Favorites. We all have them. Consciously and subconsciously, our brains create these little file cabinets:
“That’s my favorite ice cream place…my favorite shampoo…oh, my favorite vacation spot!”
Sometimes it can be hard to admit it, but we even do this with people.
It may be that friend whose name you’re extra happy to see flash across your phone. Or that one coworker you love to work with because they just help the time fly by.
But did you know that your dog likely has a favorite person too?
It is common for dogs to have a favorite person, which they usually select based on early associations, quality time spent, and who feeds them the most. They are also more likely to miss their favorite person more. A dog’s favorite person may also change over time.
In this article, I will discuss some of the ways a dog chooses their favorite person and give you some tell-tale clues to help you figure out who your dog’s favorite person is.
I will also explore whether a dog sleeps with their favorite person and if they actually miss them more.
And, finally, I will give you some simple hacks to try if you would like to become a dog’s favorite person and uncover whether a dog can switch favorite people.
Feeling curious yet?
Let’s journey into the mysterious realm of a pup’s preferences and learn all about your dog’s favorite person!
It may seem random to you why your pup may appear to prefer one person over another. But the secret behind how your dog chooses their favorite person may not be so complicated after all.
It turns out who your dog chooses as their favorite person comes mainly down to two simple things: your dog’s early associations and the quality, not just quantity of the time someone spends with them.
Let me explain:
For example, if your dog was raised by only females, they may feel more comfortable around women. This is not to say that your dog’s favorite person will always be a female if they were raised primarily around them. But it definitely increases the chances that your dog’s favorite person may be a woman.
Don’t worry; it’s possible to train your dog to be more comfortable around another gender or type of person. However, the people your dog knew as a puppy helps to shape who their favorite person ends up being.
One person may technically spend the most time with your pup, but someone else may spend the best time.
To think of this in human terms, you may have seen your dull, boring math teacher the _most _on a daily basis. But you may feel a _closer _connection to that nice substitute teacher who cracked jokes as they taught you. Or the music teacher you only saw weekly but who spent more time with you one-on-one.
In the same way, your pup likely values someone who gets up close, playing, wrestling, and really engaging with them. They may connect more with someone who plays with them over the person who merely takes them for a brisk walk each day.
Don’t get me wrong, walking is great!
But the more creativity, love, and personalization you can put into your time with your dog will certainly pay off.
At this point you may be feeling confident: “I know FOR SURE I’m my dog’s favorite person!”
…or maybe you’re feeling a little worried that you’re not your pup’s number one.
Well, let me help you clear up any confusion!
Here are some signs that someone might be a dog’s favorite person:
If you are your dog’s favorite person, you are the leader of their pack. Dogs in the wild cuddle together in their pack for safety and to generate body heat. So, of course, they want to sleep with you!
But this isn’t a sure-fire way to tell that you are your dog’s favorite person. Who a dog picks to sleep with can depend on many things, including that you may literally just have the same sleep schedule that your pup does!
Some dogs don’t react or barely react when a particular person leaves the house. So as long as your pup isn’t left alone, they may feel content to hang out with whoever is still home.
An interesting test to see who your dog’s favorite person may be:
…try leaving your house and see how they react!
You may want to try this experiment a few different times with different people to gauge your pup’s reactions. This could be a helpful way to clue into who your pup may miss the most when they go away. Whoever your dog misses the most may very well be your dog’s favorite person!
So maybe you’re still unclear if you’re your dog’s favorite person.
Or maybe you’ve realized you’re not and you want to fix this, stat!
While I can’t guarantee you or anyone can become your dog’s favorite person, there are certainly some things you can do to increase your odds!
If you’d like to become your dog or any other dog’s favorite person, try implementing the following tips:
And when all else fails….try to make sure you’re the primary one who feeds them! If your dog associates you with their most basic and primal need to eat, this can go a long way in helping you to secure your spot as their favorite.
A dog can definitely change their favorite person; If a dog isn’t getting their needs met by their current favorite person, they may begin to look elsewhere.
If someone else begins to consistently fill in the space where another has been slacking, a dog can essentially switch teams!
This is not done maliciously on your dog’s part. They are just trying to get their needs for safety, comfort, and companionship met by whoever seems to be the ideal person for the job.
Shifts in a family dynamic or major life events may propel a dog into adopting a new favorite person. Moving locations or a change of life responsibilities and schedule may force a pup to get their needs met elsewhere.
Common examples of this include when a favorite person becomes a spouse or a parent. Upsets to the dynamic can also happen if a family adds more children or animals to the home.
A dog may adopt a new favorite person if they feel concerned or have protective instincts towards a particular family member in times of illness or danger.
How cool is that?!
If you’re reading this and are having the heart-sinking realization that you may not be your dog’s favorite person, that is okay. Sometimes the reasons a dog selects a favorite person can be as out of your control as you reminding them of someone they grew up with!
There are also certain seasons of life where you may be transitioning, overwhelmed or sinking in grief. At these times you may hardly be able to give your pup the bare minimum. There’s no guilt or shame in being human even if that means for a moment, you’re not the favorite. Please know your dog still loves you regardless.
If you would like to bump your relationship with your pup up to the next level, I’m confident that your genuine love for your dog combined with these tools and tricks will have you on your way to being your pup’s numero uno in no time!