Playing Favorites: How Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person

January 04, 2023

Playing Favorites: How Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person


Have you ever wondered how dogs choose their favorite person? More importantly, who is the favorite person? Unlike people, dogs are pretty straightforward when it comes to affection. You’ll know you are the favorite person if your dog runs to you first when you come home with other people. You can tell that he is so happy to see you when you get home, follows you around, and kisses you like there is no tomorrow. But how do they choose their favorite human? Though they are very straightforward, the reasons can be a bit complicated. These factors play a role in their choice for Human of the Year:


1. Early Socialization

The key socialization period for dogs is from birth to 6 months. During this stage, the puppies’ brains are incredibly receptive. They bond the hardest with the person who was there for them all the time. It is important for them to have a wide range of positive social interactions during this delicate period. Their earliest interactions would mold them for the rest of their lives, and how they’d grow up to be the good dogs that they are.

For example, your gardener is the caretaker of your dog. He fed him, nursed him as he was growing up. Your dog will most likely prefer your gardener to you. It’s the same case if you adopted an adult dog. You noticed that he seems aloof to the men in your household. Chances are, he probably grew up with a female caretaker and didn’t get to interact with a lot of males during his formative months. It can also be that he didn’t get any positive social interactions with males. He probably associated males with the vet, or with dreaded bath time.

If you want your dog to have non fussy during bath times, give him a positive bath time experience early on. It’s like training him to equate bath time for happy times. You could take your dog for a joy ride during his early months. When he grows up, you’ll have loads of happy joy rides with him, and a well-behaved dog in your passenger seat.


2. Attention and Affection

It is not just the amount of attention, but giving them quality attention and affection seals the deal. Sure, you feed your dog and you think that’s it. Having more physical interaction with them, walking them, giving them massages, or roughhouse with them are ways to strengthen the bond between man and dog. The more you spend time with them, the more they get to know you as well.

Have you heard of people who say they talk to their dogs as if they’re human? That’s one way of fostering a stronger bond. Dogs are intelligent creatures. They can tell from your tone whether you are happy or sad, or a friend or an enemy. They are very good at reading your body language as well. Hugs translate to love. Massages means lots of slobbering dog kisses.


3. Positive Associations

This is the psychology behind dog trainers giving treats when the dog does what he’s told. Obey the command, get the treat. That’s positive association at work right there. Dogs choose their favorites based on the person who gives them that warm, fuzzy feeling. Closely related to the second factor above, the person that always gives them bacon, plays with them, gives them the love and attention they need, most likely wins their hearts. Any positive experience they have, they associate it with the person who gives it to them.

Maybe your dog likes to swim in the pool or play catch at the beach, but you’re afraid of the water. However, your son is fond of swimming with your dog. Don’t be surprised when your dog rushes to greet your son first. Your son offered something you couldn’t—playing in the water, which your dog immensely enjoys.


4. Similar Personalities

The saying “Like attracts like” is applicable to dog and man. Dogs tend to gravitate towards people that exude the same vibe as they do. A cautious indoor dog likes a person who is more of an introvert. The same way could be said to playful dogs being attracted to active people. They feel secure and confident with a person they share the same energy with. Sometimes, when a man and a dog becomes so close they become inseparable, they tend to look alike! Weird but true!

It is best to research breeds before you get one. Make sure the breed you choose is compatible with you and your family. Some breeds are very energetic, loves kids, and lots of playtime. Some breeds are cautious, likes to sleep all day, be lazy (not that it’s a bad thing!), and most likely to bond with a single person.

If you are an outdoorsy type of person who loves to swim, fish, or hunt, get a dog with the same temperament and who enjoys the same stuff. These breeds tend to be perfect for extroverts:

For people who prefer to be who likes to keep to themselves, enjoys solitude, curled up inside their house, be lazy, there are breeds suited for you. These breeds are calmer, and tend to have a single favorite person:


Become Your Dog’s Favorite!

It’s not a bad thing wanting to be your dog’s favorite person. Don’t think of it as some sort of competition between other members of the family. After all, how bad could it be to have more than one person showering the dog with love? If you feel that you’re not your dog’s favorite but would like to be, it’s not too late.

  • Spend time with your dog. You can do this by talking to them, walking them, engaging in ample play time, snuggling, or just doing things together.
  • Play with your dog. You can pick a game that is “your thing” together. You can play fetch, or make him catch a Frisbee. Playing hide and seek with your dog can be fun. It’s a good exercise time for both you and your dog.
  • Bacon is love. It’s food really. The fastest way to man, in this case, a dog’s heart, is through the stomach. Give him some home-made meals from time to time, or home-made treats, especially when he’s being a good boy by not eating your shoes.
  • Cuddling and belly rubs. Never say no when your dog wants to cuddle and asks for a belly rub. You wouldn’t want to miss out on all that love.


They say happiness is a snuggly dog, and it’s true. Your dog will not wake up one day and decide he doesn’t love you. That’s a flaw reserved for humans. You’d be amazed how much love and laughter dogs can bring into your lives. No matter how crappy your day, there is always that happy face running to greet you when you get home. Sometimes, the only hand you want to hold is a paw.



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