Animals instincts as they state, are true. They know who likes them and who doesn't, who is boss and who isn't. They don't forget until they are in a different environment and are able to.
My Husky was abused we believe, by the male owner. She was 14 month old. Her legs were shorter than norm and so, they couldn't breed her. The woman you could see, Kia loved... For a couple of years, I couldn't get Kia to bond with a man at all. She would shy away yet, always approach a woman. She's 8 now and for the past two years, she has changed since my fiance entered her life, our lives. She can't wait to see him and now she bonds with any male that walks through the door.
When I do open inspections, the owners, often warn me off the dogs but as I have 3 , the first thing they do is sniff me, then allow me to pat them, they know who loves animals and who doesn't it's a protective mechanism.