While we’re similarly social as dogs, they’re more territorial than us. That’s just due to how much their instinctual communication depend on their sense of smell. It’s probably with a sense of wonder that they see us go into other places already ‘taken’ by others. Then also allowing others to ‘invade’ our territory by inviting them over.
Since dogs can’t reason things out based on their smaller prefrontal cortex, they don’t understand our behavior as a safe one. To canines, it’s not only seen as a threat, but an inability to guard what they have. Just be ready for Rover to act suspiciously, both in your own home, or when visiting over.
Back to the hand issue, we use the same appendage both to impart affection as well as discipline. Most every time they see our hand getting close to them, it would heighten their sense of anxiety. This is where the reward mechanism comes in handy.
Getting them used to having a treat after allowing us to care for them in ways they’re not used to, would make life easier for all. When people aren’t able to recognize a dog’s tension as related to an approaching hand, it’s bound to not bode well for the pooch.
Humans may be quick to misjudge such a dog, labeling it as a biter or nipper. It may quickly turn into a snap decision to have Rover end up in the pound. These are usually the 1st to go in those places as time goes on, they’re not readopted, & more space needs to be made for others.
Dogs aren’t naturally prone to express aggressive behavior unless they feel there’s no other choice. Taking the time to look at things from their perspective will go a long way to reduce mortality rates the world’s most beloved pet.
Remember, dogs are not human; there’s no malice or guile in their make-up. We could even learn more resiliency & simplifying social behaviors, while increasing flexibility from having to go through our own anxiety-producing situations in life.