Why Some Dogs Dislike Some People – And What You Can Do About It

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If you have ever wondered Why Some Dogs Dislike Some People, and be friendly with others, you’re not alone.

Most pet owners notice that their dogs seem to like or dislike certain people or groups of people, but wonder if this behavior can be explained scientifically.

The fact is that there are plenty of scientific explanations for why dogs seem to dislike some people and like others.

From evolutionary differences between humans and canines to the physiological effects different personality types can have on the behavior of our furry friends.

Why Some Dogs Dislike Some People

Physical Aversion


photography of human face

Whether your dog hates someone’s smell or prefers certain scents over others, there’s a good chance it can be attributed to physical characteristics.

For example, if you know that your dog is scared of men with beards or women in business suits, it could mean he can smell pheromones that scare him.

The same is true for individuals who have natural body odors that dogs don’t like.

Your dog may also dislike someone because they are covered in mud and their natural scent is masked.

Certain breeds of dogs may also have a predisposition towards an aversion for those belonging to certain ethnicities due to their ancestral background; this phenomenon is called xenophobia.



Why Some Dogs Dislike Some People

Often, a dog’s dislike of a person can be traced back to jealousy.

Dogs are territorial and protective by nature, and they do not like when someone they love best spends time with another person—even if that other person is you.

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If your pup barks at or nips at you when you’re giving him a treat or petting him after spending time with your uncle Bob, for example, then it could be due to jealousy.

Take the necessary steps to ensure that he’s more comfortable with Uncle Bob so he can get over his feelings of jealousy.

Doing this will give your pup what he needs: love from you.

For instance, start by introducing them slowly (Bob sits on the couch while you spend some time playing with your pup).

Then as time goes on, let them spend some one-on-one time together (you play fetch with Fido while Uncle Bob reads a book).

In this way, your dog gets used to being around Bob without feeling threatened and learns that all the attention isn’t just going to him.



Not, Fear, Locked, Bandog, Animal

If your dog is afraid of you, they may act aggressively in an attempt to scare you away.

Fear-related aggression can be triggered by many things, such as a strange person, or you reaching for your dog in a way that he’s never experienced before.

The best way to address fear-based aggression is to try and identify what your dog is afraid of, then develop ways to help him overcome it – in small steps if necessary.

For example, if your dog is afraid of strangers touching his food bowl, put the bowl on the ground instead of on the table where people are walking around.

Praise your dog when he approaches the bowl. Then gradually work up to putting the bowl back on the table so that you know he won’t feel threatened by other people walking around him while he eats.

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Cat, Young, Dog, Encounter, Sniff, Fear

The first reason dogs dislike some people is because they are a part of their family’s pack. At home, he doesn’t see himself as any less important than his owner or other family members.

If your dog considers you part of his pack, then any person he perceives as competition will be viewed with hostility.

For example, when your dog meets another dog in your home, they will try to establish dominance by barking and growling at each other.

They may also show aggression if the newcomer tries to play with them.

When there is a new baby in the house, your dog may become hostile toward him or her for similar reasons.

If this happens regularly, the dog may start showing aggression towards all new people that come into the house even if they don’t compete for dominance in the household.



Many dogs are especially sensitive to snobbery in humans.

When meeting someone for the first time, a dog may either immediately be drawn to that person or instantly dislike them.

There’s no rhyme or reason, really—it all depends on how your pup reads you.

(Note: This is a bad trait if you want your dog to warm up to people quickly.)

If this sounds like your dog, don’t worry too much about it.

In most cases, there’s nothing wrong with their behavior and they’re not just being stubborn.

Attachment Issues


Dog, Purebred Dog, Small Dog, Lap Dog

Is your dog lashing out? If you notice that your dog seems to have a negative reaction to some people, they’re likely suffering from attachment issues.

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As dogs get older, they can become more set in their ways and might react negatively if another person goes near or touches them.

Some people may not be accustomed to animals and the way they move.

If you know that there is someone your dog has trouble with, try training them first on how to interact with your pup before interacting directly.

You should also speak with the person in question about the issue so they know what to expect when approaching or handling your pet next time around.


As a dog owner, you’ve surely noticed how your dog greets people.

If someone comes over to say hello and immediately sticks out their hand for petting, your pup might cower away or even growl at them.

This can be embarrassing for both you and them!


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