Is your dog close to one particular person in the family? Do that person and the dog looks like a tightly knit group with a secret language of their own? Chances are your dog has chosen that person to be their favorite human.
Do not fret. Your dog still loves you, but maybe it loves its favorite person a tad more.
That brings us to the question of how do dogs pick their favorite person? Can your actions influence the emotional bond you have with the pet? How do you know if you are your dog’s favorite person? Let us find some answers.
- Surprising Ways: How do Dogs Pick Their Favorite Person?
- Are You Your Dog’s Favorite Person? – 5 Signs
- How Can You Become Your Dog’s Favorite Person?
Surprising Ways: How do Dogs Pick Their Favorite Person?
One might think, ‘I feed the dog, I walk the dog, I give the dog toys and treats, I should be its favorite person.’ Well, yes, but also no. ‘Maybe’ is the better answer here.
Here are six surprising ways dogs pick their favorite person.
1. The Early Socialization Period
During the socialization period, a young puppy builds relationships with humans and other animals. It is a period of learning. The first 12 weeks of the puppy’s life are considered important for socialization.
So, if you spend time with the dog during the socialization period, it is likely that the dog will develop deep emotional bonds with you. The learning period for the puppy will continue well into the first year, but the experiences they have in the initial months can influence their future behavior.
This is why it is important to introduce a young puppy to different social situations. For example, if you have a dog or cat at home, it is best to introduce the puppy early on.
Please do not think you have lost the chance to be your dog’s favorite person because you brought home an adult dog. You can socialize an adult dog by taking them on walks, having people come to your place, or enrolling them in doggy daycare. It is never too late to socialize.
2. You Are its Primary Caregiver
Are you the one that fills up the dog’s food bowl? Ensures there is always water in its drinking bowl? Take it out for walks? Take it out so the dog can take care of its business? Train it? Give it treats?
If yes, it is natural for the dog to develop a bond with you. It looks at you as its primary provider. Every need the dog has, be it food, water, shelter, or exercise, is being fulfilled by you.
For example, you might be a family of four. But, the dog sees you every day caring for itself. And dogs are smart; they do understand when you care for them.
Please note that this may not be a sure-shot way of being the center of your dog’s life. But there are high chances that, as a primary caregiver, you could end up being your dog’s favorite person.
3. You Spend the Most Time With the Dog
You may not be the primary caregiver, but are you the one who spends the most time with the dog?
For example, the parents may take care of feeding and walking the dog in a family. But, the children spend the most time during the day playing, talking, petting, or cuddling with the dog. So the dog can pick the person who spends the most time with it as its favorite person.
Some dog breeds are social animals. For example, Retrievers, Bearded Collies, Springer Spaniels, and Pugs, among others, are considered the social butterflies of the canine world. They love being in the company of people. Thus, it is natural for them to develop strong emotional bonds with people who are always around.
4. You Shower the Dog with Affection
The quality of time you spend with the dog is slightly more important than quantity.
For example, you are around the dog the whole day, working from home. You might be too busy to play with it or sit cuddled up on the sofa. So, you are spending time with the dog, but the time is not filled with any interesting activity or experience.
On the other hand, if a sibling or a friend visits you every other day, they pet your dog, give it lots of belly rubs, cuddle with it, play fetch or tug of war with it, then the dog will develop a stronger bond with them.
Even though the time they spend is limited, it is filled with positive experiences, affection, and love. It is the same case for humans as well. You bond well with people who make you laugh, shower you with affection and make you feel loved.
5. You Have Similar Personalities
One of the surprising answers to the question of how do dogs pick their favorite person is similar personalities.
For example, the below dog breeds are highly energetic:
- Border Collie
- Siberian Husky
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Belgian Malinois
- Australian Shepherd
- German Shepherd, among others
These breeds will bond well with humans who are social and athletic. These dogs need a lot of exercises, playing time, and activities that will keep them mentally stimulated. So, if a person takes them out running, swimming, or gives them interesting puzzles to solve, they will rank higher on the favorite person list.
On the other hand, below are some dog breeds that are highly-independent.
- Lhasa Apso
- Basset Hound
- Shiba Inu
- French Bulldog, among others
These dogs would bond best with people who are as chilled out as them. But, of course, you still have to take them out for walks, play, spend time, and bond with them. But, they would also like to have their own space.
6. The Dog Associates You with Positive Experiences
When a dog knows that you are a source of positive experiences, you have a high chance of becoming its favorite person. For example, you give treats to the dog. Shower them with love and give them good belly rubs. You use positive reinforcements during training. And make learning a fun experience.
On the other hand, if the person is too strict, shouts, or uses punishment as a part of training, the dog will associate negative experiences with the person. In many cases, the dog might even get scared around the person.
Puppies need to be brought up with love and care, just like human babies. Training some dog breeds can be challenging. But, with consistency and patience, you can teach them the desired behavior. You can also seek help from the vet or professional trainers.
Are You Your Dog’s Favorite Person? – 5 Signs
Now that we have seen how do dogs pick their favorite person, let us find out how the dog behaves around their favorite person.
1.The Dog Follows You Around
You would like to spend the most time with your favorite person, wouldn’t you? Even being in the same room while you both mind your own business is a comforting experience. You enjoy their presence.
It is the same for your furry friend. Dogs like to follow around the person they love the most. It makes them happy and feel secure.
You need to monitor your dog’s behavior if it is always on your heels. Does it get agitated or nervous in your absence? Have there been incidents of pooping inside the house or other destructive behavior? Then, it is a sign of separation anxiety. It is best to talk to your vet about a further course of action.
2. They Obey Your Commands
You may have come across instances where the dog listens and obeys one particular person more than everyone else. And yes, it is most likely to be its favorite person.
Your dog listens to you, obeys your commands, and makes sure it is well behaved around you; these are signs that your dog loves you. It wants to make you happy. Listening to your commands and showing you respect is its way of telling you that it adores you.
3. They Sleep Soundly With You Around
Dogs are vulnerable while sleeping. Their wild ancestors would sleep packed into piles to protect themselves from predators. Their stomach is the area they want to protect the most because it is where their vital organs are located.
So, if your dog sleeps next to you, on their back, with their stomach exposed, know it feels safe in your presence. It trusts you to the degree that it can let its guards down and be vulnerable and confident that you will protect it.
It is endearing how the simple act of sleeping next to you is your dog’s way of expressing, ‘You are my favorite person.’
4. They Rush to Greet You at the Door
If your dog comes bouncing to the door every time to greet you, it is safe to assume your dog loves you. Even when a big group of people is entering, the dog will use their sense of smell and sight to find their favorite person. They will conveniently ignore other people around and rush to hug you.
Wouldn’t you be happy to see your favorite person visit you? Your furry friend echoes the same sentiment.
The eagerness to see you shows that the dog missed you when you were not around.
5. They Lovingly Gaze at Your Eyes
Did you know that when dogs gaze into the eyes of their favorite person, their bodies release oxytocin, the famous love hormone?
If the dog is staring at you, it is a way of expressing its love. The hormone released plays an essential role in forming emotional bonds of love and trust.
Dogs also gaze at you to understand what is happening with us and the immediate environment. Your dog can pick up on emotions. So, when you are upset or crying, you will often find it touching and trying to comfort you.
How Can You Become Your Dog’s Favorite Person?
Do you think you are not your dog’s favorite person based on the signs above? Do not worry; there are ways with which you can develop stronger bonds with your pet.
Here are a few bonding techniques that can help you become your dog’s favorite person.
- Spend time with them. This may seem straightforward, but ‘spend time’ here implies that you need to be actively involved and focused. Talk to your dog, give them a massage, or play a game with them. A 30-minute healthy bonding session every day is highly recommended.
- Make training and exercise sessions fun for the dog. You can go for hikes over the weekend, go to a dog park, or try a different walking route. Play hide and seek, set up a treasure hunt with treats, or enjoy a game of tug of war.
- Sign up for activities that you and your dog can perform as a team. For example, you can have a sports event with your friends and their canine buddies. The time you spend training for the event can also be a good bonding experience.
It is all about the amount of effort you are ready to put into the relationship. The more effort you put in, the more love and acceptance you receive from the dog.
How do dogs pick their favorite person? If a person feeds the dog, keeps it warm and safe, gives it treats, and tends to its needs as a primary caregiver, the dog could pick them as its favorite person.
If a person is around the dog 24/7, it is natural for them to develop a bond. If a person showers the dog with love and attention, has a similar personality, or is a source of positive experiences, they could be the dog’s favorite person.
Dogs are unique in their ways, so the reason behind how they pick their favorite person will also differ. However, one thing that stays common is their need for love, attention, and care. If you try to fulfill these needs, there are high chances the dog will pick you as their favorite person.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.