Why Do Dogs Prefer One Person Over Another

Based on previous positive contacts and socialization, dogs select their favorite people. Puppies up to 6 months old are in their critical socialization period because, like to humans, dogs are extremely impressionable as their brains develop.

Like their human counterparts, dogs form loyal relationships with particular people over time based on good interactions and associations. The greatest approach to develop a strong link with your dog is through play, unlike other individuals who utilize yummy food and other forms of reinforcement. Playful, energetic games and enjoyable activities with your pet can promote strong bonds and connections.

Why does my dog favor another person over me?

Sometimes a dog will favor one partner over the other despite the fact that both members in a partnership walk and feed the dog equally. This is frequently just a matter of access, or lack thereof. The dog will naturally want to see and spend time with the other partner if one partner spends more time at home with the dog.

Reinforcement and hardwiring take place when the absent partner rewards that behavior by giving out rewards upon their return. However, Dr. Gavriele-Gold cautions against mistaking a joyful “coming home!” routine for genuine preference.

How do dogs decide who they prefer?

During their critical socialization stage, which lasts between birth and six months, many dogs form their strongest bonds with whoever is in charge of taking care of them. Puppies’ brains are very reactive at this age, and their early social interactions shape who they become for the rest of their life. Because of this, it’s crucial to make sure your puppy interacts well with a variety of people, locations, and objects.

For instance, dogs who are not exposed to people wearing hats may subsequently develop a fear of headgear. Radar and I didn’t meet until he was six months old, so I don’t fully recall the details of his early socialization. He does, however, favor guys, which makes me think he had a more good upbringing with male caregivers.

Don’t panic if your dog was an adult when you got them; it’s still possible to win them over. Early encounters are significant, but ongoing socialization through activities like doggie daycare, play dates, and regular walks is crucial as well!

Attention (and affection) increases the bond

I’ve already said that my own dog wants to be cared for by someone other than their primary caretaker. However, most dogs tend to form close relationships with the person who pays them the most attention. For instance, in a household with two parents and two children, the dog might choose the parent who gives them water in the morning and walks them in the evening.

The link between a dog and a person is also strengthened by physical affection. A dog will become distant from a person if they are distant toward them. However, if you offer your dog a lot of affection, grooming, massages, and love, they will probably want more.

For some dogs, the type of love and care they receive matters more than the quantity. Although I spend the most of my time with my dog Radar, I may be a little reserved and rigorous when it comes to letting a 40-pound Pit Bull sit on my lap. On the other hand, my brother is content to wrestle and let Radar crawl all over him. It makes sense why Radar flips over (sometimes literally) everytime he sees Jacob.

Positive association is key

Dogs use associations to make decisions about who they like to pay attention to outside of their favorite individuals. In other words, a dog develops a link with a person when they are the provider of pleasant things.

Considered carefully, it makes a lot of sense. A dog will undoubtedly adore the person who consistently engages in tug of war with them or generously provides them with their favorite stinking beef liver treat. They are also aware of how significant a role the person who feeds them most frequently plays in their lives.

On the other hand, dogs frequently display negative behavior toward persons with whom they have negative connections (you’ll never see Radar befriending a doctor). Positive associations result in positive interactions between dogs and people. Positive association is a useful tool for socializing and training your dog.

For instance, I make sure that guests who are new to my home greet the dogs in the yard and offer them treats. This creates an immediate favorable association—new person = delicious treats—which facilitates the introduction.

Wherever you go, there they are

Are you your own personal shadow, your dog? In your house, is it impossible for them to follow you from Point A to Point B? Then there’s a good chance that you’re one of your dog’s top favorite people.

Similar feelings can be reflected in the following, just as positive attention and associations strengthen the link between dogs and pet parents. As I indicated before, why wouldn’t your dog prefer to follow you over other people if you are the provider of walks, treats, food, and stroking sessions?

However, it’s critical to remember that a dog with separation anxiety differs from a “velcro dog” that appreciates your company. In contrast to velcro behavior, which has good traits like licking and playing, separation anxiety is not an indication of preference and has bad traits like accidents in the potty and melancholy.

What about dog licking?

Perhaps your dog just can’t resist giving your hands and face a short tongue bath. And while a dog licking you might not be intended to convey the same message as a kiss between two people, you may have pondered.

The response is perhaps. The portions of our bodies that are exposed to air and contact from the various places we go during the day are our hands and faces, which produce a salty perspiration that dogs adore. This is like a taste and odor feast for dogs!

Dog licking may also result from a food-seeking behavior between a mother and a young puppy, as well as being a show of submission or an act of communication. But it’s true: in some circumstances, dog licking can also be an expression of welcoming or love. Therefore, even while we can’t guarantee that those licks indicate that you are the dog’s favorite, there is a good possibility that you aren’t the least favored if your dog frequently licks you.

Human personality and dog breed play a part

Have you ever seen a dog that resembled its owner in both appearance and behavior? The adage “like attracts like” also holds true for canines and people. Dogs frequently select a favorite person who is similar to them in terms of vigor and temperament. My more energetic, noisy dog is particularly devoted to my more active brother, whilst my more reserved, cautious dog is more tightly bonded to me.

Furthermore, certain canine breeds are more likely to bond with a single person, increasing the likelihood that their favorite person will end up being their only human companion. Breeds that prefer to form close bonds with just one owner include:

Do dogs consistently favor one owner over another?

Have you ever seen a dog that resembled its owner in both appearance and behavior? The adage “like attracts like” also holds true for canines and people. Dogs frequently select a favorite person who is just like them in terms of vigor and temperament.

Additionally, some dog breeds are more inclined to form a close attachment with a single person, increasing the likelihood that their favorite person will be their only human. Breeds that prefer to form close bonds with just one owner include:

  • Basenji
  • Greyhound
  • Inu Shiba
  • Terrier of Cairn
  • Viszla

Why does a dog only show affection for one particular person?

Just as we do with other humans, dogs make eye contact with us to form bonds. They are gregarious creatures who can’t survive alone, just like us. Our four-legged pals pick just one person out of all the individuals in their lives to whom they devote the majority of their love and devotion. Dogs value this connection to the point where they get envious if they witness their favorite person spending time with other animals.

Bright Side cordially invites you to delve into the intriguing and enigmatic world of dogs. Let’s find out what they think of us and how we can establish this unique bond.

Early-life bonding

The early months of a puppy’s existence, also referred to as the “socialization stage,” have a significant influence on its growth. As a result, during this crucial period, dogs frequently develop strong, lifelong ties with whoever feeds, plays, and generally looks after them the most.

Even if the person they developed a link with has passed away, a dog may still appreciate those who are similar to them. For instance, even if their new human parents are women, they can seem to prefer men if their primary carer while they were puppies was a man.

Are you concerned that your adult dog might have been raised to prefer someone else? The following element may help you win your dog’s approval.

Time, attention, and affection

Dogs tend to form deep relationships with those who provide them the greatest affection and attention (such as through feeding, training, and playing). And keep in mind that in this case, quality matters more than number.

A fun game of fetch or a demanding workout will have a greater positive impact on your relationship than binge-watching Netflix together and other idle pursuits. Check out our breed-specific guide on speaking your dog’s love language if you’re unsure of the kinds of things your dog would find meaningful.

Positive associations

Probably familiar with the adage “what gets rewarded stays in fashion. This adage holds true whether you’re trying to teach your dog a new trick or just improve your relationship with them. There is a reason why vets are so eager to hand out dog treats; they are attempting to foster goodwill because what follows may not be very pleasant.

The easiest approach to train your dog to link you with pleasant things is to always have a tasty reward available when you greet them. Additionally, you want to avoid negative interactions like stern correction or reprimanding. (In addition, the majority of dogs react far better to praise.)

Personality alignment

Have you ever observed that dogs frequently bear some resemblance to their owners? It has been scientifically demonstrated that individuals favor dogs that are physically similar to them in some way; this is not just a coincidence.

The same is true for personality, which is strange. Dogs often have personalities that are similar to the individuals they enjoy spending time with. A Golden Retriever, for example, might get along best with an outgoing, vivacious individual. However, a Basset Hound would probably feel more at ease with a distant or reserved person.

The more in common you have with a dog, the more likely it is that you will develop deep friendships, much like in human relationships.

Breed tendencies

Let’s discuss about breeds while we’re talking about personalities. Dogs have been developed for specialized tasks throughout history, from eradicating pests to protecting property. As a result, depending on their ancestry, pups frequently have different temperaments. This affects both how they develop relationships with humans and the types of pets they produce.

Why does my spouse get a hug from my dog but not me?

Is it more common for your partner to spend quality time with your dog, or do you spend the most of your time with them?

Although it’s not the sole factor, if your dog chooses to sleep next to you, it’s usually because they’ve spent a lot of time with you. In other words, while this individual can be fresh in their life, they feel more at ease around you than your husband.

Some people might not think this is a big deal, but if you ignore it, it will have a significant impact on both of your relationships.

Allowing this preference will ultimately result in issues for all parties. In contrast, the dog may grow upset and uneasy due to your spouse’s lack of care, making your husband believe that the dog likes you more.

Do dogs join the dominant human in bed?

Dogs are derived from wolves, and your dog still harbors deep-seated instincts from its wild ancestors. You need to comprehend the importance of maintaining the position of alpha in the “pack” if you want to live with and interact with your dog.

For its survival, your dog is dependent on you. As a result of thousands of years of development and adaption in human society, it has come to understand that it must work with you. Wolf domestication was the first by man. We discovered that having a wolf as a “pet” was a fantastic asset about twelve thousand years ago. They could protect us while we slept and hunt with us.

The wolf started to change into several kinds as time passed. The precise development of the first breeds is unknown to scientists. There are numerous ideas, some of which mention environmental factors like climate change and natural mutations. Breeds multiplied and became more specialized. That is how breeds for herding, hunting, shepherding, guarding, and, of course, companion and lap dogs came into being.

Only the dog, of all the tamed animals, has freely agreed to submit to human rule without resistance. But like I stated, it still has the want to gauge where it is. Yes, even nice little Lady, the Maltese who is curled up at your feet, possesses wolf-like DNA and instincts.

Wolves have a social structure and adhere to regulations. Under a single leader, the entire pack works together. There are distinct lines. The pack’s leader feeds first, followed by the rest of the group. Your dog is communicating with you when he growls at you while he is eating, saying, “I am the leader and you must wait.”

Here are some “rules to live by” that may be helpful if your dog has a growling issue.

1. Do not put up with snarling. This is a threat and indicates that your dog views you as his underdog who must submit to his dominance. Tell him “no! Inform him that growling at you or your kids is never appropriate. Make it clear that your kids are his alpha leader’s offspring and that they should be treated like alpha “pups.”

2. Do not let your dog enter the room through the door. You must get your leash and open the door if your dog constantly trails you. You pull him back and warn him to wait when he rushes forward. You open the door for him to enter after you do. Have someone assist you because it will go more quickly and easily.

3. Avoid allowing a canine with alpha difficulties to sleep on the same bed as people. Clearly, the alpha position is in this. Your greatest option for keeping your dominant position is a doggie bed on the floor next to you. This guideline applies to dogs that are hostile or that exhibit signs of forgetting where they belong. A well-behaved and obedient pet is permitted to sleep next to you or your child as long as the dog was invited up by humans. It’s not appropriate for the dog to make the decision to climb onto the bed. At the very least, you must ensure that your dog sleeps at the foot of the bed rather than on your pillow if you simply cannot sleep without him in the bed.

4. Engage in constant social interaction. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to expose your dog to many environments and people. Find a doggie activity to participate in. Enroll in an obedience or agility class. Visit the park with your dog. If you have a calm dog or puppy, volunteer at the nearby nursing home. Volunteer with disability organizations to enable people with disabilities to experience the unconditional love that a dog or puppy can offer.

5. It is dangerous for both you and your dog to ride in your lap in a moving vehicle. You may receive a citation for driving while distracted in some states. Make him sit on the floor or in his own chair. Purchase a safety booster or car belt for him, or keep him in a kennel.

6. Avoid coddling your dog. He must acquire the skills of a dog. Avoid overprotecting him. He must go on adventures and develop independence. You don’t want to breed a frightened, flighty dog. Don’t take him up and coo and ahh over him when he acts scared of something he shouldn’t be. Simply show him the thing, person, etc. and calmly tell him it’s okay. He will become a confident and dependable dog because of your confidence. If you indulge his fabricated anxieties, he will turn into a sharp and unreliable dog. He might grow fearful and aggressive.

A dog that sits on its owner’s lap and growls at people or other animals is an illustration of fear aggression. He will keep acting in this way because there is a reward associated with it if you touch him and say, “It’s okay,” but you are actually just teaching him this is the kind of conduct you expect of him. Inform him “No, and force him to leave your lap. Even though some owners find it endearing that their tiny lap dog is “protecting” them, this is untrue. If a child is permitted to get away with this antisocial conduct, the dog can bite them when they reach out to pat it or hug Grandma. This dog has assumed the role of the leader, and you are the underdog. When the owner is to blame for the bite, I have seen a great number of children reprimanded. Frequently, people will say “Now that you are aware, you won’t approach Granny’s dog. She is guarded and envious. We have repeatedly warned you not to do it.” What a loss. And if we only took the time to understand canine behavior, all of this could be prevented. Even while we would want to think that they share our opinions, they do not.

If your dog frequently growls at you or another member of your family, you might want to try making that person the sole one who gives him food. To demonstrate your authority as the leader, you want to force him to sit. He is learning that in order to feed, he must submit to you and that he depends on you for that. And tell him if he growls after you put the food down “Say “no” and remove the food. Asking him to sit once more This is how you can strengthen the “The “no-growling rule”

Growling must never be tolerated since it generally results in biting. Although not always, it typically does. Therefore, it must be stopped as soon as feasible. To be clear, we are only discussing growling that is intended to be aggressive. We are not talking about puppy play growling. Pups must have the freedom to be puppies.

With a puppy, avoid tug-of-war games. Tell it to release the ball while playing fetch. Never treat your dog harshly enough. Apply common sense.

Dogs who frequently lean on their owners, place their paws on them, or otherwise touch them are not showing signs of love; rather, they are acting in a domineering manner. Space is respect in the canine world. A dog that repeatedly prods you and leans against you is not only disrespectful—also it’s acting like the dominant canine. You must initiate and terminate physical contact and affection. Never show affection to a dog when they are agitated, fearful, worried, or acting otherwise; doing so will only serve to reinforce their negative emotions.

Last but not least, spend time with your dog. Prepare him. Walk him every day. Provide your dog with guidelines and boundaries while being calm and authoritative. Play with him and show him your affection as soon as you give him everything he needs. Your dog looks to you for direction and boundaries just like a child looks to his parents. On the whole, you and your dog will be happier if you maintain the dominant role, even when we sometimes need to apply harsh love.