Can dogs tell if someone is a good person? The simple answer is an unequivocal yes! One of the many reasons dogs are incredible beings is their ability to notice and respond to the physical cues of humans. It is a type of sixth sense. We as humans don’t always see these cues as clearly as dogs do.
Dogs can sense from a human’s overall body language and energy that they are “good” or “bad”. If a person is nervous or anxious, angry or hostile they put off a type of energy much like if a person is speaking loudly or making wild gestures. This will put the dog on alert, making them uncomfortable and nervous themselves.
Recent research has also shown that dogs are also capable of forming loyalty with their owners against other people. In an experiment, the dog owner would ask someone for help. In some cases, the person approached would be helpful and other times they were rude or aggressive towards the owner. After this, they would attempt to offer the dog a treat.
The research found that the dogs would happily accept the gift from a person who was kind to their own or did nothing in response to the request for help but would snub those who were rude to their owners. This demonstrates that dogs have a far more precise understanding of human social interactions than had previously been supposed.
Further research is currently being conducted on how well dogs understand the social world and human interactions. If the current study is anything to go on, it may well be the case that scientists will find that dogs are far more sensitive than they have been given credit for.