One of the first things I noticed about the first Terminator movie was that dogs, specifically German Shepherds, immediately identified Terminators. Of course it was based on fact - that dogs are immediate good judges of people. I am reminded of something Bill Murray said, to the effect he distrusted people who didn't like dogs but trusted a dog who didn't like certain people.
The only dogs I keep are pugs, who are the clowns of the dog world and are pretty much stupid and friendly. But the last pug I had...
Once day I was sitting in my van with my dog in passenger seat, when some guy I had never seen before walked up to my open window and asked for a cigarette. Before I could say a word, my pug hurled himself snarling over my lap and tried to get out the window and attack this guy. I had to grab him before he launched himself out the window. He had never done anything like this before.
I thought, "My dog doesn't like this guy so neither do I." I told him, my dog doesn't like you and neither do I. And no, I will never give you a cigarette so never ask me for anything ever again.
He stumbled off without a word. Not surprisingly I later found he was a nut who harassed everyone for cigarettes and knocked on women's doors at 2 in the morning and asked if he could get in their bed with them or maybe they wanted to come to his apartment and take a shower with him.
One of the women in the apartment complex had a very friendly pit bull who wagged her tail every time she saw me. I asked her if she knew the nut and she said she did - everyone knew him. She told me her dog hated him.
Later, he was finally kicked out of the complex after serving 20 days in county. Why, I never found out.
How can dogs be such immediate accurate judges of character? Smell? Do crazy people who harass people smell different?
Dogs have a sense of smell 100,000 times better than ours of maybe a million times in the case of bloodhounds. I can't imagine a dog just looking at them and making a judgement.
I wonder if anyone has studied this phenomena? I know that dogs can smell if someone is about to have an epileptic fit or if they have cancer. So it wouldn't surprise me if they could smell if someone is unpleasant and crazy.