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Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
02-25-2012, 12:43 PM,
#1
Ram Offline
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Question  Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
There is this little dog always standing in front of someone's house, and he would only look at me from a distance when I pass by ever since the first time "we" met lol. I don't know the owner, so the dog never met me before either. Once the dog was closer to the road when I passed by, he turned and ran back home when I got close. I was absolutely not in a threatening manner.

The other day, I was walking near that place again, and saw a little lady passed by that house like I used to, and the dog immediately barked at her.

What do you think? Why did the same dog treat us differently while we were both strangers to him?
Because I am taller and bigger than the little lady?

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03-09-2012, 05:11 PM,
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lhins Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
I definitely believe that dogs can pick up on mannerisms of people, and I think it's a great question to bring up whether dogs judge by appearence of a person. I do think that dogs do a very quick analisys based on appearence and relate traits of individuals to behaviors. If you're a big person and the dog has had a previous negative experience where the dog was threatened by a person who was also big then the dog will relate that and feel threatened by you. And this goes for much more detailed features too, like hair and eye color, clothing, actions and gestures, any of these can set off a reaction from the dog based on its previous experience with people who have those features.
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03-10-2012, 01:59 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
(03-09-2012, 05:11 PM)lhins Wrote: I definitely believe that dogs can pick up on mannerisms of people, and I think it's a great question to bring up whether dogs judge by appearence of a person. I do think that dogs do a very quick analisys based on appearence and relate traits of individuals to behaviors. If you're a big person and the dog has had a previous negative experience where the dog was threatened by a person who was also big then the dog will relate that and feel threatened by you. And this goes for much more detailed features too, like hair and eye color, clothing, actions and gestures, any of these can set off a reaction from the dog based on its previous experience with people who have those features.

In other word, dogs might bully the weak and fear the strong! Just like some people. Big Grin And they will remember it if something had happened to them before.

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03-22-2012, 11:34 PM,
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bw Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
Do most dogs treat people based on their physical appearance?
Not always. Most dogs I think, if well socialized, think all people should fall in love with their grand self. However if a dog has been abused anyone that reminds them of that person will be on their "suspect" list. Some one not to be trusted. If someone has just scared the crap out of them anyone reminding them of that person is to be feared. It could be a persons size & shape. It could be a beard or mustache. It could be someone using a cane. On the other side of that coin if a dog is reminded of someone they love they will want to get to that person.

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03-23-2012, 08:57 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
Well, I always thought dogs can differentiate individual people rather well. They can tell who is who completely from the smell. He should have known I wasn't the one whoever gave him a bad experience.


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03-23-2012, 09:40 AM,
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bw Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
You are right in that they know peoples smell. However if you remind him of someone that he had a bad experience with, that would be enough. In his doggy mind if you are anything like the offender you probably are not to be trusted. People are not much different. Ever meet someone you took an immediate dislike to? Even though they did nothing to cause you to dislike them? Subconsciously you picked up on something that caused you to dislike them. Sometimes it could be they remind you, in some way, of someone you dislike.
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04-18-2012, 09:29 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
lol it's funny that I just read it somewhere, some people swear that the dogs treat men and women differently.
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04-21-2012, 06:53 PM,
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Karenskatz Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
In teaching kids how to be safe around dogs, they are told to ignore the dog,don't look directly at it, and stand still. The dog might bark because you're in it's space, or it doesn't know if you are friend or foe. Once it has a chance to come close and snif you, it can then clasify you, and will benerally then go off to find other things to explore. I think dogs in general tend to err on the side of caution and try to intimidate the newcomer in to leaving them alone (or maybe to come play?), and will continue to do so until they can check you out.
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04-28-2012, 02:38 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
A lot of animals see it as a hostile act when you stare at them in the eyes.
We humans are quite different. It is rude when you don't look at me in my eyes when talking to me. :p

A few times I had small dogs "chasing" after me as I pass their house on the sidewalk, but ran away when I turned around.
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04-28-2012, 01:27 PM,
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Mantis Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
Hmm, I'd be dubious as to whether they judge based on appearance. It depends how you mean it. However, I will agree that like many animals, dogs will react in different ways based on body language. Just like if you show signs of fear or run away from a predator, you're probably a dead man, yet many people have avoided a potential encounter with grizzlies or big cats by showing some backbone.
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06-06-2012, 06:46 AM,
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Melody_Of_Rain Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
I don't know if they judge people based on appearance but they seem to be able to tell sexes apart. My grandmother used to have a dog that was terrified of men she was a rescue dog so it was assumed she's had bad experiences with men in her past.
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06-06-2012, 07:09 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
(06-06-2012, 06:46 AM)Melody_Of_Rain Wrote: I don't know if they judge people based on appearance but they seem to be able to tell sexes apart. My grandmother used to have a dog that was terrified of men she was a rescue dog so it was assumed she's had bad experiences with men in her past.

Yes, they can tell whether it's a man or a woman. Maybe by appearance, maybe by the smell, I am not sure.
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06-06-2012, 11:33 AM,
#13
TreeClimber Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
Dogs judge people in many ways. They pick up on your smells, your mannerisms, how you are holding yourself. I don't think it's so much male or female but a combination of many factors. If you speak loudly or make too much eye contact with them, this might be intimidating or cause fear.

I have a small dog (9 lbs.) who is afraid of strangers. She loves everyone in the family, male and female. However, she is terrified of my older brother. He has never harmed her and always tries to befriend her. For some reason, he makes her shakes with fear. She hides when he comes over.

He does have a loud, gruff voice. Sometimes he is in a grumpy mood. I think she picks up on these clues and it unnerves her.
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06-08-2012, 06:05 PM,
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tajnz Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
I think the dog treated you differently not due to your appearence but due to your behaviour and mannerisms. The dog could probably sense you were confident and unfraid and therefore did not bother you. Whereas the older woman could have been afraid of the dog and the dog could have sensed this. Dogs are very perceptive about how we feel and can sense fear. Perhaps they can even smell fear?
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06-09-2012, 05:04 AM,
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beyre Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
It is amazing what animals can do with their senses. To sum up, and add to, what others have said, dogs can:

1) differentiate people by smells. Some dogs may shy away from people because whatever perfume, deodorant, or laundry detergent is irritating

2) differentiate people by gender. A dog may shy away from a gender of human due to abuse by said gender before.

3) differentiate people by "vibes". I don't know how else to describe it. Perhaps dogs can see auras ???? But some dogs can just tell if someone is "not their type" or is someone to stay away from just by being near that person. It's odd, but a neat gift they have.

4) are perceptive to human emotions, such as fear, love, anger, etc.

One of our cats always hides from my husband's son whenever he's over. The son, 25 years old, has never done anything to the cat but be friendly. The son isn't aggressive, angry, loud, or anything. We have no idea why she reacts like she does and she's been doing it since day one about 7 years ago. Our other cats are just fine with him. *shrugs*
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06-13-2012, 07:03 AM,
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MusicInMotion67 Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
(04-28-2012, 02:38 AM)Admin Wrote: A lot of animals see it as a hostile act when you share at them in the eyes.
We humans are quite different. It is rude when you don't look at me in my eyes when talking to me. :p

A few times I had small dogs "chasing" after me as I pass their house on the sidewalk, but ran away when I turned around.


You know, I don't think it's an "appearance" so much as it's the vibs they pick up from an individual, because they will love a homeless person just as they would a rich person, but they can sense your vibes. My Chihuahua Tippy went after my neighbor one time when she came to get her cat who'd jumped over the fence, but he didn't bother her until she started to show fear towards him, the he literally backed her up against the fence and big her heel. Once I got her to calm down and show some confidence, he didn't bother her again.

Think about it, when we get around new people we can sometimes get bad vibes from them, you don't know why but you do, or really good ones. You can generally tell if that person is someone you like and want to be around or if you should be weary of them. Dogs are the same way only they are more sensitive to it than we are. Just like when you're sick and your dog seems to follow you everywhere and wants to be right next to you every minute of the day and cuddle you. They approach you differently because they can sense something is wrong.
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06-13-2012, 01:55 PM,
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haopee Offline
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
Well, most of the time, it's not the physical appearance (or beauty) that the dog judges. Most dogs who haven't been socialized (or who have not met that many humans during its puppy years) will base its approach depending on how dogs instinctively meet each other. Approaching them full frontal with your chest up straight while looking into their eyes can signify that you're dominant or trying to dominate. Not looking at them straight in the eyes and approaching them sideways can be perceived as being friendly. Hunching and averting one's gaze can lead them take the chance to take over.

We always hear Cesar Milan saying that people need to be calm and assertive. He also mentions that you have to relax and walk with confidence. Confidence can also attribute to how a dog can judge you.
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06-21-2012, 09:51 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-21-2012, 09:53 PM by reydempto.)
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RE: Do most dogs treat people based on their physical apparence?
It's a bit of the other way around, but people judge my dog by her appearance lol ... I have a big mastiff-offshoot breed of dog, and most people cross the street or take another route around us when I walk her. She is the sweetest animal I have ever owned, LOVES people, especially kids...it kind of annoys me when mothers pull their children away when I walk by, as if I trained my dog to eat babies or something. It's a little bit rude, don't you think? Eventually it gets to you, when everyone avoids you due to some illogical fear.

I am moving to spain this year, where dogs are loved and accepted. I am sick of everyone treating us like lepers because in my experience, every Turk, Moroccan, and Muslim in my neighborhood turns tail and runs at the sight of my baby lol
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