Are you your dog’s favorite person? Or is someone else in your household earn that top spot? Every move you make, every bite you take, every bathroom trip you make…your dog is watching you! You and your dog are co-dependent! Dogs are social creatures and they need company. The dog/human bond doesn’t happen with every “couple” but if it’s you, count yourself as LUCKY! But why does a dog pick a #1 person?
The Early Years
Between birth and six months is a dog’s critical socialization period. Puppy brains are little sponges that are soaking it all up. If you are the dog mom or dog dad who is the primary caregiver during this time, your are most likely your dog’s favorite person. That early stage of bonding has a huge impact on your dog’s development.
Don’t worry if you have adopted an older dog into your pack and missed the puppy stage. Dogs primarily bond with the dog lover who gives them the most attention. When you fill their food bowl, take them for walks, your dog picks you as their favorite. The amount of face time you give your dog directly influences their adoration of you.
Most dogs respond best to positive reinforcement. Examples could be cuddling, butt scratches, tummy rubs and the all-time favorite: treats! If your dog associates you with these “good” things, most likely you are the chosen one. If you live life with dog, chances are your pocketful of dog cookies will make you their VIP.
Have you noticed that some dogs personalities match their owners? Do you like to spend your time in the great outdoors…camping, hiking, running, walking? Chances are your dog is your constant companion for these activities. Perhaps you are more of a lazy day, couch cuddler. Your dog probably sees this and adapts his personality to match yours. Dogs tend to match the energy of their owner.
Throughout history, dogs have been bred to perform specific jobs. From guarding property, herding sheep, or even being a nanny dog. Whether you have a big mutt or a pure bred, a dog’s ancestry may influence their temperament and impact how they form bonds with humans. Breeds that tend to choose favorites include: Akita, Chihuahua, Dachsund, Sheepdog, Shiba Inu. Conversely, dogs that seem to want to lick and kiss everyone equally include: Boston Terrier, Cavalier Kind Charles Spaniel, Boxer, Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever.