How Do Dogs Decide Who Their Favorite Human Is?

Man Sitting With His Dog-Carousel

Is it true that I am my dog’s favorite person? You’ve probably pondered as a pet parent, because who wouldn’t want to be number one in their dog’s eyes? In a nutshell, socializing, attention, good association, and personality are all important. But first, let’s dive into the real gritty of how dogs choose their favorite person—or, you know, if you just want proof that you’re the best.

My dog adores me, but he adores Jacob, my younger brother. Put my brother and me on opposite ends of a room, and Radar will always run to Jacob first. It’s both amusing and perplexing at the same time. After all, I am the one who raised Radar and am responsible for his daily care. I feed him, take him on walks, and let him sleep in my bed… When Jacob comes to visit, however, it’s as if I vanish.

So a dog’s favorite person isn’t always his or her primary carer; it may also be your dog’s favorite sitter. So, how do dogs decide who their favorite human is? Is it the individual who gets the most licks? Who is the one who gives out the most treats? Is it something else entirely? Is it feasible to persuade them to change their minds?

Of course, each dog is unique, but there are certain generalizations that may be made. Continue reading to learn how dogs select their favorite person.

Is it true that I am my dog’s favorite person?

During their critical socialization stage, which lasts between birth and six months, many dogs form the strongest bonds with whoever looks after them. Puppies’ brains are extremely responsive at this age, and their early social experiences have a lasting impact on them. That’s why it’s crucial to provide your puppy favorable experiences with a variety of people, places, and things.

Dogs who aren’t exposed to people wearing hats, for example, may develop a fear of headgear later in life. I didn’t receive Radar until he was six months old, so I don’t know how he coped with his early socializing. He does, however, favor guys, which leads me to conclude that he had a more good and formative experience with male caregivers.

Don’t worry if you adopted your dog after he or she was already an adult: it’s not too late to become their favorite. While early experiences are crucial, ongoing socialization through activities such as doggie daycare, play dates, and daily walks is crucial!

The relationship is strengthened by attention (and affection).

I’ve already stated that my own dog wants to be cared for by someone who isn’t their primary caretaker. However, most dogs develop a strong attachment to the person who pays them the most care. In a home with two parents and two children, for example, the dog may choose the parent who fills their dish every morning and walks them every evening.

Physical affection also strengthens the link between the dog and the person. If a human is aloof with a dog, the dog will be aloof with them as well. However, if you provide plenty of pets, grooming sessions, massages, and love to your dog, he or she is likely to seek out more.

For some dogs, the quality of attention and affection is more important than the quantity. My dog Radar spends the most of his time with me, but I’m wary about allowing a 40-pound Pit Bull to sit in my lap. On the other hand, my brother enjoys roughhousing and letting Radar crawl all over him. It’s no surprise that everytime Radar sees Jacob, he does backflips (literally).

It is critical to have a positive association.

Dogs have favorites based on associations, in addition to the attention of their favorite persons. In other words, when a person provides wonderful things, the dog builds a link with them.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Of course, a dog will adore the person who constantly engages in tug-of-war or lavishes them with their favorite stinking beef liver goodie. They also understand that the person who feeds them the most is a significant figure in their lives!

Dogs, on the other hand, frequently react negatively to people with whom they have a negative relationship (you’ll never catch Radar making friends with a veterinarian). Positive dog-human connections are the result of positive associations. Positive association can assist you in training and socializing your dog.

When someone new comes to my house, for example, I introduce them to the dogs in the yard and give them treats. This creates an immediate positive association (new person = nice treats), which makes the introduction go more smoothly.

There they are, no matter where you go.

Do you have your own personal shadow in the form of your dog? Is it impossible for you to travel from point A to point B in your house without them trailing you? Then you’re probably near the top of your dog’s list of favorite humans.

Following can represent similar feelings, much as positive attention and association enhances the link between dog and pet parent. As I previously stated, if you provide your dog with walks, treats, food, and stroking sessions, why wouldn’t your dog prefer to follow you over others?

It’s vital to remember that a’velcro dog’ that appreciates your company is not the same as a dog who suffers from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is not an indication of favoritism and has bad qualities such as potty accidents and depression, whereas velcro behavior has pleasant traits such as licking, playing, and so on.

What about dogs who licks?

You might have a dog who just can’t stop licking your hands and face with their tongue. While human kisses are a popular indication of affection, you might be wondering if your dog kissing you is supposed to convey the same message.

The answer is perhaps. Our hands and faces create a salty perspiration that dogs adore, and they’re the portions of our bodies that are exposed to air and touch throughout the day. This is a feast for the senses for a dog!

Dog licking can be a sign of submission or communication, as well as a result of mama and pup’s food-seeking behavior. But it’s true: in some cases, dog licking can be a sign of greeting or affection. While we can’t guarantee that those licks signify you’re the favorite, if your dog licks you regularly, you’re most likely not the least favored!

Both the human personality and the canine breed play a role.

Have you ever met a dog who resembles its owner in appearance and behavior? The adage “like attracts like” holds true for both dogs and people. Dogs frequently select a favorite person who has the same energy level and personality as them. My more reserved, cautious dog seems to be more attached to me, but my more outgoing, loud dog seems to be more attached to my more energetic sibling.

Furthermore, some dog breeds are more likely to form a strong attachment with a single person, implying that their favorite person will be their only companion. Breeds that have a deep bond with one individual include:

Shiba Inu Cairn Terrier Basenji Greyhound

Check out our lists of the most obstinate dog breeds, the smartest dog breeds, the laziest dog breeds, and the best dog breeds for introverts for additional information on how dog breeds match human dispositions.

How to win your dog’s affection

Don’t be discouraged if you have the impression that you aren’t your dog’s favorite person. You can develop and strengthen your relationship. Spending at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time together each day is the simplest (and most enjoyable) option. This does not include going for walks, playing in the yard, or watching TV together. It’s important to keep your bonding time lively and focused.

Here are a few activities to perform with your dog to bond:

  • Play fetch, tug of war, or frisbee.
  • Have a training session with your team. It’s a terrific method to bond to work on new abilities or reinforce old ones.
  • Try a sport like agility or dock diving with your dog, or take him to a dog gym where you can train together as a team.
  • Food is love (in healthy, acceptable quantities). Try some homemade meals for your dog and look for good protein sources with few fillers. Integrate eye contact into lunch to make it a bonding experience.
  • Give your dog a massage or a grooming session.

Bonding happens spontaneously between pets and the people who care for them. Take good care of your dog, socialize him, provide positive experiences for him, and appreciate his individuality. He’ll shower you with love for the rest of your life (even if he sometimes acts more excited to see your brother).

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