Do Dogs Play Favorites?

Let’s Find Out If You Are One Your Dog’s Favorite People

By Catalina Barrios

shutterstock_305225561

Do you favor your dog over everyone else? Does your dog do the same?


From the first day your dog arrives in your life, you provide them with everything they need. It’s like your life has been waiting for this being; it is love at first sight. Even before your furry friends gets home, you make certain they have a comfortable bed, delicious food and treats, and the most entertaining of toys.

shutterstock_389482129

Once home, you give them all the attention they need. You cuddle with them while watching your favorite TV show and they even become your most motivating exercise companion!

You are the center of their universe…until that particular family member or friend comes for a visit. Does you dog practically wag his tail off his body in some over-exuberant doggie twerking routine when THAT person arrives?  You can’t help it, you feel jealous and start to wonder if you are not the favorite anymore.


shutterstock_527915020


How does a dog choose a favorite person?

The following are some of the factors that influence your dog’s choice in “best person”.

Socialization

shutterstock_190380473

Socialization is key for dogs between birth and six months of life. During this critical growth phase, puppies are very receptive, thus it is important for them to have positive interactions with different places, people and things. Don’t worry if you’ve adopted your dog as an adult because socialization remains important at every age.  The more experiences he has and the more people he meets, the easier it will be for him to socialize with others.


Positive Association

shutterstock_564286420

Dogs associate treats with a good thing.

Positive association is an important factor in the bond between humans and dogs. You can help create this during training and while socializing your dog. Any time something is enjoyed, it creates a positive association within the canine brain directly connected to the the person who gave the toy or treat.  Dogs learn that YOU are the key to happy experiences.

Attention and Affection

shutterstock_1014841402

Dogs favor the person who gives the most attention and affection. This is not achieved by a quick 30-minute walk that you rush through. Instead, spend the same 30 minutes interacting with your dog while giving exercise opportunities, such as chasing or throwing a ball.  If you show lots of love and attention, you will get the same in return. Even if you are the one who feeds and walks the dog, the person who is most loving and affectionate will be favored.

Dog Breed And Human Personality

shutterstock_499979275

Do you and your dog have matching personalities?

It is true that a dog can look like his owner, but dogs tend to choose their favorite person based on personality and energy levels. For example, if you are an introvert and quiet while your dog is full of energy, he may have a stronger bond with someone as active as he is.

How to become your dog’s favorite person?

shutterstock_519759997

  • Spend at least 30 minutes a day focused on a one-to-one activity with your dog. A great idea could be playing fetch or tug-o-war.
  • Have a training session to teach new tricks or reinforce old ones. This is a great bonding experience for both of you.
  • Try a sport like agility or flyball where you and your dog can work together as a team.
  • Provide positive experiences to ensure bonding time is active and focused.

Remember that your dog loves you and you are, and always will be, their best friend. Favor can change, but love is forever.