When your dog/cat doesn't like someone - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 01-22-2004, 05:56 PM
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I am pretty convinced that animals can sense things in people and I trust my dog Aidan's judgement. If your dog/cat is very obviously distrustful of someone, does that cause you to become suspicious of that person?

My older brother who I haven't seen in over a year visited me the other day, and I physically had to hold Aidan back and put him in my bedroom while my brother was in my house. He growled and barked at him and Aidan is not normally an aggressive dog (protective, but not aggressive).
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#2 Old 01-22-2004, 06:00 PM
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Not with Cyber - I kid you not - she does not like a single person unless they're part of the family (not one - ever in her whole seven years on this earth). She hisses and growls - it's bizarre. So - I guess my case doesn't figure in as my cat is a little neurotic (like me)
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#3 Old 01-22-2004, 11:39 PM
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My kitty Milo doesn't like small children, but I think that's because they're loud and make sudden movements. If he didn't like an adult though I would wonder about that person. I had a neighbor who cat sat for me once and reported that Milo hissed at him. I've never seen him hiss at anyone in my life, nor have any other cat sitters reported any hissing. In fact he's usually extremely friendly. It actually made me realize that I didn't like this guy much either. Beyond that, the guy was a smoker and I wonder if that bothered Milo. He'd never met a smoker before since the majority of people I know don't smoke.
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#4 Old 01-23-2004, 12:27 AM
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Maybe your brother reminds Aidan of someone that he associates negatively with.

EG, if a dog was abused as a puppy by a man with a moustache, later in life when he sees men with moustaches he may become nervous and start growling. You'll often here about "racist dogs" that growl and bark and people of one particular race. It's not because everyone of that race is bad, but just that they associate a certain skin color with something that happened to them earlier in life. It takes time and a lot of difficult work for dogs to overcome these stereotypes. Different dogs have different triggers. Facial hair, baggy clothes, heavy coats, baseball hats, skin color, weight, odor, it could be anything. But you're right, it could be the person. Dogs can sense when people are uncomfortable around them, they can sense fear, they can tell when someone doesn't like them. I don't know if they can sense that "this is a bad person" but they can tell when someone is shifty. In addition Aidan knows you very well, and you mentioned you hadn't seen your brother in a year, so maybe he's sensing something in you that doesn't sit right. I'm not saying this is the case, but if you were expressing any internal resentment or disgust at your brothers sudden appearance then Aidan would have picked up on that and tried to play the part of your bodyguard. So maybe Aidan senses something isn't right with your brother, or maybe he senses some reluctance on your part, or it could just be that he associates your brother with someone else that he had a negative experience with in the past. It's hard to tell.
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#5 Old 01-23-2004, 11:21 AM
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You got it pretty right Kpickell, my brother's a pretty shifty, weird person ( and not the good weird ). I won't go into detail, but I have some thoughts about him that I mentioned to my husband before and he agrees.
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#6 Old 01-23-2004, 11:40 AM
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I take my dogs' instincts seriously. Lucy, for example, is the most "I love everybody!" type dog ever ... she snuggles up to all of my friends, even on first meeting them. There was only one person she ever reacted badly to ... barking, growling, apparently wishing she could just destroy him ... he struck me as dodgy also, and I eventually heard that there were domestic abuse charges against him. (He was a cop, BTW -- not to denigrate cops, but there was a certain irony.)

But I agree with Kpickell ... there are a lot of other reasons (such as similar physical appearance) that could upset a dog.
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#7 Old 01-23-2004, 12:32 PM
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When my cats don't like someone, I immediatly become suspicious of that person.

Many years ago (15+) my mother brought her second boyfriend, later to be second husband, home to meet my brother and I. Our grey tabby, Tabis, hopped into his lap, let the guy pet him, shat in his lap and took off. We were all dumbfounded. Tabis is a very sweet cat and had never done anything like this before in his life and hasn't since.

It didn't take too long before we figured out why Tabis didn't like the guy. He was, what I call, a real AAA guy (Abusive Alcoholic *sshole). He dislocated my mom's shoulder, split her lip numerous times and more.

We all learned the hard way to trust our cats' impressions of people and I for one, won't ever forget it.
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#8 Old 01-23-2004, 03:53 PM
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I take my cats' reactions to people seriously.

My cats mostly like pretty much everyone. They're not a huge fan of big crowds... I had a party at the start of Jan and they were extremely social to everyone, which surprised me, but all the folks I had over were really awesome people so it makes sense.

If my cats don't like someone, and don't come around after a few minutes, I wonder what's wrong with that person.

I can't explain it but it seriously seems like they can tell if someone's not right somehow. Two of my three cats I've had pretty much since birth, and the third as an old kitty from an estate sale (saved her from going to the pound) and they don't seem to react the same as they would if there were something negative in their past.. like, no "men with mustaches" type of syndrome. Leads me to believe, they can percieve way more than I can.
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#9 Old 01-23-2004, 04:28 PM
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My gf's parents used to have a dog who was happy & easy-going with almost everybody. The exceptions were a couple of people at the vet's office. Later, the vet found out they were stealing from him. After that, when he was interviewing potential employees, he would ask my gf's parents to bring the dog in to interview the final candidates!!
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