Everybody wants to be the dog’s favorite! In summary, it is all about socialization, focus, positive association, and personality. But let’s get into the nitty-gritty details so you, too, can become your dog’s favorite person. Or, you know, in case you want proof that you’re number one.
My dog loves me, but he loooooves my youngest brother, Jacob. It’s not a competition: put my brother and me on opposite ends of a space, and Radar will always run to Jacob. It’s mystifying and funny . After all, I’m the person who take care of him daily and raised Radar. I feed him, walk him, let him sleep on my bed…but when Jacob comes for a visit, it’s like I cease to exist.
So a dog’s favorite person isn’t always their primary caregiver. So how do dogs choose their favourite person? And is it possible to change their minds?
Of course, every dog is different, but some generalizations apply. Read on to learn about how dogs choose their preferred Men and Women all
Many dogs bond hardest to whoever cares for them during their key socialization period, which happens between birth and six months. At this age, puppies’ brains are incredibly receptive, and their early experiences affect them . That’s why it’s so important to make sure your puppy has favorable interactions with a broad assortment of individuals, places, and things.
By way of example, dogs that aren’t exposed to people may become afraid of hats later. I didn’t get Radar until he was six months old, so I don’t know exactly what his socialization experiences were like. But he tends to favor men, which leads me to believe he had more positive, formative experience with male caretakers.
Don’t worry if your dog was already an adult when you adopted them . While early experiences are important, continued socializationthrough adventures like doggy daycare, play dates, daily walks, and much more matters a lot!
Attention (and affection) increases the bond
Now, I’ve already disclosed the fact that my dog prefers someone who isn’t their main caregiver. But most dogs tend to bond to the person who provides them the most attention. In a family with two parents and two children, By way of example, the dog may favor the parent who fills their bowl and takes them.
In addition, physical affection solidifies the bond between person and dog. If a man or woman is stand-offish towards a dog, the dog will be stand-offish towards them. But if you give your pet plenty of petssessions, massages, and love, they will probably seek out more.
For some dogs, it’s not just the amount of attention and affection that matter, but the quality. My dog Radar spends all his time but I can be a bit reserved about letting 40 pounds of pitbull in my 29, and strict. My brother, on the other hand, is happy let all over him crawls and to roughhouse. No wonder does backflips (sometimes literally) if he sees Jacob.
Association is key
Beyond the attention of their favorite people, dogs play favorites depending on associations. To put it differently, when a person is the source of stuff that is good, the dog creates a bond.
It makes a good deal of sense, when you consider it. Of course, there is a dog going to love the person who gives them loads of their beef liver treat that is stinky or plays tug of war. They know that the person who feeds them most often is a fairly important player in their lives!
On the flip side, dogs often react poorly to individuals with whom they have bad associations (you’ll never catch Radar making friends with a vet). Positive associations lead to positive dog-human relationships. You can use positive association to help in training and socializing your dog.
For instance someone new comes to my home, I have them give them treats and meet with the dogs in the yard. This builds a direct positive association (new individual = yummy treats) that helps ease the introduction.
Human dog and personality breed play a part
Have you ever met a dog that behaves and looks a lot like their person? The saying”like attracts like” applies to dogs and people, too. Dogs often select a person who matches personality and their own energy level. I found that my more reserved, cautious dog is more bonded to me, while my outgoing, boisterous dog is very attached to my brother that was active.
Moreover, some dog breeds are more likely to bond with a single individual, making it more likely that their favorite person will be their only person. Breeds that tend to bond strongly to a person include:
For more on how dog breeds match to personalities, have a look at our lists of the stubbornest dog breeds, the smartest dog breeds, the dog breeds, and the best dog breeds for introverts.
How to become your dog’s favorite
If you’ve got the feeling you are not your dog person, do not despair. You can improve and increase the bond between you. The simplest (and most fun) way would be to spend at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time together every day. This will not include yard time, walks, or watching TV together. Your bonding time ought to be active and focused.
Here are a few bonding activities to participate in with your dog:
Play fetch, tug, or hide and seek.
Have a training session. Working on skills that are new, or strengthening old ones, is a great way to bond!
Try a game such as agility or flyball where you and your dog can work together as a team.
Food (in healthy, appropriate quantities) is love. Aim for protein sources that are healthy with limited fillers, and try some foods for your dog. Make mealtime a bonding activity by integrating eye contact.
Give your dog a grooming session or massage.
Bonding occurs naturally between dogs and the men and women who treat them nicely. Take good care of your dog, socialize him, give him experiences, and admire his unique personality. He will reward you with a life of love (even though he sometimes acts more excited to see your brother).