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Can dogs really smell fear?

westtntoms

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
1,651
Location
Collierville, TN
Had a dog once, very large muscular black lab. I’ve had many labs, normally not aggressive dogs. This particular dog did not like strangers (men only for some reason) on my property. He was ok as long as one of the family was there, but don’t dare step foot on my property if we aren’t around. We gave specific instructions to our lawn treatment company, do not come on property without notifying us first. We would make sure he’s in the house. Welp, one day they failed to notify us. Guy opens back gate, closes gate and proceeds into back yard. My dog spots him and immediately charges. Guy can’t get gate open quick enough so he starts climbing gate. Dog grabs his butt as he’s making it over, about the same time I hear commotion and run outside. I’m sure he was sore for a while, but they were warned. Never a problem again....
 

NICHOLS3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2001
Messages
3,591
Location
Knoxville
A friend of mine used to let me keep my boat at his house since it would be covered. He had a german shepherd that I had no problem with for about 3 months she would let me pet her pretty much all the time then one day I went to get my boat and she was growling on the porch( I was about 40yds away) when all the sudden she came at me and about got my ankle/foot as I was slamming the door, not sure what turned her but I dont keep my boat there anymore. I wasnt scared when she was growling but when I saw her ears back b-lining it for me and teeth out she may have smelled something.
 

FLTENNHUNTER1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2007
Messages
23,247
Location
SE Tennessee
My German Shepherd can smell feces in your pants from 500 yards away. Moral to story, don't poop your pants when he is closing in on you at 45 miles an hour.
 

Hunter 257W

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Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
10,617
Location
Franklin County
Any dog I've ever had that showed any tendency towards aggressive behavior towards people who drive up to the house got a stick applied to their rear. Stick applications are repeated until the dog figures out the connection between growling and stick. Problem solved. I won't tolerate an aggressive dog period. You don't have to beat them hard, just a sharp crack and be consistent - just like disciplining a kid. If somebody is intending to do something to me or my property, the dogs job is done once they bark and let me know somebody is out there.
 

Biggun4214

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2004
Messages
3,517
Location
east tn
On 2 separate incidents I have had dogs brush my leg as they went after the person I was with.
That being said I have a neighbor that even labs don’t like.
Sometime it’s the person.
 

'borohunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
1,073
Location
Murfreesboro
I think body language says more about a person, especially to a dog. I'd also say there are "general tendencies" for dog breeds but each dog is an individual.
 

gtk

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 26, 2001
Messages
4,678
Location
Colorado via Mississippi
My wife lives by this: If our dog don't like you, she probably wont like you :)

I believe the dogs behavior feeds off the owners "vibes" too.

Our German Shepard has a weird habit. If a stranger comes in the house, she goes ballistic, and stays between us and the guests, and never takes her eyes off them. However, if we are all outside and the guests come in the house with us, she is fine.
 

Crow Terminator

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 1999
Messages
11,023
Location
McMinn County
My dad has had rat terriers since I can remember. Rat terriers don’t like sudden movements in people and none of them they’ve had, have been petable by small children. They will stay out of reach or go hide.

Anyways, when I was in the police department explorers, they had a drug dog German Shepherd that they warned us to not look it in the eyes. I don’t know how true it was, but the dog’s handler said they are trained to go ballistic when looked in the eyes. Something about the psychology of a criminal hiding somewhere, would always train their eyes on the search dog and they train the dogs for that purpose. If a police dog can be trained like that, I’m sure the non trained dogs can naturally sense things like that as well. I’m one of the people dogs like. I find myself on the side of the “I can’t believe this...that dog never lets anyone but us pet it” comments. I am 99% sure it is what got permission for me to metal detect a nice farm that everyone said the owner wouldn’t let anybody hunt. The guys two dogs came out as soon as I got out of the truck. I was standing there petting both of them with wagging tails when he came outside worried that he wasn’t going to be able to stop them from getting to me lol. He kept saying “I ain’t believing this!” They had pretty much lay down at my feet as I was talking to him. Unfortunately this also carries over to other animals as well, including cows and other livestock. All except fish and they avoid me.
 
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