Can Pets Sense Red Flags When It Comes To Mr. Right?

If you see your furry friend as an extension of you, chances are that if your dog doesn’t like your date, you might not either. Many believe that during the first visit to your home, if your dog growls and retreats from your date, that is never a good sign. Chances are he senses something amiss. Alarm bells go off in your head and you are on high alert, maybe Mr. Right isn’t right, after all.

But is there any truth to this?

We watch videos of dogs fetching anything from newspaper to a pair of slippers, jump through loops and mimicking their owner’s movements. We grasp their potential and are caught up in the idea that all dogs are innately capable of these amazing feats. Yes, they are. After much training that is.

We read about how the Jordan family dog acted aggressively towards their babysitter, Khan, and subsequent discovery of abuse caught on tape. But this is after 5 months of being around Khan and noticing what she was doing, not an immediate reaction after an initial meeting.

Many people think their dogs can sense danger and do not take too kindly to those who pose a threat to their family. Protectiveness is a result of centuries of breeding, passed down from generation to generation. We read about pooches jumping to save their owners, often sacrificing themselves.

On the other hand, if watching Cesar Millan, the famous Dog Whisperer has taught me anything, it is that owners often do not understand their dog’s language and their world as much as they hope to.

We love our pets so much that we sometimes forget that man’s best friend isn’t a man. He is a dog. By accurately reading the dogs, he has managed to rehabilitate them, rescuing the owners from seemingly impossible situations.

Cesar Millan writes, “aggression stems from the dog’s frustration and dominance. The dog’s frustration comes from a lack of dog exercise, and the dog’s dominance comes from a lack of calm-assertive leadership.” Could it be that lack of training has encouraged this reaction?

A dog safety guide – The Dog’s Listener by the American Kennel Club suggests another reason, it could be that your dog “considers its yard personal property and may growl or bite to protect it” This means that your dog’s reaction is not necessarily a reaction to a specific person, anyone crossing your yard is seen as an intruder.

Behavourists sit on both sides of the fence on this. Only you can decide if your dog’s datedar is accurate. But before you throw Mr. Potential out the door, you might want to give him a chance to prove he is Mr. Right.


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