Why Doesn’t My Dog Like My Friend?

(Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)

Question:

My dog usually likes people, but he doesn’t like my friend. What does that mean? Is my friend a bad person?

Answer:

I know an American Bulldog named Ichi who is convinced that her dad’s friend is the vet she had as a puppy . She barks her head off every time she sees him, to make sure that he doesn’t attempt anything with a cold thermometer.

I know a Labradoodle that didn’t like his mom’s boyfriend. In hindsight, she realized that her dog was right all along. Her boyfriend was a jerk.

Your pet has reasons to not like this friend. These reasons may or may not be valid.

Pay attention to how he behaves towards your friend. Does he follow your friend around, and put himself between the two of you? That’s a protective stance. He’s worried about what your friend will do to you.

Does he just bark like crazy? That’s a dog that doesn’t want your friend in his home.

Does he cower behind you with his legs between his legs? Scared doggy. Even if you think your friend is benign, this is your dog’s home, and he shouldn’t be frightened in his own home. Consider seeing your friend in a different location.

Think back to your dog’s earliest encounter with your friend. Was it pet-sitting when you weren’t around? Did your friend do something obnoxious? Did he say something disrespectful? Even something benign like, “He’s so ugly he’s cute?” Words hurt. And dogs, while they live in the moment, they remember.

If you can’t think of anything and if your dog’s reaction is quite out of the ordinary for his general disposition, perhaps you should keep an eye on this friend too. Most dogs are good judges of character.

A friend of mine has an otherwise friendly Weimaraner named Mojo. He would go berserk when a certain woman visited a friend of mine. It turns out that this gal was stealing my friend’s jewelry, a lot of it, and the dog knew it.

Your dog is your loyal friend. He has your best interest at heart. Take his opinion into measured consideration.