How Your Dog Picks a Favorite Human
We brought home a puppy after much research and thought. She was the sweetest little thing. I’ll admit that neighbors thought we were crazy. We already had five young children who kept us quite busy, why on earth would we introduce a dog to the circus? I believed that kids should grow up with a dog, but more than that, we had a child with a speech disorder and some sensory issues. We choose our puppy thinking she would immediately bond with this child.
There’s a funny thing about dogs, though, isn’t there? They know what we don’t. They can sense the things that we cannot.
While Indie (our vizsla) immediately loved all of us, it wasn’t the child we thought that became her favorite. Instead, she sought out our true middle child. They became inseparable. It’s been two years, and they sleep together every night. Our middle son feeds Indie, plays with her, reads to her, and loves her fiercely. We didn’t even know that he needed her, but he did. When we took the time to think about it, it made so much sense. His 2 older siblings were very close, with his older brother also dictating our schedule due to speech therapies. His younger 2 siblings were both still quite young. He needed that friendship that indie provided. Now, when we see them together, we can’t help but tear up over that connection.
So how do our dogs choose their person?
Birth to Six Months: Dog experts say that this time frame has the largest impact on the type of people a dog will bond with. If a puppy is around children, children will always be favorites. If a dog is around someone elderly, not children, it will always be drawn toward the elderly.
Attention: The more time a person spends with a dog, the more likely that person will become the dog’s preferred human.
Positive Associations: While treats tend to make a dog happy, there may be something more that really pulls on her heartstrings. A dog can sense emotions, and she knows genuine positivity. It can be unguarded hugs and belly rubs or bedtime snuggles and extra playtime. The things that make a dog truly happy are the things that will have her coming back for more.
But even knowing the research behind the dog and human relationship, there can be so much unknown. I truly believe that a dog has a way of finding her person. We can try all we want to sway her with our time and attention, but there is something deeper that exists when the right match is made.
Who is your dog’s favorite person?