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Canines are quite similar to humans when it comes to screening people who approach them. In general, canines are quick to decide whether they like a person or not, unlike their human owners. According to ‘The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think’ by Dr. Brain Hare, the social skills of canines and their understanding of human owners is much better than those of chimpanzees. Canines are extremely good at reading the body language of humans and pick up signs that we may be unknowingly sending. Here are four reasons why your dog doesn’t like a particular family member:
- History of trauma or abuse
If you had your canine ever since it was a pup, you would know everyone it socialized with as you were in charge of it. However, if you got your canine when it was much older, you won’t know what went on during its early years. Due to abuse or trauma, your canine may be wary about human beings. It may also dislike a certain type of people or a particular appearance or even a gender. If anyone even resembles the canine’s abuser, it will instantly be careful around that person.
- Weird behavior When talking about weird behavior, it refers to the behavior of that particular family member, that the canine dislikes. Canines have a very good understanding of the normal behavior of human beings. They are also good at identifying behavior that is unusual, weird, or out-of-the-ordinary. Weird behavior can include strange vocalizations, the way a person moves and any other type of behavior we consider suspicious.
- Sending mixed signals Do you send mixed signals to your canine? Have you rewarded or praised your canine for protecting you when it jumped on that particular family member? While it may have been cute or adorable, when your canine gets possessive and jealous, by giving it rewards or praises, you are encouraging anti-social behavior. If you want your canine to stop being aggressive unnecessarily, you have to teach your canine when you don’t need protection.
- Naturally territorial and protective Canines are territorial by nature and will protect you if they think someone is trespassing their space or if someone looks like they are about to harm you. Canines are extremely good judges when it comes to evaluating the character of a person. Also, canines only dislike people when they have a reason. Ask the particular family member if he/she is up to something that is upsetting your canine.
These are the reasons why your canine doesn’t like a particular family member. If you can’t control your canine, you can visit a dog psychologist for help. If you have any queries, please leave a comment below.