Do dogs have a good understanding of human nature?

In stories, it's often dogs that expose the bad guy first. Is your knowledge of human nature just as good in real life? Or is a dog's reaction to strangers a question of education? When your dog reacts to a person like this, something is often wrong - Shutterstock / O.Bellini

Some dogs seem to have an extraordinary understanding of human nature. It can happen that your dog starts barking or reacts fearfully to a person for no reason. It later turns out that the person does not like dogs, has just had a bad day or is dishonest.

Dogs have sensitive antennas

In fact, dogs are very sensitive and perceive all kinds of impressions that remain hidden from the human senses. For example, the four-legged friends can smell fear sweat or notice minimal changes in their mood. Dogs also sense strangers when something is wrong with them.

But before you jump to conclusions: The animals do not differentiate between "good" and "bad". That means your dog may behave abnormally towards a person because he notices that something is wrong with her. What is wrong with her, however, your loyal friend cannot know. The person may be worried about something that has nothing to do with you, your dog, or the situation. If people are generally afraid of dogs, they behave nervously towards their four-legged friends, possibly even panicked. Your dog perceives the mood and thinks there is imminent danger. He will then let you know without knowing where the danger is coming from.

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Knowledge of human nature or education?

How strongly your dog reacts when he perceives something unusual in a person depends less on his understanding of human nature. It is rather a question of dog character and dog education whether your four-legged friend trusts strangers quickly or not. If you have raised your pet to be gentleness and kindness, especially as a family dog, and if his personality is also peaceful and reserved, his warning signs are rather subtle.

A self-confident cheeky badger that you raised to be a watchdog, on the other hand, will make a sound even with the slightest discrepancy. He may first greet every stranger with a loud bark, which unsettles people. The dog perceives this again and then wants to warn you of a supposed danger.