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Both my dogs LOVE people, but friends of ours came by to visit today and they brought a friend of theirs. Both my dogs were obviously not happy with this guys presence... they watched him like a hawk, and a couple times I heard low grumbly growls from them.

It really shocked me as this is definitely not how they normally act, so I kept my eye on the guy too.

Long story short, I once had a dog that I was walking in a wooded park, and he was growling and pulling..... not normal.... Later that day the police caught a murder suspect right where my dog was growling.

So, yeah, I trust my dog's instincts.
 

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Ma'ii's, not so much because he's sort of aloof and indifferent towards strangers to begin with. Charlotte's, absolutely. I trust Charlotte because she's the type of dog who adores everyone. There is no such thing as a human enemy to Charlotte. Even if I don't like you, she'll still think you're the greatest thing in the world. However, there have been a couple of times during her time with us that she's detected something odd about certain individuals that made her very uncomfortable. She never growls or acts threatening, she get's scared. There was one time in particular where we were walking down the street and we ran into this guy who wanted to know if we could give him some money for food. When he bent down to pet Charlotte, she avoided eye contact and slinked away from him and hid behind me. That is VERY very out of character for Charlotte. At that moment I noticed there was something kind of...off about the guy as well. I told him I was broke and quickly walked away.

When I told my husband about it later that night, he told me that it's rare she acts that way, but normally when she does it's because the person is drunk or on drugs of some sort. Apparently she did it a few times to people when my husband was hitch hiking through the south with her, and that's how he knew who to avoid.
 

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I think a lot of the time the owner also has good instincts, and the dog is picking up on their feelings about a specific person. Often when I find myself startled by a person or feel like something's off about them, my dogs will growl at them.
 

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I absolutely trust Buster. This boy typically loves everyone and is far more likely to try to crawl into someones lap than have them for a snack. Every so often we'll come across someone he wants absolutely nothing to do with. They'll reach for him and he'll dance around just out of their grasp. Other times he'll place himself between me and the person he's deemed a threat and just give them this hard stare. I cant say what he'd do if someone pushed the issue, so far no one has been that stupid.
 

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Nope. Mia hates everyone and Summer loves everyone. Most people we meet, Mia wants nothing to do with them and Summer wants to make out with them. I might listen to Beau, he's sometimes rather sensible.
 

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Depends on the circumstances. Pip doesn't care for strangers, so it usually doesn't mean much if he doesn't like someone right away. But, although he usually just tries to avoid strangers, occasionally he'll stick himself to me like glue positioned between me and another person until we've passed out of sight of them. I do usually take notice of that behavior. Maisy loves everyone, her judgment is completely worthless. Squash loves almost everyone, but he has taken an instant dislike to a handful of people, so I usually do pay attention to him.
 

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Okay how do I say this without sounding wierd....

Gemma- Nope - She is an ACD and has been off the show circuit for years. She lived on the farm and now with me. She has a very ACD attitude, If you are lucky, she knows you, and I know and like you, she is indifferent at best..... If you are a stranger or she senses anything.... Nope. There are times I am not sure she even likes my wife.

Buc - again nope....... He loves pretty much everyone. He can be a tad offish with strange men. But he warms up quick.

Merlin - Yes.... He still has the aloofness and suspicious nature of an ACD. But he has been out so much, gone so many places, and had so many hands on him, he meets people well. And he enjoys meeting people for the most part. So his ACD nature is most often supressed. But when he shows it, I know something is up.
 

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I am willing to believe anything my dogs tell me until I can prove otherwise.
-no, I'm not nutty enough to believe they're actually speaking to me, just to clear that up. But I pay very close attention. they might as well be talking-

Troubles, sure. He doesn't meet up with a lot of people, just visitors really, or if we go in public. People either love him or avoid him completely simply because he's a chihuahua. He's a little wary of strangers, but there are some people he completely throws himself at. We once at a woman look at him and say 'Hi baby. You're not mean, are you? No, your little eyes don't look mean.' And that made me smile. That was a person he tried to throw himself at. If he likes them, then I'll trust them to an extend. He's never really met anyone he tried to avoid though.

Aleu, no, not really. Not when it comes to people. She's a dog that knows no stranger or enemy. everyone is her friend and she has no reason to believe otherwise. This worries me, though.

Diesel, I quite literally trust with my life. If the situation were serious, of course. He's a very friendly dog and likes to meet everyone that will have him, but there are some people that he's taken notice of before me, and has made an effort to keep me away from. One such instance was a couple years ago, while we were on a walk together, just he and I. We were in a field walking, and I actually felt his growl travel up the leash. He was in front of me at the time, and when I looked up, there were two men who were just standing there, staring. I'm rather untrusting of strange men, and this made me extremely nervous that they were just randomly there. Diesel placed himself between the men and I and started walking, constantly keeping an eye on them. He just wanted to keep moving and made a point of not stopping for any reason.
I really do feel safe with him around, and if he tells me a person's not to be trusted, I'm likely to just keep moving on my way.
 

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Most definitely! ... with the exception of the mail person ... there is no hope for them no matter what they are like.
 

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depends on the dog. Gem gets her hackles up and barks and growls at EVERY stranger until she gets to know them, Gypsy greets absolutly anyone with a huge grin. Misty adores everyone who may give her attention. Happy I trust, she keeps an eye on anyone she doesnt trust, ansd if someone calls to me and Happy stands at my side and stares at them, I trust her opinion and stay away. Electra..no, any dislike of people she has is directly linked to her..ie they made her do something she didnt wanna, like go outside...or come inside..or go in a kennel, some of her biggest hate ons are for the nicest most trusworthy people lol. Rusty...only if his behaviour is out of character, for example one say I was walking my dogs and this was this kid behind us, and Rusty was yanking backward barking at this kid..now Rusty yanks and barks at people all the time, but yanking bbackwards like that and not stopping, is totally out of character for him, which made me nervious of the kid, so I pulled to the side and politly told the kid to go on ahead of me or I was never gonna get anywhere. if my dog is reacting THAT strongly, then I dont want this person at my back where I cant see him lol
 

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I don't know about the actual final contact with a person, Caeda has never not wanted to be in contact with anyone she has seen being exuberant and friendly, but that said, I posted last week about her charging at my DH all hackles and teeth when he was coming through the door one night after a long late shift and I was in bed sleeping. She waggled and wiggled once she knew it was him (who knows, she might do it with a stranger too, I have no idea), but she at least is very attentive to the idea when something abnormal and potentially suspicious (someone coming in unannounced in the middle of the night) is going on.
I wish there was a way to know for sure, other than having it happen or risking someone, if she would attack or not if it was a stranger doing something wrong, but she certainly seems attentive to making sure "her people" are safe. If she ever acts odd/aggressive rather than hyper happy around someone new I would absolutely trust it and at least be cautious.
 

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Nope!

Kaki is indifferent at best. There are times when she's a bite first, ask questions later kind of dog.

Tyler will put on a tough guy act for people sitting on their porches, people walking oyt of their front doors, people with hoods up, and people that have the nerve to be walking outside after dark. Hell, he barked at me last week when I was limping with a laundry basket in my arms.

And Ozzie... If I listened to him, I'd be huddled in a bomb shelter wearing a tin foil hat.
 

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On Halloween night several years ago we had an attempted brake in through some first floor windows. We were out at a Phish concert. Ever since then our Boxer hated the 2 teenaged boys that lived across the street. She would growl and bark every time she saw them. No doubt in my mind that they were the ones trying to brake in and she had scared them off that night. She also used to stand between me and people she didn't know well until she was satisfied that they were ok.

I currently have a Japanese Chin that was rescued from a puppy mill. He is very people shy so there are only a few chosen people that he will come into the same room with after a few hours of them being at our house. These people are for the most part "dog people". I had a friend live with us for 6 months that didn't really like dogs and didn't know what to do around them. Zephyr hated her to no end, lol. He can sence people who are dog-friendly and people who are dog-indifferent.
 

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Yes and no.

Yes, when I don't trust a person that I see looking creepy or doing something strange. If Luke thinks it warrants a growl, I don't stop him. I walk fast, walk the other way, or walk on the opposite side of the street.

And no, because he will see people he's seen before and still growls at them. Not a mean growl, just a warning one. I tell him to stop and that they won't hurt me (cause I do know them) and he seems fine. Some people smile as a small dog is growling and they're not being a threat.

But ultimately I do trust my dog; I know he will defend me and I will definitely defend him as well.
 

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Gally loves everyone so when he growls/grumbles at someone I definitely take notice. He has only been really put off by people twice and they weren't anyone I knew, just people passing by or sitting nearby when we were out in the park. He doesn't like dogs that bark excessively. Any dog he will try to go sniff/play with but if they are barking consistently he'll just try to get away from them. I think he has good taste cause I really can't stand overly barky dogs either.
 

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No!, Holly loves everyone, so if i took her word for it everyone is great, this includes the postman and anyone that comes to the door, all she wants is fuss from anyone, like i said she is not a guard dog.
 

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I admit I sometimes trust his judgement of people, but I also consider it wishful thinking. I mean God help me if I trusted his opinion of a tipped over garbage can or one of those human billboard guys.
 

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I think she has good judgment when something is... off... about a person. And I would hope that if I were being attacked or something her instincts would kick in and at the very least she would pick up on my signals. However, I take her behavior with a grain of salt. If she's hanging out with particularly barky dogs, she will follow suit and bark at any passersby.

Also, she picks up on people who are different, though not necessarily bad. Case in point: the other day we passed an Indian woman. There aren't many of those where we live. This lady looked different, smelled different, dressed different, sounded different from the people my dog is used to. So the dog barked, lunged, basically looked like she would eat the poor lady. That experience was profoundly embarrassing and uncalled for. But how could the dog have known?
 

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Im not sure if its instincts or something else....
My dog behaves differently with certain people also.
She acts totally different with me , than she will with my wife..or a child ..or my mom..or a stranger..or my brothers.

How does my dog know not to jump all over my 83 year old mother?....and then suddenly jump all over my brother with a frisbee
full of saliva..and then act like a sessame street puppet for a toddler...and then become a ferocious gaurd dog..

I didnt train her to do any of these things...
 
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