German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can dogs not like someone because of skin color ? I need scientific facts not just your opinion. I don't want to hear about experiences I want to hear scientific facts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
I believe that it is possible a dog could react to a skin colour that he/she is unfamiliar with. Just like they may react to a mask or helmet - things that are unfamiliar. Dogs can't really see colours properly I don't think, so they may just notice that a person seems different in some way than the ones they know and act confused. If a dog has only met people with one skin colour, and then as an adult comes across someone that is different than the other people, it reacts. Just like if a dog had never seen a child before and then suddenly meets one. Good idea to socialize against this from an early age I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've had a problem trying to figure out how can a dog see skin color. I'm looking for some solid proof from a creditable source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
Awesome question....sounds like I am a politician....

I can go with the unfamiliarity explanation but have to throw in the obvious.....if the trepidation/anxiety/unease etc. of the handler exists in any given situation.....then why shouldn't an intelligent and perceptive breed of dog like a GSD who knows the handler better than many might assume not react in a similar fashion?


SuperG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Awesome question....sounds like I am a politician....

I can go with the unfamiliarity explanation but have to throw in the obvious.....if the trepidation/anxiety/unease etc. of the handler exists in any given situation.....then why shouldn't an intelligent and perceptive breed of dog like a GSD who knows the handler better than many might assume not react in a similar fashion?


SuperG
So basically it's all on he handled right ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
So basically it's all on he handled right ?

Beats me....I've seen my dog react to a giant inflatable snowman in someone's front yard during the Christmas season.....wasn't there the previous 11 months..... I've also seen my dog react to individuals wearing bright green vests like the garbage haulers....both of these scenarios make sense to me based on the situation. But, if you want to try and decipher a reason for a dog's reaction to a person's skin color, I would first investigate owners of the breed whose skin color is the one your dog reacts to and see if their dog reacts in a similar fashion....I'm guessing not. I've heard people say their dog reacts to people with beards or hats on etc. This much I do know....if I'm uptight...me dog be uptight.


SuperG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Sight is but one sense, and not usually the main sense a dog uses to learn about their world. Dogs learn more about their world though smell. Their sense of smell is amazing. So perhaps the dog isn't reacting to the color of the person's skin even when it appears so.

People from different cultures that the dog has not yet been exposed to often have a completely different scent from yours and those the dog is accustomed to. Some people from different cultures use totally different hair products, skin products, ect, often eat different foods that can change even the body chemistry, very noticeable that something is different about this person to your dog. Some cultures have a great fear or dislike of dogs as well. If a person if scared of a dog the dog will likely be aware of this and become suspicious of the person. (again through scent, imo, but dogs are expert at reading body language as well)

I have studied quite a bit about the dog and scent detection. What I have learned about scent is scientific, at the moment I don't have references to share, perhaps some books I have read would be interesting to you, let me know if you are interested and I will look up some of the titles and authors for my favorites, mostly SAR stuff though.

I agree with all the previous posts, as well. Many possible explanations.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Did something happen with Bella? You guys okay?
We're fine I was kicked out a German shepherd group because I called people idiots for thinking their dog doesn't like people because of their skin color. The entire group jump on my case and said a lot crazy things also offensive things and the admin said I was wrong for calling them idiots so she kicked me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Sight is but one sense, and not usually the main sense a dog uses to learn about their world. Dogs learn more about their world though smell. Their sense of smell is amazing. So perhaps the dog isn't reacting to the color of the person's skin even when it appears so.

People from different cultures that the dog has not yet been exposed to often have a completely different scent from yours and those the dog is accustomed to. Some people from different cultures use totally different hair products, skin products, ect, often eat different foods that can change even the body chemistry, very noticeable that something is different about this person to your dog. Some cultures have a great fear or dislike of dogs as well. If a person if scared of a dog the dog will likely be aware of this and become suspicious of the person. (again through scent, imo, but dogs are expert at reading body language as well)

I have studied quite a bit about the dog and scent detection. What I have learned about scent is scientific, at the moment I don't have references to share, perhaps some books I have read would be interesting to you, let me know if you are interested and I will look up some of the titles and authors for my favorites, mostly SAR stuff though.

I agree with all the previous posts, as well. Many possible explanations.......
Thank you for this information I would love to know the title of the books and authors I'm open to any legit information that I can learn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I do believe that dogs can react negatively to those of a race they have no experience with or a negative experience with.

When I was a child, our GSD was teased by some neighbor children through the fence and he became extremely aggressive to others of the same race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,421 Posts
We're fine I was kicked out a German shepherd group because I called people idiots for thinking their dog doesn't like people because of their skin color. The entire group jump on my case and said a lot crazy things also offensive things and the admin said I was wrong for calling them idiots so she kicked me
If you think they're idiots, you don't want to hang out with them anyway, right? There's no absolute proof of what you want to argue with them, and if some of the dogs didn't like you it was probably as simple as the tension between you and the other people in the group. Don't worry about them, there's a lot of other groups and clubs you'll be happier with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
We're fine I was kicked out a German shepherd group because I called people idiots for thinking their dog doesn't like people because of their skin color. The entire group jump on my case and said a lot crazy things also offensive things and the admin said I was wrong for calling them idiots so she kicked me
If you think they're idiots, you don't want to hang out with them anyway, right? There's no absolute proof of what you want to argue with them, and if some of the dogs didn't like you it was probably as simple as the tension between you and the other people in the group. Don't worry about them, there's a lot of other groups and clubs you'll be happier with.

Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
I think it is going too far to say a dog doesn't like someone based on their skin color. That's anthropomorphizing. I do think it is safe to say though that some dogs can be reactive based upon a person's skin tone. I have seen several dogs that seemed to be - including my boyfriend's german shepherd. Funnily enough my boyfriend is black and the dog is reactive with people with darker skin tones. :rolleyes: The dog was adopted as an adult and was never properly socialized.

I don't think there has ever been a study on the question at hand in particular but there have been plenty on how dogs see the world. We known they have dichromatic color perception - they can see blue - yellow but not red - green. and their vision is not as sharp as ours.

Here's an example for ya

What we see -


What a dog would see -


See how the color of the dress kind of comes through? But the red bracelet is grey in doggie vision. A pretty obvious difference in the skin tones of the couple though.

FYI I used the dog-vision.com tool. Fun to play around with :D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
This is what I think: it's not scientific proof, it is my opinion based on my experiences and what I think I know about dogs:

IF a dog has poor nerves, lacks confidence, and cannot cope with novelty or new experiences, then they are more likely to pick up on someone being somehow different, and react with fearful aggression.

Being in Canada, and living in some more isolated areas, encounters with very dark skinned people are quite rare. None of my dogs, who all liked people and were friendly, have reacted in the slightest bit at meeting and interacting with people who had darker skin (even very, very very dark skin!). Even when they have lived the first few years of their lives only coming in contact with people of light complexion. In neither situation did any one of them skip a beat, take a second look, hesitate a micro-second, or act in any other way than the normal, goofy, friendly, out-going dogs that they were.

So I think when dogs do show a reaction, either they are picking up on subtle feelings and cues from their owners, or they are insecure dogs that take anything even a bit out of what they are used to as a threat.

Reminds me a Lab that used to go to a dog-park on a daily basis, and ALWAYS went berserk and barked his head off at the sight of another regular patron, a man who had a leg amputated and used a pair of crutches. NONE of the other dog reacted that way, but this one dog did. Just could not cope with the fact that something was different.

Most of the time, what I have seen, is that when people say "My dog doesn't like X", I later come to find out that the OWNERS don't like X - so they are projecting their feelings and their dogs pick up on it. This is something that I have actually seen first hand, a number of times over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
I think it is going too far to say a dog doesn't like someone based on their skin color. That's anthropomorphizing. I do think it is safe to say though that some dogs can be reactive based upon a person's skin tone. I have seen several dogs that seemed to be - including my boyfriend's german shepherd. Funnily enough my boyfriend is black and the dog is reactive with people with darker skin tones. :rolleyes: The dog was adopted as an adult and was never properly socialized.

I don't think there has ever been a study on the question at hand in particular but there have been plenty on how dogs see the world. We known they have dichromatic color perception - they can see blue - yellow but not red - green. and their vision is not as sharp as ours.

Here's an example for ya

What we see -


What a dog would see -


See how the color of the dress kind of comes through? But the red bracelet is grey in doggie vision. A pretty obvious difference in the skin tones of the couple though.

FYI I used the dog-vision.com tool. Fun to play around with :D
Weird. I lost my 2nd pic.

Trying that again.. if it desn't work here's the link https://goo.gl/photos/Q56i7rBAuBwgATxJ9

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,884 Posts
I would think that calling group members something like "idiots" would be cause for expulsion from the group. Sounds like a human that needs some socialization to learn how to respectfully disagree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
We're fine I was kicked out a German shepherd group because I called people idiots for thinking their dog doesn't like people because of their skin color. The entire group jump on my case and said a lot crazy things also offensive things and the admin said I was wrong for calling them idiots so she kicked me
You were right, they are idiots lol.

My unscientific answer is dogs don't make that distinction. They look at the shape of a person rather than the color. They also read the body language or the pattern of movement of a person, as in they read if someone is confident, fearful,etc.

I've seen my dogs totally neutral with different colors. My female was pretty reactive to old people or young people or different from her norm, but never reacted on skin color.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,373 Posts
This reminds me of the people who will say that their dog doesn't like or freaks out simply because someone is wearing a uniform. Police, fire, postal, Etc.... While talking to our town Marshall one day he said you wouldn't believe the amount of people who have out of control aggressive dogs and simply write it off as his fault since he wears a uniform. Those people's feelings being projected through their dogs make a lot more sense.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top