Feed them, love them, and give them somewhere safe to call home, and you’re on your way to your dog’s good side. But the question on every dog owner’s mind is, “Does my dog love me more than everyone else?”
Parents say they don’t have favorite family members, but that neutral stance doesn’t necessarily apply to the dog. If your dog seems to gravitate more toward one family member than anyone else, there’s a good chance they’ve picked their favorite person. How they decide who they love most might surprise you.
Picking a Person
The easiest way to make it onto the short list of your dog’s favorite people is to be their main caregiver. The person that feeds them every day, takes them on walks, grooms them, and handles training will be the top runner for Favorite Human. Dogs are intelligent, and they learn to relate all those good things in life with the person who makes them happen. If a married couple has a dog, but one of them takes on more of the pet responsibilities, the dog will know who to go to when they need something.
Quality Together Time
Being the hand that feeds the dog is a start, but it isn’t always enough. Meeting a dog’s needs usually ranks second-best to giving them what they want. In other words, quality is more important than quantity if you want to be number one in a dog’s heart. Taking them on walks is nice, but you lose points if you spend the time on your phone ignoring them. Doling out treats is good, but spending time every day scratching their ears and rubbing their belly is better. If your dog’s favorite thing to do is play tug, they’ll automatically gravitate toward the person who’s always willing to take up the other end of the rope.
Opposites Don’t Attract
Human friendships work best when the two people share similar personalities, and the same goes for relationships between dogs and people. For example, a high-energy dog that is always moving and likes to play all day will naturally be attracted to an equally-active person. A dog that’s more laid back and prefers quiet over noise will choose a person who values those same things. It’s all about making a connection that provides comfort and familiarity.
If it’s obvious you’re the dog’s top pick when it comes to companionship, go ahead and celebrate. But if you’re not, don’t feel jilted. Some dogs, especially rescues, take more time to bond with their humans. Keep giving them all the love and affection they deserve and be patient. Earning a dog’s love is always worth the effort.