The Real Reason Your Dog is Racist

dog and black manA dog who barks at black people, latinos, Middle-Eastern and other people of color definitely tops the list of most embarrassing moments in the life of a dog owner. (Right up there with walking around with a bag of canine feces). In this article, I will discuss the root causes of your dog’s discriminatory and politically incorrect behavior and why he acts the way he does.

To understand why your dog shows suspicion towards people of color, let’s first explore the dog’s primal predatory instinct. Have you ever heard someone tell you not to make eye-contact with a dog? That it might set him off? The reason is because in the animal kingdom, eye contact, almost always means that a hot pursuit between predator and prey is about to take place.

Again, think about it, what happens when a rabbit realizes he’s being tracked by a wolf? Or suspects he’s being tracked by a wolf? the same thing any of us do if we feel we’re being followed-we turn around to look and see what’s happening-to confirm our fears. Now back to the animal kingdom-once the rabbit turns around to confirm his fear of being stalked by the wolf, the wolf realizes his cover is blown. At that point the wolf transitions from stalking to hot pursuit. The wolf realizes his quiet approach is no longer an option, so ta chase ensues and all the wolf’ hunger, excitement and aggression that goes with it.

So what does all this have to do with colored people..and more importantly our domesticated dogs?

As you may know, dogs are direct descendants of wolves. so despite the fact that our dogs are domesticated, the same instinctual behavior displayed by wolves and other wild dogs can be seen in our house pets.

But what about dark people?,Well, the contrast of white eyes against a dark backdrop (the dark face)  amplifies the effect and a predatory instinct of hot pursuit ensues.. And that innate instinct of chasing the moment eye contact is made is magnified against a dark background (skin color of face) and can remind the dog of a pair of white eyes in a dark night.

This instinct isn’t prevalent in all dogs and there are some colored people from cultures where dogs are considered sacrilegious or virtually nonexistent. For example, Arabs in the middle east consider dogs to be sacrilegious and will often show fear or defensiveness upon seeing a dog. This can trigger a situation of suspicious behavior profiling on the part of the dog. In other words, if every time your canine sees an Arab, that Arab shows fear, the dog will become suspicious of Arabs. In those types of situations, the dog might show aggression everytime he sees an Arab as he assumes based on past experience the Arab will act suspicious. That’s because dogs profile and developed survival instincts based on prior experience. They simply are not politically correct like you and me. These types of situations, are not uncommon.

And that might really be why it’s so embarrassing. But give them credit. Their goal isn’t to offend people of color, their goal is to protect themselves (and you). Stay tuned for my upcoming article where I discuss how to resolve this embarrassing issue.

And if you have any feedback or questions, feel free to write them in the ‘comments’ section below.

David Sidman is a certified professional K-9 trainer with a specialization in training military and Police working dogs. Sidman qualified as an I.D.F explosive detection dog handler and was certified in Police K-9 Training by the Eastern States Working dog Association (ESWDA)

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