Are You Your Dogs Favorite Person?
You would think that a dog’s favorite is their main caregiver, sometimes this is not always true. So how do dogs choose their favorite? And can we change their minds? Every dog is different, but hopefully the following will help you get some insight on how dogs prefer some people over others.
Social Experiences matters
Most dogs bond during their first socialization time, which starts at birth and continues to six months. This is when, puppies’ brains are and their early social experiences influence the rest of their lives. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your puppy has positive interactions with a wide range of people, places, and things.
If you get your dog when he is already an adult when you adopted them, that’s ok: it’s never too late to become their favorite. While first experiences are important, by having ongoing socialized interactions like play dates and daily walks can make all the a difference!
Attention and affection help to increase the bond
Most dogs tend to bond to the person who gives them the most attention. For instance, in a family with two parents and two kids, the dog may favor the parent who fills their bowl every morning and takes them for a walk every evening.
Plus, physical affection makes the bond between you and your dog stronger. If a person is stand-offish towards a dog, the dog will be stand-offish towards them. But if you give your dog plenty of love, pets, grooming and play time they are more likely to seek out more.
Sometimes, it’s not the amount of attention and affection they get, but the quality. Your dog might spend most of his time with you, but If you are a bit reserved and strict about allowing puppy on your lap. He may be attracted to someone likes to roughhouse and let’s him jump all It’s no wonder he gets excited when he sees that person.
A Positive relationship is key
Your puppies favorite will depend on whether or not that person is the source of good stuff, the dog forms a bond.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Of course, your dog is going to love the person who always plays tug of war or gives them lots of their favorite treats. They also know that the person who feeds them the most is an important player in their lives!
Also, on the other side, dogs can react poorly to people with whom they have bad experiences.
Positive relationships lead to positive interaction between dog and human relationships.
You can use positive association to help in training and socializing your dog.
For example, when someone new comes to your house, have them meet the dogs in the yard and give them treats. This will establish an immediate positive relationship – new person = treats, that helps make the introduction easier.
Human personality and dog breed play a part
Dogs will often choose a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality. Sometimes a more reserved, cautious dog is more likely to bond to someone who is the same, reserved and cautious, while a more outgoing, friendly dog would be more attached to someone who will roughhouse with him.
Also, some dog breeds are more likely to bond with a single person, making it more likely that their favorite person will be their only person.
In coming articles I will have more on how the dog breeds match to human personalities. Plus, how dogs can help relieve stress during these difficult times.
Best ways to become your dog’s favorite
If you feel that you’re not your dog’s favorite person, don’t worry. You can improve and increase your bond between the two of you.
The easiest and most fun way is just to spend at least 30 minutes of concentrated one-on-one time together each day. This does not include walks, yard time, or just watching TV together.
Your bonding time should be physical and focused.
Here are a few bonding activities to engage in with your dog:
- Play fetch, tug of war, or hide and seek.
- Working on new skills, or just reinforcing old ones, is a great way to bond!
- Try a sport like Frisbee, where you and your dog can work together as a team.
- Make mealtime a bonding activity by using eye contact.
- Spend time giving your dog a grooming session.
Bonding happens naturally between dogs and the people who treat them well. Take time to take good care of your dog, socializing with him, give him positive experiences, and respect his own unique personality. And he’ll reward you with a lifetime of love.