No one can be more alert than a dog at a scene when a new person arrives. He becomes instantly aware of every move and attention he has, and then you should expect one of two things: He is going to play and cuddle with the person, or he would growl to the point they become scared.
Usually, the growling indicates defensiveness, aggression, or anxiety. But have you ever noticed that your dog would growl only at some people, while they let others be at peace? Especially that they have never seen these people before…
It always makes you think if your pooch might know something you don’t, or they just can smell their bad intentions toward you. In any case, there is definitely a reason why your dog chooses to growl at that one specific person, and we are here to explain.
© Best Life
Each individual human being has its own unique odor, and dogs can smell all of them. A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000-100,000 time stronger and better than ours, and because of that, they can smell things we could never realize they exist.
So we can agree that dogs have way more information about other people than us. In fact, dogs can even tell between the scents of identical twins that consume the same diet and live in the same environment, and amazingly, dogs can even smell illnesses before doctors can diagnose them.
Anyway, if your dog starts growling at someone out of nowhere, then he probably smelled something and perceived it as something negative, like fear or a strange dog.
2People might just look shady!
© Partners Dog Training
There are some people who have a look that could scare dogs. But since dogs depend on their sense of smell more than their vision, they tend to scan the face in a way humans can’t understand because facial recognition is how dogs can communicate with each other.
So if he starts growling at someone, then he might have seen a feature that reminds him of a threat or a negative memory.
Also, each individual person has a different size, movement, and feature, so they may remind your furry pooch of something bad. I mean, we get threatened sometimes with a few dogs as well that we may have had a bad memory with their same breed in the past.
3Train your dog to love people
If you personally know the person your dog is growling at, and you know he has good intentions, then you need to train your dog not to feel protective or defensive around them.
The best way to do it is by arming your friend with your dog’s favorite treats. However, you need to make sure your little pooch has been trained to behave well and he listens to your commands.
You need to repeat this training frequently until your dog understands what to do before he even thinks about it. So when the person comes, ask your dog to behave and reward him for it. Have your friend to reward him as well.
Don’t doubt your friend’s character because of your dog’s growling. It doesn’t mean they are bad and you shouldn’t judge them over that. Just make sure your dog builds ups his confidence and learns how to behave around everyone.