A dog that suddenly decides he/she doesn't like a certain person, color or object doesn't just decide for no reason at all. It could have happened without you knowing. The thing is it could be something very simple and subtle that you as a human wouldn't have registered as anything worthwhile but the dog would have.
For example I had a neighbor whose dog HATED the UPS man too. Actually he hated the UPS truck and if he saw the truck he'd go on the attack. My neighbor didn't know why. After some discussion of what happened he just casually mentioned one incident he considered funny but inconsequential - as a puppy the dog was playing in the front yard when the UPS truck came and stopped abruptly in front of their house - brakes screeched a bit as air brakes do. The puppy was freaked out by that and came running back to his master who proceeded to cuddle and comfort the puppy, sheltering him from the truck.
That incident there was what taught the puppy to hate UPS trucks. Since then the puppy saw the truck as a threat because he was allowed to do that since that first incident. We corrected the dog of the issue (4 years later) and as far as I know the dog is fine since.
I also had a dog that came into my care for training that hated black dogs. I'd wondered why so I called the owner and asked why this was the case and he said that as a young dog he was nipped by a larger black dog and since then he'd hated black dogs. Again the owner allowed the dog to make the association that black dogs were a threat and the dog kept that in its head since. I charged extra to correct the problem and the dog has been fine since.
My sister-in-law and her husband has 2 german shepherds that they got as puppies. First that in itself was a mistake but they made a larger mistake - allowing the dogs to consider the dogs on the other side of the fence (the neighbor's dogs) to be threats. They kept taking their dogs away from the fence and bringing them inside whenever the other dogs came out. As such their dogs came to fear and hate those dogs (and other dogs). These dogs are now not able to come in contact with other dogs without the danger of a dog fight. To this day they don't believe that this is inappropriate behavior and will not allow me to correct the issue.
I had a dog that for some reason HATED (and I mean hated so much she would attempt to attack and kill) all black people. My wife joked that she was a racist dog but I knew there was a reason - we just didn't know what it was yet. One day I decided to put up security cameras in my home (the crime rate in that neighborhood was rising) and instead of catching criminals breaking into my home I caught the reason for my dog's hatred of black people. When we're gone the black kids (teens) in the neighborhood would come onto our back deck and tease our dog relentlessly knowing she couldn't get at them. This must have been happening for months because she'd hated black people for months! I tried to reason with the neighbors but they wouldn't listen. A month later someone attempted to break into my home and according to my camera system looked as though they got attacked by my dog as they tried to get into the house. They never came back and we moved a couple months later. Sadly that dog got into a fight with a couple of stray dogs at our new home and was too seriously injured by the time I came out with a rifle. I shot the strays dead and then after a house call from our vet we put her down too.
Dogs don't just decide to hate a color or a person without something happening to make them decide that first. People who believe that are anthropomorphizing their dogs way too much... giving them characteristics that humans have but dogs do not.
This is who we are, what we do.
Last edited by Hansam; June 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM.