There may be something very subtle about this person that Kodi doesn't like, there could be something about her that he associates with something he doesn't like? He might have been having an off day, there could be trigger stacking involved where he has experienced a number of smaller stressors that all together cause him to have weird responses, but really who knows?! But often times where pet owners report dramatic behaviour 'out of the blue' there has often been more subtle responses from the dog often going on for some time. Either way the important thing is to work with the dog in front of you and if on that day that dog needed some space from a person or people well then it's a good idea to give him what he needs. So these are only guesses Karen, sometimes we just never know. I do think also that it could be smell related. and that would be quite possible. Smell is so powerful with dogs and can trigger a host of behaviors. I doubt it would be color related. Dogs see bright yellow as a muted butter color. Sorry I missed getting to your post, I've been preocuppied with IAABC. We're possibly drafting up a position statement on the use of punishment.
Fortunately, as I mentioned in my original post, the woman was an experienced dog person, and she respected Kodi's space, and in no way pushed herself on him. The weird thing was not so much him skittering away from her… I know he's got a thing about men with hats on, and he'll do the same thing… Even if it's someone he knows well and really likes. I'll remind them to take the hat off, and he's immediately in their arms.
(she wasn't wearing a hat, BTW)
The weird part was his fascination with her, and wanting to walk RIGHT BESIDE her, in close "heel" position, (leaving my side to do so) but then acting nervous and backing away of her if she reached toward him at all.
One of the trainers I work with brought up an interesting possibility when I told her about it. She wondered whether the woman might have an illness of some sort that he could smell, like diabetes or cancer. I do know that one of his close relatives was the first to discover my breeder's cancer, so that ability is in the family. I don't know this woman well enough to know whether she has health problems or not, but that comes closer to explaining his behavior than anything else!
You're right, we'll never know for sure, and it's certainly not anything I'm worried about. He's friendly and outgoing toward anyone who's not wearing a hat. (or a child in a snow suit, but I can see how that would obscure a child's outline to the point that they look kind of scary!
) And, of course, I would never let anyone force themselves on him if he didn't offer to come forward and great them. So it's not a big deal, just very strange!