It’s easy to think, a dog’s favorite person is their primary caregiver but that’s not always the case. How does a dog choose their favorite person? And is it possible to change their mind? Every dog is different but there are some key components which affect every dog’s decision.
You can become your dog’s favorite person and it’s all about these four things: socialization, attention, positive association, and personality
A dog’s key socialization period is between birth and six months and many dogs form strong bonds for whoever cares for them during this stage. During this early stage, their brains are very receptive, and their early social experiences influence them for the rest of their lives. It is critical to ensure your puppy has positive interactions with a variety of people, places, and things.
If you came into your pet’s life at a later stage, don’t worry: it’s not too late to become their favorite. These early experiences are important, however, continued socialization, play dates, daily walks, and attention given to your pet go a long way.
Most dog’s will bond with the person who gives them the most attention. The dog may favor the person who feeds them or the one who takes them on a walk or to a play date.
Physical affection seals the deal between dog and person. If a person doesn’t pay attention to a dog, the dog will be stand-offish towards them. But if you show your dog affection by grooming, petting and loving on them, they are likely to seek out more.
Quality time also applies to your dog. It doesn’t matter if you spend a lot of time with your dog, what matters is the quality of that time. Your dog wants your affection and attention given to them.
Aside from attention, a dog plays favorites based on associations too. Your dog will form a bond with a person who provides good stuff.
This makes perfect sense. A dog loves the person who always plays fetch or gives them their favorite treat. They also recognize the one who feeds them most often and knows they are important to them.
The opposite is true too. Dogs often react poorly to people with whom they have bad associations .Remember, positive associations lead to positive dog-human relationships. Positive associations can also be used in training your dog.
Whenever your dog is experiencing something new, give them treats to reinforce this new experience as something positive. This will ease the anxiety of something different in your pet’s life. For example, if you have a visitor coming over, have them give your dog a treat and watch a friendship begin.
Lastly, your personality plays a big part in being a favorite with your pet. Dogs often choose a favorite person with a similar energy level and personality that matches theirs. And some dogs bond with just one person. So, their favorite person is their only person.
If you are dismayed because you feel you are not your dog’s favorite person, don’t worry. There are easy ways to improve the relationship between you and your dog. It’s simple and fun! Spend at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time together each day.
Here are several ideas:
- Play fetch, tug-a-war or hide and seek.
- Have a training session. Try new skills, or reinforce old ones. It is a great way to bond!
- Give wholesome treats and be the one who feeds your dog.
- Groom your dog or give a massage.
Bonding happens naturally when you take good care of your dog. Remember the four components:Socialize your dog, pay attention to your dog, give him positive experiences, and respect his unique personality. Do these things and your dog will give you a lifetime of love.