If you have a dog in your family, you may have noticed that it seems to favor certain people in your family over others.
Ever wonder why? No, it’s not because they smell like bacon. There is actually a fairly complicated explanation for it. It’s not as simple or as fast as you might think. Understanding how your dog chooses his or her favorite people will help you bond with your dog better and have realistic expectations for your relationship.
Just like humans, dogs have several crucial periods of life. Their socialization period is between birth and 6 months. The social experiences that puppies have during this period can have a big influence on their entire lives. The people that spend the most time with the puppy during this period are the ones it will most likely bond with.
Dogs that have been adopted at an older age have already been through their socialization periods. For example, a dog who spends its first six months of life being raised by an older woman may bond more easily with an older woman in its new family. That doesn’t mean the dog can’t have a bond or good relationship with other people; it just means it will take more time to make that bond strong.
Affection and Attention
Puppies need a lot of attention and affection. It doesn’t matter who feeds, walks, or cares for the dog; whoever gives it the most affection and positive attention will win its favor faster. Dogs do best with one-on-one interaction. The more time you spend talking to your dog, playing with your dog, and paying attention to your dog, the more your dog will crave it. This will make your dog more likely to come to you for those things in the future.
Just like you train dogs with treats, you want to give them a reason to choose you. Dogs respond well to things they find positive. They want to be petted and brushed, and they will favor the person who gives them the things they want. That doesn’t mean you have to let your dog get away with everything and can’t make him behave, but you need to make sure there are more positive vibes coming from you instead of negative ones.
Breed and Personality
Certain dog breeds are just more compatible with certain personalities. Before you adopt or buy a dog, research the breed to make sure it will be compatible with you and your family. You want to make sure your dog is happy with you. Some dogs are more active and require higher-energy families, and others like to sleep and be lazy all day. Some do well with kids and other animals, and some don’t. Some breeds are more likely bond with one person, and some will be opening to bonding with the entire family. It’s worth taking the time to choose the right pet for your family.
Just because you aren’t your dog’s favorite now doesn’t mean you can’t be with a little work.
Spend some more time with your dog, and you will start to form a stronger bond. A little bit of time focused on the dog each day can make a big difference. Make sure you are the person who feeds the dog, walks the dog, and gives the dog plenty of hug and kisses. If you want to sneak the dog into your bed at night, that can’t hurt, either.
Dogs love to please their owners, and most are accepting and forgiving. There’s still a chance you could become your dog’s favorite.