Dogs love everyone … or do they? Is it possible that dogs are racist? Let’s look at some reasons why you might think your dog is prejudiced towards certain people.
Is it possible for a dog to be racist?
Several behavioral specialists indicate that when a dog has not been socialized correctly, he may react negatively to certain ethnic groups that he does not know.
For example, when you see a dog raised by a white family barking at a black person, the first thing anyone would think is that the dog was trained to be racist. But, that doesn’t have to be the case.
A dog is not racist, discriminatory or sexist; it simply has not been socialized to people who are different from the family in which it was raised. That reaction to a race he doesn’t know can happen whether he is raised in a white family or a black family.
It’s all about the socialization of your dog
Socializing a puppy is about exposing him to as many new things as possible during the first few months of his life, when he is most impressionable. If a dog is not exposed to a variety of people of different races when he is young he is likely to adopt a defensive stance towards them.
In doing so, we could say that it is a “racist dog” but the reality is that this can happen with any type of person, animal or stimulus that the dog has not been exposed to in its most important learning stage, such as puppyhood socialization.
Dogs that are not well socialized as adults can develop “Neophobia” which means being afraid of anything new, whether it is a person of a different skin color than his owner, as well as religious clothing that the dog has never seen such as turbans or tunics.
A dog could be racist if that is what he learns
Finally, a dog as such does not know racism, however, they are a reflection of their owners. Dogs are so loyal to their owners, they can develop similar attitudes.
For example, if a dog has an owner who becomes tense, nervous or annoyed with another person with a certain skin color or characteristic, the dog may associate the stranger as a threat.
So, as we mentioned before to correct this behavior a dog should be exposed to all kinds of people gradually and with a lot of patience so as not to hurt anyone.