DO DOGS HAVE A FAVOURITE HUMAN? AND HOW THIS CAN BE INFLUENCED

Is your dog ignoring every family member from the house but not you? Do they attentively watch your every move and greet you every morning as they haven’t seen you in weeks? Do they follow you anywhere your go?

If so, you’re the lucky human that won his heart! Congrats!

But why do pups have a favourite human? What if you’re not the one, is there anything that can influence their behaviour?

1. EARLY-LIFE BONDING
For dogs, their key socialization period is from birth to six months. Puppy brains are very receptive at this age, so the social experiences they have as puppies influence them for the rest of their lives. It’s important for puppies to have a wide variety of positive interactions with a wide variety of people, places, and things.

If, for example, you adopted your dog at an older age and they were raised by a single female for the first six months of their lives, they may be much more comfortable around women and may have a difficult time bonding with men since they weren’t introduced to them at a young enough age. That could influence who they bond with as an adult.

It’s never too late to start socializing your dog. The more experiences they have and the more people they meet, the easier it should be for them to warm up to others in the future.

Worried your adult dog may have been socialized to prefer someone else? The next factor can help you win your dog’s favour.

2. QUALITY TIME SPENT TOGETHER
You might be the one to walk and feed the dog, but if your partner gives the dog more time, attention and affection than you, they may favour that person. While the amount of attention and affection you give your dog makes a difference, the quality of attention may be the deciding factor. A half hour walk, for example, is not the same to your dog as a half hour interactive play session with you. Trying to make your dog walk more fun may also improve the quality time spent with your dog. In short, dogs tend to bond to the person who gives them the most attention.

3. POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE
Why do we give treats to our dogs when we’re training them? It’s so they develop a positive association with following commands. Obey the command, get a treat. Any time they enjoy something, they will form a positive association with the person who gave them the thing or experience that they enjoyed. Your dog’s favourite person might just offer something nobody else does or can.

4. PERSONALITY MATTERS
Just like people do, dogs can also choose their favourite person who matches their own “personality.” If you look at dogs and their owners, most of the time they will have something alike in them. Energetic dogs usually prefer active people, while calm and even lazy dogs would rather spend their days with chill owners.



CAN DOGS CHANGE THEIR FAVOURITE PERSON?
Your dog’s favourite person they are attached to isn’t set in stone. It can change for several reasons:

» Change in the home environment: Dogs are sensitive to the many major transitions we humans deal with over the course of our lives. The arrival of a new baby, a new housemate, moving to a new location, or the addition of a new pet can make your dog very uncomfortable. He will naturally gravitate to whomever he feels gives him the help he needs to adjust.

» Change in routine: If we get a new job that requires longer hours, or perhaps start spending more time in the dating world or take up a new hobby that takes away time from home, our dogs will seek attention from someone else if they can. “Fine,” he thinks. “You don’t take me for walks anymore, then I’ll love on the dog walker!”

» Illness in the family: You’ve heard of dogs who sniff out cancer. Dogs who are empathetic towards their owners can sense when something is wrong with their humans, even if their routine or environment never changes. Some dogs respond by offering comfort and attention to the sick human.



FIVE SIGNS YOUR DOG LOVES YOU:
» Soft eye contact

» Tail wagging

» Cuddling – your dog can choose to curl up wherever they like. So, when they cuddle into you, they are actively choosing you.

» Happy greeting – your dog isn’t doing this just for the sake of it, they are genuinely happy to see you

» They are licking you – one of the reasons your dog may lick you, will be affection

However, there are many factors that can influence dogs’ behaviour when it comes to choosing their favourite person. The dogs have a favourite human – either this is you already or not, you should consider these signs to maintain and improve a happy relationship between you and your fluffy friend.

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