Does your dog have a favorite person?
Lots of dogs have a favorite person. Usually, they make it really obvious who their favorite human is. It’s the person they’re always running to first, always following around.
Sometimes it creates problems in the pet owners home when the dog really favors one over the other. It can make the less favored human wonder “What did I do? Why don’t they love me that much?”
So, why do dogs have a favorite person?
All dogs are different, but there are some common reasons why a dog may favor one human over another.
The person there for the socialization period
Dogs have an important socialization period between birth and six months. This is the age where puppies’ brains are developing. Their brains are very receptive and the social experiences the dog has during this time can influence them for the rest of their lives.
The person who is there during this period, who has more positive experiences with the dog at this period, can become the favored human. Sometimes, any person who resembles the human who was there during the socialization period can become favored.
As a side note, this is why it is important for dogs to be socialized to many different types of people during this period. It will help them be comfortable with more people later on.
Unsurprisingly, most dogs tend to bond with the person who gives them the most attention. They may also prefer the person who feeds them frequently. Dogs also will usually fall in love with the person who gives them the most physical attention and love. Lots of petting, brushing, massaging can cause a dog to love that person the most. Sometimes they will love the person who plays with them the most. Again, all dogs are different.
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Closely related to above, dogs can choose their favorites based on positive associations. The human the dog associates good, positive, warm feelings with will be the favorite. This might be the person who always has the treats, always plays games with and other reasons.
Human and dog personality
Much like people, dogs are attracted to people who have a similar personality to them. A dog who loves to play and roughhouse will be attracted to the person who feels the same way. A dog who likes predictable, quiet time on the couch, will find the person who enjoys the same things.
You can still become your dogs favorite
Just because you’re not your dog’s favorite doesn’t mean that you can’t do things to increase the bond between the two of you.
How to be your dog’s favorite
- Spend lots of time with them during their first six months
- Spend more one on one time together every day
- Play your dog’s favorite games with them
- Do dog training or skills training together
- Take your dog for more walks
- Be the one to give your dog treats
- If your dog enjoys grooming then groom them frequently
- Avoid being associated with the things your dog hates
- Create positive associations with you and the dog’s favorite things
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