Why Do Dogs Have a Favorite Person?

Smiling girl carrying dog

Our dogs have favorite people, just like we do. You might already be aware of this. For example, it may make you jealous when your dog favors a different member of the family over you. Or perhaps your dog sticks more to one of your occasional visitors. You may be wondering why your dog does so. Why is someone else your dog’s favorite person besides you? 


Most of us want to be our dogs’ best buddies. When they make us their favorites, nothing can compare to the love they shower on us. So, as a new dog owner, how can you succeed in making a positive impact on your dog’s life? Read on to find out why dogs have favorites and how to win over your furry friend. 


Why is Someone a Dog’s Favorite Person? 

Dog playing with favorite person

Dogs may have favorite people for a variety of reasons. These people might be providing greater care for them or simply have similar personalities to them. The way a person treats a dog also affects whether or not that person is on the dog’s favorite list. Let’s find out more about what makes one person a dog’s favorite and another not.


Early Socialization


Just like humans, dogs are more impressionable when they are young and developing. Many dogs have their closest relationships with their caregivers between the ages of six months and birth. This age is called the “socialization period.” Anyone who feeds, plays with, and takes care of a dog during this key period becomes his favorite.


Young puppies’ social interactions determine who they develop into as adults. Therefore, if a person has known a dog since he was a puppy, his first impression of the dog matters. For instance, if a dog had a good upbringing with a male caregiver, he will like men more even if his new human parent is a woman. 


Positive Interactions


Dogs make favorites based on positive associations. They develop a better connection with a person who’s the provider of pleasant things. A person who plays games with the dog or gives him his favorite food, for instance, is likely to win his favor. Usually, the person who feeds the dog the most is his favorite. A dog would never like a person who treated him negatively in the past. For instance, you’ll never see a dog become friends with a vet. This is why vets usually greet dogs by giving them biscuits to be in the pets’ good looks.


The amount of time that a dog spends with a certain person determines whether or not they become his favorite. If the two had had some deep bonding time together, the dog would linger close to that person, all prepared to play or cuddle up with him. It indicates that he is anticipating more of these moments.


Personality Compatibility


You may have seen a dog that resembled its owner in both appearance and behavior. This is called “personality compatibility” with your pet. They say “like attracts like”. It means one is more likely to be a dog’s favorite person if he/she has a similar personality to him. Dogs pick up people who are similar to them in terms of vigor and temperament. 


For example, breeds like Beagle, Harrier, English Foxhound, Basset Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Brussels Griffon love active and social people, because they are themselves active and playful. Similarly, Teddy Roosevelt Terriers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are adventurous and smart breeds, and they love people who are smart too. 


Attention and Affection


If a dog was an adult when a person got him, he/she can still win him over with affection and attention. Activities like daycare, feeding, playtime, training sessions, grooming sessions, and regular walks together can make a person the dog’s favorite. 


In these bonding activities, quality is more important than quantity. Playful, energetic games and enjoyable activities can promote bonding better than idle pursuits. For example, a fun chasing game or a demanding workout session will have a greater positive impact on parent-dog relationships than binge-watching Netflix together. 


Difference in Breeds


Some breeds tend to love everyone, while others have a preference for certain people. The latter ones have a higher propensity to bond with a single “favorite” human. It means there’s a likelihood that this person will be the only one they ever spend time with.


The following are some of the breeds that prefer to choose one favorite person:


  • Shiba Inu
  • Basenji 
  • Akita
  • Greyhound
  • Dachshund
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Shetland Sheepdog


While the following breeds appear to get along with everyone equally:


  • Boxer
  • Pug
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bichon Frisé
  • Labrador Retriever
  • French Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Irish Setter


How Can You Become Your Dog’s Favorite Person?

Dog friendship with women


If you want to be on your dog’s favorite list, here are some tips to follow:


  • Learn your dog’s body language. Keep a close eye on how he responds to your mood and treat him accordingly. 
  • Show him physically how much you love him. Cuddle him often and pet him every now and then.
  • Don’t make him jealous by loving any other family member more in front of him.
  • Food is love for your pooch. Be the one to fill his kibble early in the morning. Treat him with his favorite snacks. Cook homemade delicious foods for him.
  • Bring him his favorite toys and play together.
  • Take your dog out for a walk at least twice a week. 
  • Active games and team-building activities boost your relationship with your dog. You should expend high levels of energy on the activities your pet enjoys. 
  • Train your pooch yourself by learning beforehand. Use positive methods of reinforcement to train him. 
  • Groom your dog whenever he needs it. 


Final Thoughts


Dogs have a favorite person for a variety of reasons. It may be because the person has been the dog’s early caretaker or simply because he loves and cares for him. A person who is always interacting positively with a dog becomes his favorite too. Sometimes a dog has a compatible personality with a person, which causes him to become his favorite. It also depends on the type of dog breed. Some dogs, such as Greyhounds and Chihuahuas, like only certain people. Others, like Labrador Retrievers and French Bulldogs, get along with everyone.

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