If your dog shakes or cowers when men are around, take heart. This behavior is more common than you might think. But why do so many dogs seem to find men intimidating? Here are the likely reasons your might dog fear men and tips on what to do if you find yourself thinking that they hate men.
Past Experiences It’s possible that your dog distrusts men because of past abuse. However, this is likely not the case for most dogs, says The Spruce Pets. Another possibility stems from dogs’ tendency to make generalizations based on bad impressions, points out Cesar’s Way. Simply being startled by a man once before might be enough cause for a dog to develop a fear of all men.
Lack of Socialization Some dogs may not have been properly socialized to the presence of men as puppies. The ages of 7 weeks to 4 months is a critical time for puppies, says I Heart Dogs. It’s not unusual for grown dogs to develop a phobia of something they weren’t exposed to during this period. Even a puppy with a male pet parent might develop a fear of other men if they aren’t exposed to a wide enough variety of men.
Men Seem Scarier With their larger size and deeper voice, men may simply seem more intimidating to dogs than women or children. Men also tend to be louder and sometimes use more exaggerated gestures that some dogs might find scary.
Their Scent The scent of men’s hormones might also have something to do with it, says Cesar’s Way. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell and may find a man’s smell to be threatening. Women, on the other hand, may smell similar to a dog’s nursing mother, which dogs generally associate with comfort and safety.
Dogs That are Territorial It’s not uncommon for dogs to be territorial of certain individuals, especially if you are the only person in the house. After all, they see you as “their” human and can be very protective of you. Additionally, dogs can exhibit jealous tendencies; a dog like this might act unfavorable toward a man earning your attention or affection.