If you want to be safer, act like your dog.

I've had many people tell me about how intuitive their dog is. More times than I can count people have mentioned how their dog, from the start, never really liked a particular person, and then that person turned out to be (insert a negative adjective: criminal, predatory, abusive, a jerk, etc.)

Here's the truth, and it's related to something I've told thousands of of students over the years, your dog doesn't really have that intuition. Your dog (like my dog) is undoubtedly awesome, but they simply don't size most people up that quickly. (I say "most" to give some room for error and the rare occasion where it really does seem to happen... because yes, dogs are awesome.)

But more often than not, your dog does not size someone up that quickly and make up their mind based on merely seeing that person. By and large your dog doesn't know people that well.

But your dog does know you... and knows you VERY well. The overwhelming majority of the time a dog makes up their mind about someone, it's because your dog is catching the cues from you.  However, unlike you, your dog doesn't rationalize away their bad feelings or intuition.

I've talked with many victims of crimes, from everything from simple robbery to attempted homicide. A tremendous number of them at some point said something along the lines of "I knew something was wrong, BUT" or "I thought he was acting unusually, BUT" and then they go on to explain how they rationalized away their feelings, and they were then made a victim.

For your dog, there is no "BUT", they don't try to rationalize away a bad feeling, they're not that civilized. When they get a bad feeling (even if it's a bad feeling that is spawned by your subtle actions and cues), they don't ignore it, they listen to it like the smart, instinctive, survival oriented creatures they are.

So if you want to be safer, act like your dog. When you get a bad feeling about a person or your environment, don't ignore it and don't rationalize it away.  Behave like the cunning predator your are, and act. Move to safer area, keep barriers between you and that potential threat, or formulate a safety plan to avoid that potential threat.

And if you don't have a dog, well you should consider getting one (have I told you they're awesome?).

And if you have a cat, ignore the cat - they hate everyone.

Take care, be safe

	~Jon Penny

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