How Dog’s Choose Their Favorite Pet Parent!
15 August, 2017
Teenage brunette girl playing with her healthy young bulldog in the park

Dogs are very social animals and generally love everyone from their family members to the mail man!  And, while some dogs love every family member, other dogs will sometimes choose a favorite pet parent who they follow everywhere and is always by his or her side.  No matter what!  But, how do dogs choose their favorite pet parent?  And is it possible to change their minds?

Dogs tend to bond most with whoever takes care of them during puppy – hood

Many dogs bond the most to whoever cares for them during their key socialization period, which occurs between birth and six months. At this age, puppies’ brains are incredibly receptive, and their early social experiences influence them for the rest of their lives. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your puppy has positive interactions with a wide range of people, places, and things.

While early experiences are important, continued socialization throughout their life matters a lot too.

Attention (and affection) increases the bond

Most dogs tend to bond to the person who gives them the most attention. For example, in a family with two parents and three kids, the dog may favor the parent who fills their bowl every morning and takes them for a walk every evening.

And, of course, physical affection strengthens the bond between dog and person. If a person is stand-offish towards a dog, the dog will be stand-offish towards them. But if you give your dog plenty of grooming sessions, massages, and love, they are likely to seek you out more.

It’s not just the amount of attention but the quality

For some dogs, it’s not just the amount of attention and affection that matter, but the quality. If you let your dog sit on your lap or don’t mind if he or she jumps on you, of course, you will be his favorite.  Especially is your sister or someone else in the family won’t allow it!

Positive association is also key to being the chosen favorite

Dogs play favorites depending on associations. When a person is the source of good things, the dog forms a bond.  Of course, a dog is going to love the person who always walks them or gives them their favorite treat! They also know that the person who feeds them every morning and night is a pretty special person in their lives.

Dogs also choose the people that have the same chemistry/energy as them

Have you ever met a dog that looks and behaves a lot like their pet parent? Dogs often choose a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality. If you are more reserved, a shy, cautious dog might be your favorite.  If you are rambunctious, you might get the more excitable, energetic dog that attaches to you.

How to become your dog’s favorite

If you have the feeling you’re not your dog’s favorite pet parent, don’t worry. You can improve the bond between you. The easiest way is to spend at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time together each day. This doesn’t include walks or watching TV together. Your bonding time should be active and focused on the things that dog loves.

Here are a few bonding activities to engage in with your do:

1. Play fetch, tug-of war or whatever is your dog’s favorite.

2. Have a training session. Working on new skills, or reinforcing old ones, is a great way to bond!

3. Try a sport where you and your dog can work together as a team.

4. Incorporate fun, healthy treats with your workouts or make a healthy meal together!

5. Give your dog a grooming session or massage every day!

As we all know, bonding occurs naturally between dogs and the people who treat them well. Take good care of your dog, socialize him, give him positive experiences, and respect his unique energy and personality.  Your dog will reward you with love and even if you are not the favorite pet parent, he or she will love you for a life time.

Have a cat — this is how they choose their favorite person

4 thoughts on “How Dog’s Choose Their Favorite Pet Parent!”

  1. I have a 11-month old pup and I’m trying to figure out who his favorite human is right now. He has two humans that do most of the things wrote about here and it seems like his favorite changes from day-to-day. Not that it matters, but I am curious.

    1. Hi Barbara, If your dog or puppy has a favorite, you would know it. For now, he is just trying to find his way. And some dogs just love everyone. Time will tell!

  2. Remember that dogs don’t experience all the multitude of emotions that people associate with. When it comes to love dogs are very “simple” however you express your love for your dog, they pick up on it!!

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