Can dogs tell the difference between (human) men and women?
Our dog was abused by a man when he was younger and today he tends to react more aggressively towards men, and is generally more friendly with women.
I think they can, I don't know if they understand "man" and "woman" but they do understand pheromones and they do understand Estrogen and Testosterone. Actually because of their amazing sense of smell, they are way more sensitive to hormones and hormonal changes and differences then people.
Based on that, they might not only know who's "male" and "female" but also, if either are being more aggressive or afraid or alert (you know that claim that dog can smell fear?! it's actually partly true - they smell the change in sweat and hormones and are aware of the person change in mood and so on).
Henry, the dog who lives in the gallery in my building, knows that I'm female but also when I'm on my period - cause then he just keep sticking his nose in my crotch all the time).
Apparently they have some abilities in the field withe respect to the dogs gender. basically you can say there are three main issues in dog's human recognition.
smellman and woman smell differently, but not that much biologicaly , although they do use gender stereotypical smells (shampoo , types of food ), and of curse some difference in sweat.
sight man and woman walk differently , human can see this feature (gender) in high percentages even if the human body is reduced to six moving points !I guess there should be no reason why dogs souldn't
behaviorthere is gender typical pattern of behavior , which are visible and dogs sure can peek up.
some more material on the subject ( dog's gender and human gender ) can be found at this site.http://www.anthrozoology.org/abstract_topics/cruelty
My dog reacts differently when I play with him and when my girlfriend does. With me he's more aggressive and sometimes growls, things he wouldn't dare do to her. And he's known both of us from the first, and we both take care of him equally, and spend the same amount of time with him.
He just senses that with me he can be rougher, I don't know why or how.
I know someone who had a dog who was the same. It took a long time before the dog trusted me.
Animals are far smarter than most people give them credit for. Dogs are pack animals and understand social structure and hierarchy naturally we really aren't much different. They can tell if someone is old, weak or ill as well as people can.
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