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hey Everyone,

First post here, Ive got a wonderful little guy named Bunker Hill, Bunk seems to be like a staffordshire terror, he's loves meeting new people, kids, and playing with other dogs. He is never violet towards anyone and listens great! Even when another dog is acting territorial and angry barking he just ignore them, he's not a fighter.

As I said, he loves meeting new people every day, but, people who fear him seem to scare him. Occasionally If we are walking around and some one who see's him begins to panic or simply stops in their tacks in fear, even if they are silent, it is like he can feel their anxiety and it makes him bark.

Maybe because it confuses him that they don't want to be his friend so he like doesn't trust them?

It sounds crazy but it distinctly happens once in a while and it just perplexes me. That if anyone one shows any sign of resent to him he seems to feel it as a threat. It is just frustrating and ironic to me, because it seems that the only time he barks at strangers in when they act scared or tell me they don't like pit bulls.

anyone ever seen this before?
 

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My adult female is similar, she doesn't usually bark though. She just will NOT take her eyes off them, even if she has to walk backwards lol.... We pass people every time we walk the trails near our house, so the dogs are used to it and pretty much ignore the people as we pass. Although that is not the case for Gemini if the person is acting fearful, to her the person is acting suspicious and she needs to keep an eye on them.
 

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i'm sure you've heard about certain animals that "smell fear". i think most animals have their own way of sensing distress in other organisms. maybe for a whales it's sound vibrations. for humans it's visual queues like facial expression and body language. of course for a dog it would be smell.
all animals use chemical signals. pheromones. they are usually associated with survival instincts. survival of the species = sexy time pheromones. survival of the individual = fight or flight. and of course "fear" is a related to danger.
the smell of fear is a real thing. i believe even humans can sense it on some level. but dogs are hypersensitive to any smell and fear will cause them to respond in various ways. some dogs run away. some dogs want to help calm you down. and some just want to eradicate whatever the source of danger is.
your pup is acting on instinct. not sure exactly how to redirect it. but someone else here, more experienced than me, will come along with some good advice.
good luck.
 

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Dogs are extremely perceptive animals.........like most animals they have to be, it's survival (as stated above). IMO, it is "normal". I don't know how you can redirect this behavior, at least as far as the dog is concerned......the humans, well, tell them to not be so afraid LOL. Easier said than done. Some don't feel comfortable around dogs........nothing new here. This type of human/dog interaction has been going on forever. I remember being very young and being told "not to show fear" when you pet such and such dog. I certainly am not a trainer........so if someone has advice on the subject maybe they can speak up. But I'll bet that a modification will have to occur with BOTH dog and human alike for this to be resolved. BTW, my dogs who know me better than myself will at times "pick up" when I'm not myself (anxious, scared, etc. about something)...and have gotten quite on "edge" themselves. It was confusing for them....and, on one occasion, resulted in a brawl between the two. Obviously, some dogs show this type of behavior more than others....like humans, nothing is for certain. One of my dogs would be as gentle as a lamb with a child or stranger, while the other would not. It is what it is. It is an interesting topic for sure.
 
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