The internet is littered with anecdotes of people whose dogs knew somebody was bad news before they did. Is there any truth to claims that dogs can sense “bad” people? The short answer is yes, but only up to a point.
Studies have shown that dogs notice people who are unkind to their owners and hold a grudge against them. In one study, dogs were reluctant to take treats from somebody who refused to help their owner open a container. It’s one thing for a dog to remember somebody who already acted unfavorably toward their favorite human, but what about when they don’t like somebody they’ve just met?
When a person is acting aggressively, their brain chemistry changes in a way that dogs can smell, causing them to react to a potential threat before their human has perceived the threat. Unfortunately there’s a caveat – psychopaths experience few emotions, so their brain chemistry would be unlikely to change and give a dog warning about their bad intentions.
The third possibility is that both dogs and humans have a sixth sense or a gut feeling about certain situations, but humans frequently ignore their gut instincts and dogs never ignore their intuition.
Has your dog ever alerted you to someone with bad intentions?
Tag : dog-story