Why Do Dogs Love Us?


 Sure, you've said or heard phrases like "My dog only cares about me," "I'm my dog's favorite," or "My dog loves my partner more than I do," but do dogs love one person more than another? Do they feel favoritism towards a family member?

The debate about the emotional and cognitive abilities of dogs has been open for many years, and although some consider that dogs cannot feel or make friends, today we know that they are very complex emotional animals, and have a great ability to create different types of relationship with different individuals, regardless of their kind.

In this dog57 article, we analyze the reasons why a dog has a favorite person, why they become more attached to some humans than others, and, in short, why they may love one person more than another. If you have dogs at home or are planning to adopt a furry companion, this is for you!

Do dogs have a favorite person?

Dogs are very social animals and, as such, prefer to live in groups, either in the company of other dogs or with a human family. Like us, dogs can establish a different relationship with each individual, with those with whom they live or with whom they have close and frequent contact, which can be interpreted from an anthropocentric point of view as choosing one or more people to be their “favorite ,” or establishing a stronger bond or bond with them. From the person, they have with the rest of the people around them.

A few years ago it was thought that a dog would simply love someone who would feed them or take them for a walk more often, but today we know that dogs are very complex animals cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Therefore, there are a lot more factors involved in this feeling of preference.

When we say that someone is their dog's "favorite", we usually do so based on a series of behaviors that the dog exhibits, among which are the following:

I obey your orders quickly.

Follow him inside the house or on the street if he walks free.

I constantly look for physical contact with him.

He receives him with affection, especially after a period of separation.

Sleep and rest next to him.

However, as we will see below, these behaviors can occur in a very similar way in both healthy relationships and those in which the dog is overly dependent and/or pathologically dependent on or even afraid of a guardian. Therefore, in this last case, it would not be correct to consider the said person as his "favorite"

Why do dogs become more attached to humans?

The concept of attachment refers to a strong emotional bond between two people, regardless of their gender. In this sense, we usually think that the fact that our dog feels attached to us is always a positive and desirable thing, however, it is important to know that there are different types of attachment and that not all of them are beneficial in a relationship , as some have negative consequences for the individual. To understand why dogs love one person more than another or feel more connected, we will analyze each type:

Safe attachment: The so-called secure attachment is the one that the dog establishes with his guardian or guardians when they teach him respect, sympathy, and cohesion, provide him with safety, cover his needs as a species adequately and enhance his independence. In a relationship of this type, the animal knows that it can fully trust its fellow human beings, willingly cooperates with them, and actively seeks their support when it needs it, which is fundamental to ensuring its safety.

If you are wondering how to know if you are your dog's favorite person, here is the answer. Without a doubt, this is the kind of attachment to be aspired to when a furry friend integrates into the family and a dog would undoubtedly prefer to spend more time with someone who fulfills these requirements.

Insecure Attachment: Dogs who live with people who ignore or misinterpret their communication cues, systematically punish them, prevent them from developing behaviors typical of their species or behaving unpredictably, usually creating an insecure attachment to them. In this case, the relationship between the animal and its parent or guardians is very unstable, and although there is an emotional bond that can become very strong, this is mainly based on fear and/or anxiety, which in many cases leads to a pathological dependency.

Of course, within a cohabitation group, a dog can develop an attachment of a different kind and/or intensity with each human. To find out what kind of attachment your dog has with you, it is important to analyze and correctly interpret his behaviour, since it is not enough for him to obey you, follow you or look for your pet so that he can affirm that he loves you more than anyone else. If he responds anxiously or nervously to your requests, shows signs of being calm or threatening whenever you interact with him, if you have vague or contradictory behaviors (such as wanting to get close and away from you at the same time) or are unable to stay calm when you are physically separated, the dog is likely to feel insecure in the relationship. In this case, it does not mean that you are your dog's favorite, but rather that he feels satisfactory dependence for the mentioned reasons.

If you suspect that your furry friend may have developed an inappropriate attachment to you or a loved one, or you simply want to improve your relationship with them to become their true favorite, you can always contact a dog behaviorist or professional teacher to help you understand them and work on your bond.

This article will also help you with Dog training tips

What can I do to be my dog's favorite?

To ensure a genuine and healthy emotional relationship and friendship with your dog, it is important that there is a clear channel of communication between the two and that you, as a guardian, educate yourself about your furry dog's needs. Here are some things you can do to achieve this:

Allow Him to Mix - As social animals, dogs need to connect with the outside world, meet more dogs and people, and be able to investigate freely and safely their surroundings. During his delicate stage of socialization (from around three weeks to three months of age), you must ensure that your fur is gradually and positively associated with all kinds of creatures and organisms, to prevent him from developing fears or behavioral problems. . Remember that overprotection can generate an insufficient dependency relationship for the dog towards its guardian.

Educate Him Positively: Many guardians abuse punishment to educate their dogs because they consider the dog to be “submissive and obedient.” However, systematic punishment generates fear in the dog, and this becomes the only trigger by which the dog responds to the requests of its guardian. This type of relationship can lead to serious physical and psychological problems for the animal, which can be avoided with more consistent and respectful education. If you want to know more about the consequences of punishment, we recommend this other article: "Consequences of Punishing a Dog".

Spend quality time with them: Dogs love spending time with their parents and even more so if this time is dedicated to activities that they both enjoy, such as walking in the country, swimming in the pool, playing frisbee, training new skills, or having a cuddle and relaxing session on the sofa. Find out what your furry likes the most and make time for him every day.

Respect their Communication Learning how dogs communicate and knowing how to correctly interpret their signals to respond most properly is one of the most important aspects when it comes to establishing a healthy relationship with them. A dog who feels understood and respected by his guardian will develop a closer relationship with him, as this gives him confidence and security.

Let it be a dog: This point is key. If you have a furry dog at home, you should know that dogs bark, drool, run, bite things, dig, roll in the dirt, get into puddles, sniff everything they pick up and have many other behaviors that can be annoying to us, But it is important and necessary for them. As long as your furry's behavior isn't harmful to him or others and isn't pathological, let him be a dog!

Despite all this, you should also keep in mind that each dog has its personality based on both genes and life experiences, which will make some dogs more independent and less likely to show affection, while others will be more “sticky” and emotional, which does not necessarily mean that the first love us less than the other, as it happens with people.

Now that you know why dogs love one person more than another, or why they breed more attachment and dependence, don't stop learning and discover in this video how to make your dog happier:

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