You might be familiar with the phrase “teacher’s pet”, which learners in school sometimes jokingly (hopefully) use when pointing out perceived favouritism between an overly diligent learner and a particular teacher. Needless to say, more often than not, there is a bit of peer-jealousy involved with these statements. Similar to humans, dogs also choose one special person to follow around, one whom they would prefer to cuddle and play fetch with 24/7 if they had full say in the matter. It’s not that they don’t like or can’t grow fond of other humans, it’s just that they tend to form an exceptionally special bond with one person in particular. Aww, if you’re lucky enough to be Milo’s main squeeze, you have full bragging rights because you must have done something right, right?
But on which basis do dogs take their pick in this ‘paw-pularity’ contest?
In short, it’s all about socialisation, attention, and personality says Rover.com. Of course, not all dogs are wired the same, but in general, most pooches base their decision on the following:
Socialisation comes first…
Most dogs form the strongest bond with the person who cares for them during their key socialisation period, which begins from the moment they are born. Puppies absorb lots of new information and their early social experiences stick with them for life. That’s why positive interaction with places and people are so important to young pups.
Don’t worry though, even if you’re not in a dog’s life since his/her birth or first few months after that, you can still become their special person given enough patience and perseverance. In which case, a little more bonding time and extra play dates with you would be a non-negotiable 😉.
Attention’s up next…
Attention everybody! Dogs tend to bond with the person they spend the most time with. What you put into the relationship, is what you’ll get out. If you’re the person who takes Fluffy for his daily walks around the block, keeps his food bowl full and cuddles with him at night, you are more likely to be his number one human.
Remember that dogs can also sense your vibe towards them. “Dogs have a sixth sense of sorts about human emotions and have a great ability to sense someone’s energy”, says The Daily Wag.
Finally, comes personality (a very important factor)
Some dogs and their humans are matches made in heaven. It’s probably because dogs get along well with people that match their energy level and personality. Active dogs may not get along exceptionally well with inactive older folks due to higher frustration levels for not going on enough walks or runs. The contrary applies to older or more laid-back doggos, who may struggle to keep up with super adventurous humans.
If your personality matches your dog’s, you will more likely form a closer connection with each other and hopefully become their favourite person.
According to Rover.com, the following breeds are well known for forming close bonds with one person in particular:
- Shiba Inu
- Cairn Terrier
For more information on how dog breeds match up with human personalities, check out these lists: stubbornest dog breeds, the smartest dog breeds, the laziest dog breeds, and the best dog breeds for introverts.
Consider these bonding activities if you wish to build a better relationship with your dog:
- Play fetch or ball on a daily basis.
- Go for long walks (just the two of you).
- Spend some quality time on grooming.
- Reward your pooch with healthy treats for being a good boy/girl.
- Don’t scold your dog if they beg for attention.
Good luck and enjoy the ‘fur-filling’ experience of having a best four-legged friend around. #friendsforlife