2. Dogs perceive some features as more threatening.
People differ in size, features, and the way they move, and all this can seem intimidating to the dog. Among the things that might be off-putting are:
- Accessories like hats and sunglasses that obstruct the dog’s view of someone’s face
- Facial hair, for the same reason
- Being tall
- Deep voice
- Particular body language, especially direct intense eye contact or staring
- Strong smells like smoke, but the dog can also dislike your shampoo, perfume, deodorant, or even the food you ate
Any combination of these things can make the dog feel nervous. Some dogs generally fear adult men more because they have more “weird” features from the dog’s perspective: they’re taller, have a deeper voice, and — oh no — facial hair.