11 Ways Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person & Tips To Be Your Dogs

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Love is a drug and it’s quite amazing to receive it, especially from your dog. 

Your dog likely has many things and people they love but there is almost certainly a special person they consider their favorite.

But that begs some questions. How do they choose their favorite person? How can I tell who it is? Can I win them over if it’s not me?

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 11 ways dogs choose their favorite person
  • 13 tips to become your dog’s favorite (tip #7 works the best)
  • How to know who your dog’s favorite is

And much more…

11 Ways Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person & Tips To Be Your Dogs

How Do Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person?

Dogs choose their favorite person based on how closely bonded they feel with someone. Factors such as early socialization, attention, affection, happy experiences, time spent with them, and personality alignment are a few contributors towards how closely bonded they may feel to someone.

There are quite a few things that can contribute to who your dog chooses as their favorite person.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the ways your pup chooses their #1.

11 Ways Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person

When looking into dog behavioral studies 11 components always popped up as the most important when it comes to bonding with your dog.

All of the 11 ways we’re about to look at add to ways in which dogs choose their favorite person (not in order of importance).

Note: All dogs are different and respond to certain things more than others.

1.) Affection / Attention

This is one we are all familiar with, the more attention and love you give your dog, the more you get back!

This helps create and nurture the bond you have with your pup.

The more affection and attention you give your dog the closer they will feel to you. This is by far one of the most important contributors to who your doggo selects as their favorite person.

Keep in mind there are forms of negative attention and any form of negative association might do the opposite and make you less favorable.

2.) Whoever Was Around From Birth To 6 Months

This is a key socialization period for dogs. This is where they bond the strongest with the person who was there for them all the time.

This is a crucial time for them to have as many positive social interactions as they can while avoiding bad ones. 

They are extremely receptive and delicate. These early interactions will mold them for the rest of their life.

If you happen to be there during these early stages you may very well be their favorite person.

3.) Exercise / Walks

Dogs LOVE walks since they get to explore and potentially see other dogs.

For the majority of dogs, taking them on walks, hikes, and for daily exercise will increase your bond and associate you with fun and excitement.

Any pup that knows you’re the person who takes them out for all their walks will love you for it.

4.) Happy Experiences

This follows the same idea as taking your dog out for walks and exercises.

If you’re the person who is constantly bringing your dog on adventures to dog parks, to meet new people, dogs etc. These create positive associations around spending time with you.

Your dog starts to understand that any time they go places with you something exciting and fun things happen.

This bonds them to you and makes them want to constantly be by your side. AKA their favorite person.

5.) Voice / Tone

This was something that surprised me.

Since dog’s cannot understand the words you use, they learn to pick up on your tonality and the inflections in your voice.

Dog’s tend to love when we put on our “doggy voice” because they can tell we are being cute and loving with them. If you are always talking to them with a sweet voice and kind tone they will likely favor you.

However there are some other things to consider.

If you’re someone who is energetic and loud with their voice, it might make your dog feel 1 of 2 ways. 

If they like things quiet or have sensitive ears, it might make them anxious at times.

On the flip side, they may love your high energy and loud voice because they themselves are high energy.

So depending on your dog and what they like will give them a preference to a person’s voice and tone.

6.) Your Personality’s Match

Like the way a dog can prefer one voice and tone over the next, dogs typically bond with people who are similar to them.

I’m sure you’ve noticed some similarities between dogs and their owners. This is actually more than just a simple coincidence.

It’s been proven that people choose dogs that are physically similar to them or their significant other in some way. Oddly enough, the same goes for personality.

Dogs and people who love each other and spend lots of time together adopt similar personalities.

The reason this is important to note is because the more in common you have with someone (or a dog), the more likely you are going to become close friends.

That’s why the more similarities you tend to find between you and your dog, the more likely you’ll find that you are their favorite person.

Here are a few breeds that tend to be more suited for extroverted people:

Labrador Retriever
Golden Retriever
Corgi
Bernese Mountain Dog
Springer Spaniels
Pitbull Terrier
Jack Russel Terrier
Poodles
Beagle
Boston Terrier

In contrast, here are a few breeds that are more suited for introverted people that enjoy solitude and keeping to themselves:

Greyhound
Basenji
Maltese
Cairn Terrier
Pug
Chihuahua
Shiba Inu
Irish Wolfhound
Newfoundland
Basset Hound
Maltese

7.) Time Spent Together

This is probably the most obvious on this list. The more time you spend with your dog, the more they will bond with you. The more experiences you share, the closer you will become.

If you spend all your time with your dog, you’re likely going to be their favorite.

8.) Whoever Trains them

Training can be quite challenging for some dogs but it’s extremely engaging. Studies show that training has one of the largest impacts on your relationship with your dog.

If you are constantly training them you are also solidifying your rank as the alpha of the pack.

Which means whoever trains your dog likely has the closest bond with them and could be their favorite. 

9.) Playfulness

In a dog’s world, if you’re a person who is always playful with them, taking them out for games of fetch or tug of war, they’ll love you for it.

In fact playing games like fetch, tug of war, and other forms of fun is one of the best ways to bond and stimulate your dog.

A dog who sees you as someone who is constantly playing with them is a dog who enjoys your company. 

10.) Grooming

This is definitely a controversial way for dogs to select their favorite person.

So let’s just start off by saying, if your dog HATES being groomed, having baths etc. Activities they don’t like aren’t ones that contribute to who they choose as their #1.

However, grooming can also mean, picking off those “eye boogers”, cleaning their paws, picking off dirt etc. This is a sign of nurturing and can be seen by your dog as you’re caring for them.

In addition, if they like being pampered, brushed, and washed then the more you do this the more they are going to love you.

11.) Breed Tendencies

How some breeds choose their favorite person can be different from others. Dog breeds with certain temperaments based on their ancestry tend to have clear favorites. 

Some examples of breeds that typically have clear favorites are:

Akita
Chihuahua
Dachshund
Shetland Sheepdog
Shiba Inu
German Shepherds
Collie
Shetland Sheepdog
French Bulldog
Saint Bernard
Shiba Inu
Chow Chow
Australian Cattle Dog
Blue heeler
Cairn Terriers
Greyhounds
Basenjis

Note: There are always exceptions as every dog has their own unique experiences and personality.

Can Dogs Change Their Favorite Person?

Normally people who search to find this answer think their dog loves someone more than them.

Or it’s the classic “I do everything for them but our dog still likes _____ more”. So the question is, can dogs change their favorite person?

In short, yes! Dogs can change their favorite person, nothing is set in stone. When a dog gets olders or has an environment/routine change it can affect aspects of their relationship with people. 

Here’s one example. If you have a baby on the way, this can completely change up your dog’s routine and their relationship with you.

When the baby begins walking they might have a new friendship and care developing for the baby. Or perhaps they see all the attention you give the baby instead of them which pushes them to start favoring someone else.

How To Tell Who Is Your Dog’s Favorite Person?

Most people can tell just by being around their dog who is their favorite person. They will typically sit with them, lick them, run to them first, etc.

However, dogs can love more than one person and can even have multiple favorite people! So how can you really tell if your dog loves you and if you are one of their favorites?

Now, there’s no way to know with 100% certainty, at least until we can get them talking, but here a several signs to look for:

  • They get excited when they hear your name
  • They bring you items or share their toys with you
  • They sit by you or guard you while you’re eating
  • They try to keep you close and don’t let you get far away
  • They rub their face on you
  • They might get agitated when you lie down (or play dead)
  • They gaze deeply into your eyes
  • Some can show affection through facial expression
  • They can somehow tell when you need comfort 
  • They cuddle up close to you

Note: They do not need to have all of these tendencies to love you and remember all dogs are different and can showcase love in other ways.

Further Readings: Can a dog love two owners?

13 Tips To Become Your Dog’s Favorite Person

So you’ve determined you might not be your dog’s favorite person OR you just want to solidify your position and make sure you keep the title.

Regardless, here are some easy to follow tips to make sure you become or stay your dog’s favorite person:

1.) Spend Lots Of Time With Them

More time means more bonding. More 1 on 1 time means more focused attention on you and your dog’s relationship without anyone else around to take away from it!

2.) Play Your Dogs Favorite Games With Them

Anytime you get the chance to play with your dog, do it! That means anytime they come up to you with a toy in their mouth get ready to play.

3.) Train And Teach Them New Skills

Training your dog with even basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “down” is enough to deepen the bond with your pup. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, two – three times per day.

4.) Take Your Dog On More Adventures / Walks

Did you know that dogs feel ‘high’ while exercising? Researchers refer to it as “runner’s high”. Taking them for frequent adventures and walks will make them happy and love you for taking them.

5.) Be The Person To Give Them Rewards And Treats

This makes perfect sense since humans love our food too. Being the person that gives them rewards and delicious treats will always make them like you even more.

6.) If Your Dog Enjoys Grooming & Bathing – Do It More

Not all dogs are like this, but, if your dog is like mine and loves grooming and bathing, do it more often! Not only will you have a deeper bond but they smell great too.

7.) Avoid Making Your Dog Do Things They Don’t Like

Unfortunately, there are times when you have to discipline your pup for bad behavior. What’s important is avoiding making them do things you know they don’t like, at least when you have the option.

8.) Create Positive Associations

Look for new things your dog loves to do and get involved! Anytime they do something fun and exciting if you’re there with them they will associate that happy feeling with you.

9.) Take Your Dog To Socialize

Dogs are extremely social animals. So it’s no wonder that they love being around other dogs. Whenever you have the chance to take your dog to socialize, do it!

10.) Feed Them Delicious Food

Surprise your dog now and then with a special meal. I’m not talking about treats or their normal dog food, something special. This will go a long way for you and your dog’s relationship.

However, you don’t want to overdo this or you’ll end up with a dog constantly begging for food.

11.) More Cuddling, Butt Scratches, And Belly Rubs

Everyone knows dogs love a good butt scratch and belly rub! The more often you do these things the more they’ll appreciate and love you.

12.) Match Their Energy Level

When your dog is excited and happy, be excited and happy too! We know from studies dogs pick their favorite person based on similarities to themselves. Matching their energy will make them feel like you understand and get them deepening your connection with them.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Top 3 Ways Dogs Know You Hurt Them By Accident + Tips

29 Ways To Tell If Your Dog Respects You (#14 Is Odd)

Can a Dog Love You Too Much? (5 Signs They Do!)

Citations:

https://www.rover.com/ca/blog/dogs-choose-favourite-person/

https://www.cuteness.com/blog/content/how-do-dogs-choose-their-favorite-person

https://www.insider.com/dogs-humans-friendship-explained-2018-8#dogs-make-eye-contact-to-bond-just-like-humans-8

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/30/491935800/their-masters-voices-dogs-understand-tone-and-meaning-of-words

https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aaf3777

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20151111-why-do-dogs-look-like-their-owners

https://www.insider.com/vets-reveal-how-can-i-tell-if-my-dog-likes-me-signs#dogs-can-use-cuddling-to-bond-with-their-owners-on-a-chemical-level-11

https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article/215/8/1331/11332/Wired-to-run-exercise-induced-endocannabinoid