the tone of voice that a person uses, and if someone uses a high-pitched, happy voice they are much more likely to react positively. If someone has a low, angry-sounding voice, they will likely react negatively.

It makes sense, but some people may not realize that their voice is coming off aggressive so they won't know why a dog is being fearful.

3. Body Language

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Dogs make a lot of judgments about you in a brief amount of time. They are not only giving you a quick sniff or listening to your voice, they can also assess your body language and learn a lot about you before you even realize it has happened.

Unlike humans, dogs find direct eye contact threatening, and they prefer if there is a softer focus that is slightly to the side. It's a way of showing respect to the animal if they are nervous.

Also, if you come at them too wildly or reach around them too much, they may not like it. Obviously there are some dogs who love a good hug, but there are many who really don't want one at all.

4. Human Interactions

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Because dogs are so good at making judgments, you may assume that they wouldn't look to cues from anyone else, but that would be wrong. They actually decide a lot about a person based on how they treat others, and how others treat them.

A study found that a dog would look at how their owner was treated by a person to decide if they would like them. If they were interacting nicely, the dog would accept attention from the stranger, but if the stranger was rude to their owner they would not interact with them.

Dogs want to protect their human, first and foremost. So if someone is not treating them well, chances are they aren't going to trust them.

5. Their Past

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And finally, past trauma or past interactions can absolutely impact your dog. Especially with a rescue, it's hard to know all the things they went through before they were safe in your home, so it's impossible to predict how they will react to certain situations.

If they dealt with abuse or mistreatment by someone, they may become nervous or upset around people who look similar.

It's pretty fair when you think about it. If you saw someone who looked just like the person who hurt you in the past, chances are you are not going to want to hang around them much.

What it comes down to is that if you want dogs to like you, obviously you do, then you've just got to get really good at reading their body language.

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It's important to try and see how they are feeling before you reach out to pet them. Are they lowering their head? Are they crouching away from you? Are they growling? Are they hiding? All these things are very clearly indicating that they aren't okay with you touching them.

I know it can be hard not to pet a dog, but it's obviously more important that the dog feels safe so that you don't end up getting hurt.

But don't worry, there are always happy dogs out there who would love your attention! You've just got to find the right one!

Pug jumping

There are a lot of strange behaviors that your dogs will do both when you're home and when you're away. However, there is usually a reason why they are acting the way they are, you just may not understand it yet!

Also, there are a lot of facts about your dog that you've been either missing out on or just misinformed about and you should read this article to find out the truth.

As for their grossest behavior, well, scientists have finally explained why dogs eat their poop.

Source - I Heart Dogs

Does your dog dislike someone specific?

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at