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Mimishu1995's avatar

Can a dog intentionally bond to a stranger?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (16771points) 2 weeks ago

I was listening to a scary story on Youtube. In the video, there is a story of a dog who was forced out of the street after his owner was mysteriously killed. At 1:40 mark, the author of the story detailed the dog coming after him and displaying some more-than-friendly behavior as if he was asking him to take him in (at this point the author had never seen the dog). I know this a made-up story, but the dog part really got me curious. I wonder how much of that part is true in real life. I have never heard of dogs displaying friendly behavior toward strangers so intentionally before. This behavior is just too sentimental for a dog’s brain. But then again I’m no dog expert.

So, dog experts on Fluther, what do you think?

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17 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I’m not a dog expert either, but it sounds plausible to me. I’ve certainly experienced dogs coming up and wanting to be friends, especially when they are wandering around by themselves. Seems like a friendly domesticated dog who was used to being taken care of, whose owner died and it was put out on the streets, would very likely look for a replacement human.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dogs, and humans, have an ancient bond. It is certainly feasible that a dog would seek to bond with a strange human. Especially if it weren’t abused by humans before…

ragingloli's avatar

Why not.
And dogs certainly are not the only ones.
70% of Ostriches raised by humans are liable to try to solicit sex from nearby humans.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raging Thats an interesting aside.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Dogs are wise but I don’t know that they do anything intentional..they seem to be more instinctive to me. My next door neighbor moved away & they left their Pitbull behind because they couldn’t have dogs where they moved. My current male black lab was only 4 months old at the time. My yard is completely fenced in to keep my dogs from running wild & every morning when I fed him, I filled his bowl full so he could graze as needed. Well, the abandoned pitty let himself into my yard & kicked my puppy’s butt in order to steal his food. When I’d come outside to see who was fighting, he’d sit there like the perfect gentleman & look at me with those innocent eyes as if to say “he’s picking on me”. This went on for days. I knew that my little guy didn’t know how to pick a fight & I could tell that he was scared of his much bigger buddy. The pitty wasn’t intentionally being nice to me…he just understood that I was the one with the food & IF he wanted to eat, he best be nice to me so he was!!!

I’m finding that people have started projecting their own feelings on animals who don’t use logic like humans do. I don’t think that dogs intentionally use that “cute look” in order to con you. I think that they realize that you respond favorably to that “cute look” & then they reuse it.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t think so, not unless the stranger is feeding the dog lots of good stuff to eat. Perhaps a dog can feel a special liking for a person, like a person sometimes feels drawn to another for reasons they can’t explain.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Of course. Some people seem to read animals better than others, maybe it’s the human rather than the dog that has to be perceptive enough to ‘hear’ the animal.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. Dakota bonded to Rick instantly. She wouldn’t leave his side.

SEKA's avatar

Just like dogs sense when you’re afraid of them, they also sense when you love them. I never met a dog that I couldn’t love.

longgone's avatar

Yes, absolutely.

Many, if not most dogs, actively look for human companionship. Dogs are highly social creatures, and they’ve evolved to extend their bonds to our species. They don’t just want companionship – they need it. And they will certainly try to approach strangers for the things they need, when their trusted people are unavailable.

My old dog once got locked out. She walked along the street until she found a friendly lady, then urged her to come to the door with purposeful stares. She was very clear, apparently. She didn’t know this lady and she didn’t want to go gome with her – she just knew she’d need a human to ring the doorbell for her.

Here’s a good article on the subject of how our brains are (not so) different from dogs’. An excerpt:

“The basic emotions like fear, anger and a sense of well-being are primitive mechanisms designed for the survival of animals who live in complicated, changing environments. [D]ogs share the same brain structures, the same neurotransmitters, the same hormones and the same external expressions of emotions that exist in people.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@longgone My neighbors dog gets out of the fence on occasion, but runs to my driveway as soon as I get home. He asks me to put him back in his fenced yard before mom and dad catch him out. He’s not a nice dog, always snarls when I walk him home, but that makes it more special for me. Crazy dog.

snowberry's avatar

My daughter went to a rescue place to pick out a new dog. One dog instantly bonded to her boyfriend, so they got that one. It’s a great dog.

LadyMarissa's avatar

^ That’s how I’ve chosen ALL my dogs & some of my cats. I go into the room with them & sit down on the floor. The one that interacts with me the most is the one that I take home with me. When I get home, I start calling out names & the one they respond to is the one they get named. That way it’s not my fault if they get a crappy name!!!

Aster's avatar

Yes. My ex and our daughters were driving out in the country and spotted a white dog. He stopped the car and we went up to it . He was so adorable and continued flipping over onto his back. Then he’d stand back up and then flip over again. We took him home with us and he was a super sweet dog. We all knew he wanted us to take him. He had been dumped there or close by.

longgone's avatar

@KNOWITALL That does sound like a strange dog. What does he snarl at, and how come he can’t get back into the yard by himself?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@longgone He snarls at me once we’re on his property, very protective. But he needs me to latch the gate once he’s back in. The dog catchers got him a few times so he learned I suppose.

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