You were very happy when your pooch finally bonded with you.
They go wherever you go.
And are genuinely happy when you’re around.
However, suddenly, they bonded to someone else.
It could be another family member, a sitter, or a frequently visiting friend.
To make matters worse, the person they bonded to will be leaving indefinitely.
You’re wondering if this can be fixed…
So your pooch won’t become an anxious mess when the person they bonded to leaves.
Continue reading to find out:
- How to make you the primary person your dog bonds to.
- 9 ways to fix the problem of your dog bonding to the wrong person.
- What are the implications if they get attached to temporary people in their lives.
- And this is just the beginning…
Table of contents
- Why is my dog attracted to someone else?
- Dog bonded to the wrong person – 9 ways to fix it
- #1: Do more activities with your dog
- #2: You can take them on trail runs
- #3: You can bring them to swimming sessions
- #4: Introduce your pooch to new commands
- #5: Be calmer around them
- #6: Look them in the eyes when interacting with them
- #7: Groom your dog
- #8: Give them treats once in a while
- #9: Make their surroundings conducive for rest
- Bonus: Let them bond with the person and you, too
- Can a dog be bonded to more than one person?
Why is my dog attracted to someone else?
Your dog is attracted to someone else because they’re always with that person. Their needs might also be met by the individual they are attached to. Activities like exercises and obedience training can improve a bond with a dog, too.
Dog bonded to the wrong person – 9 ways to fix it
#1: Do more activities with your dog
Being always there will make most canines bond with a person. It’s the little things that matter. When your pooch wakes up, who’s there to greet them? If they need attention, who pets them?
These things might not sound irrelevant to some. Other fur parents sometimes consider these as non-priorities. As long as they feed their pooch, it’s all good.
This kind of parenting can work on some dogs. Although it can also be okay for some breeds.
However, generally speaking, dogs bond with those who are present. And by this logic, it’s best if you do more activities with your pooch.
This can be helpful especially if you have a working dog. These types of canines are bred to do tasks.
They love physically straining activities. And they also like to be of service to their hoomans.
There are also dogs with high energy levels. And they can get frustrated if they get bored. They sometimes scream to get attention.
Others would get destructive. Ever seen your pooch chomp on your shoes? That can be one sign they’re bored.
“What can I do, then?”
Some of us lead busy lives. That’s totally understandable. There will be hectic days. Or a work shift full of emergencies.
Sometimes, life gets in the way, but always give time to your pooch. If you really can’t leave home, then you can do indoor activities.
Here are some:
- Climb the stairs.
But if you have the time, it’s still best to go out. This way your dog can socialize. They can meet other canines and explore the world.
If you’re with them, they will associate happy experiences like these with you. And they’ll bond with you more.
I’ll discuss more the activities you can do outside. A breakdown of each will be on #2, #3, and #4.
#2: You can take them on trail runs
It’s fun to go out and run. The adrenaline and the “runner’s high” you get… magical. You can also breathe in the fresh air. Seeing trees and nature can also help you mentally.
And if you bring your dog on trail runs, they’ll experience these, too. This can also help their curiosity.
Out on the trail, your dog can explore with you. They’ll see insects, plants, and other animals. Your pooch can even interact with other people.
If you’re an adventurer, too… you’ll understand why some pooches love the outdoors.
You can also improve your dog’s health with runs. Their muscles are strong and must be trained. And their lungs need some activity, too.
But remember, this only applies to active dogs. You might wanna let your pooch chill if they don’t like running.
But, generally, canines can run far. Their endurance is impressive. And this is because of science.
Based on PhysioPedia, canines have nuchal ligaments.
Because of this body part, their heads are more stable. This is in comparison to cats. And this ligament is important for long-distance runners.
A canine’s ability to run far is due to their hunting past. They tire their prey out. Instead of ambushing them using stealth.
Have you ever seen videos of wolves hunting prey?
Watch this video of a pack hunting down bisons:
They don’t do short and quick runs. Unlike their big cat counterparts. Let’s take Tigers for example.
These big cats move slowly at the start. And when they’re near their prey, they quickly attack.
Canines are the opposite. They do long-haul hunts. According to a study, wolves spend ⅓ of their time hunting. They are very persistent. Despite regularly failing.
What they do is study their prey. Finding weaknesses and taking advantage of them. Then when the time is right, they tag team their prey.
That’s an apex predator for you. And your cute fur baby? They got that DNA, too.
And if you go on runs with them, you’ll bond more. It feels like you’re hunting together.
#3: You can bring them to swimming sessions
Another activity you can do with your pooch is swimming. Some canines love splashing in the water.
You can go to a pool. Or even the beach. As long as you check beforehand if they allow pets.
This is important since some private resorts don’t allow dogs. It may be a health protocol issued by the local government. Or the owner is just looking out for people with fur allergies.
But if you find one that allows dogs, take them swimming. This can improve their skills. And may even save your life someday.
Swimming can also increase your dog’s lung capacity. It’s also a good exercise for overweight canines.
“Really? How so?”
Running, in general, can be a high-impact activity.
Meaning your canine’s joints and bones might get damaged.
And this problem can become more evident for overweight pooches. This is because their body has higher mass. The heavier weight they carry, the more strain running has on their joints.
With swimming, their hearts will also be exercised. Cardiac health is important especially for senior dogs.
You can also play fetch with your pooch in the water. Try throwing sticks and see if they’ll get it back to you.
This activity can be used to improve obedience. And through training, your pooch will be more loyal. With it, comes a solid bond between the two of you.
If you don’t think your pooch can swim, let them use a doggy life jacket. Just make sure it fits your pooch.
You can buy the Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket from Amazon.
Warning: Make sure your dog is acquainted with water. Even better, they should be trained to swim. If not, swimming can bring undue stress.
And this might damage your relationship. Since your dog would associate you with their fear of water.
#4: Introduce your pooch to new commands
Obedience training is important in building relationships with dogs. It can show how much your canines trust you. And how good you are as a fur parent.
And if you are a good trainer, a bond will be built between you and your pooch. So long as you keep the training free from punishments.
“But isn’t hitting your dog a good way to make them obey?”
No. In fact, the VCA states that giving rewards is the best training technique. They also suggest withholding punishments.
Using positive reinforcement can also make your pooch repeat a behavior.
Hitting your dog on the other hand can damage your relationship. It can make them despise your presence. Some canines might even shiver at the sight of their abuser.
And even if the punishment is supposed to be for their “good,” it’s still traumatic.
Focus on making training pleasant for your dog. This way, they’ll learn quickly. And their intelligence will be utilized.
Your canine’s mind will be engaged through tricks. It’s also fun for some dogs to do these things.
Here are examples of commands you can give them:
These are vocal cues you can use on walks.
You can also make the training harder by using simple phrases:
- “Go get it.”
- “Stand up.”
- “Stop that.”
- “Play dead.”
And imagine how cool it’d look in front of your friends.
Learning tricks and commands can also make you happy. And if you are joyous, your dog will be, too.
Check out next: Will My Dog Forgive Me For Hitting Him? 13 Vital Tips
#5: Be calmer around them
As I said in #4, if you are happy, your pooch will feel the same. It’s like they can absorb your emotions.
Your dogs can do this because they are mind readers. Okay, not in the way you’re thinking. Canines do not have actual magic. They’re not Criss Angel.
Although their method of knowing your mood is kinda magical. And it’s all because of their noses.
A dog’s smelling ability is much better than a human’s. A study shows that dogs can smell our hormone levels.
And when they sniff our moods, dogs are able to match them. In the research, dogs stood more if their parents pet them while stressed.
“How did they determine stress?”
Well, they tracked the cortisol levels both in dogs and humans. Our brain releases this hormone when we are stressed. It triggers our fight or flight response.
Here are a few ways your cortisol level might rise:
- Having a loaded day at work.
- Getting into a light road accident.
- An altercation with a friend or coworker.
Think of how frequently you experience these. Or any other stressful situation. Does it regularly happen to you?
If yes, then your pooch is also stressed regularly. And it can’t be helped. It’s just science.
“What can I do, then?”
Well, uprooting yourself from a stressful situation might be hard. However, you can mitigate your stress.
Try walking around in your neighborhood. Fresh air and seeing other people can drop your stress levels.
You can also call loved ones. Exercising can improve your stress levels, too.
Just choose which one works for you. We all deal with stress differently.
And when you master how to control your stress, your bond with your pooch will improve. They’ll be more relaxed and happy around you.
#6: Look them in the eyes when interacting with them
How do you interact with your pooch? Do you do it while being distracted? I totally understand if you do. Some fur parents do have hectic schedules.
Chores might be piling up. Or you’re resting from a long day. You could also be watching your favorite show on Netflix. And then suddenly your pooch is getting your attention.
We got no problems in giving our pooches attention. However, we do need some time for ourselves, too. And when these coincide, we sometimes do them together.
This can lead to fur parents not giving quality time with their pooches. And to make things worse, someone gives your dog their full attention.
They can be your loved ones or your housemates. Friends can also be the person that gives your pooch attention.
If this happens, your dog will bond with them more.
That’s why it’s important to give your all when you interact with your dog. And one of the ways you can do this is by making eye contact.
Dogs will look into your eyes if they’re anticipating something from you. This usually happens if you use positive reinforcement to train them.
And according to the AKC, staring can be a sign of love in dogs. They will sometimes stare at their fur parents to show endearment.
Dr. Gibeault even says that staring can release oxytocin. Especially if you do it mutually.
This hormone is released when you’re bonding with your dog.
Now, you can use this so you can bond with your pooch better. And fix the problem of them attaching to the wrong person.
You may also wonder: My Dog Stares At Me (9 Burning Questions Answered + Tips)
#7: Groom your dog
Grooming is a common behavior among dogs. It’s one way for mothers to show care for their pups. What they do is lick them. Partly, this is also an act to keep their babies clean.
When a mother dog gives birth, it’s also an instinct to lick their pups. This can encourage breathing. It also keeps their babies clean since giving birth can be messy.
If a puppy is cold their mothers sometimes lick them, too. Rubbing their skin can keep pups warm and cozy.
Just goes to show how loving dogs are. And this is something you can use to bond with them.
No, I don’t mean lick your pooch. But what you can do is remove excess fur. Through this, their coat will stay clean and healthy.
You can try brushing their heads. But make sure you stay away from their ears. Especially in dog breeds that have pointy ones.
Frequent touching of a dog’s ears can disrupt its growth. And may result in having flaps in their heads.
Well, this is okay if the canine’s breed naturally has droopy ears.
But in breeds such as Corgis, pointy ears are a standard.
Going back, you can also rub your dog’s backs. Or their tummies if they like it.
This act might be simple yet it’s highly effective. Research says that petting and grooming your dog can relieve their stress.
So if you want to “take your dog back” from the wrong person, pet them once in a while. It might not be an immediate solution but will definitely help.
#8: Give them treats once in a while
Another way to your dog’s heart is through treats. On the outside, it seems like a simple thing. However, some dogs do love receiving food.
It may not even be time for your fur baby’s meals. But having good things can increase your bond with them.
Ever had a friend give your random gifts? Or maybe your partner surprised you with a lovely date night?
It makes you feel special, right? I for one love receiving random acts of affection. And this can be the same for your dog, too.
Treats are also a good prize for when you train them. Especially their favorite ones.
If you don’t know your pooch’s fave treats, don’t worry. A safe bet will always be high-value food items.
These treats are ones that are usually smelly yet tasty. Hey, don’t judge your dog’s food preferences. It might have a strong odor for you, but to them, it smells good.
For some canines, the stronger the smell the better for them.
“Got it. I’ll pick some up. What are examples of high-value treats?”
Here are a few ones you can buy off Amazon:
You can also make these treats more useful. How? By giving it to them when they do something nice.
Or, you know, follow your command to stop doing something. As I said, high-value treats are good training tools.
But, outside the context of training, you can still give them to your pooch. This way, it just feels like you’re being nice to them. And not a reward for behavior.
Warning: Make sure you’re not overfeeding your pooch. This can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
#9: Make their surroundings conducive for rest
This tip can be more useful if your dog bonded to your neighbor. Especially if they didn’t do it on purpose. You might ask how this can happen. Well, their place might be better for sleeping.
Rest is important for any living being. It’s a way our bodies recover. And it promotes a healthier mental state. I mean, some people get cranky if they lack sleep, right?
Science even backs up the importance of sleep for dogs. Research shows that sleep has a positive effect on canines’ learning performance.
A well-rested dog will also be more physically active. Since they’re properly “charged up” during the night, it manifests in their activities.
Some sleep-deprived dogs might look like they have low energy. And they won’t respond to invites to play as much.
And if they don’t want to do activities with you, how can you bond with them?
“Yes, it’s gonna be hard. So how do I make my home better for rest?”
You can try to check on your dog during their sleeping time. See if there’s anything that bothers them. It can be either of these things:
- Poor ventilation.
- Flickering lights.
- The room feels too hot.
- People walking around.
If you do find any of these, do your best to stop it. If you live somewhere busy, you can try making your pooch sleep with you. Your room might be quieter and more comfortable.
Comfort can also be an issue for your fur baby. You can opt to buy them a dog bed to help them sleep. Blankets can also induce a cozier rest.
You can purchase the Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut from Amazon.
Not sure what size to get? Let me teach you a simple trick.
Measure your dog’s length from the base of their tail to their nose. From there, add 6 in. to 12 in. (15 cm. to 30 cm.)
And the resulting length should be the space for your dog’s bed. This is enough for them to move around comfortably. You know how canines are… they usually circle first before sleeping.
You might also be interested in: Tip: 13 Things You Can Give Your Dog To Sleep All Night
Bonus: Let them bond with the person and you, too
The previous tips are for when your pooch bonds with people not close to you. However, it can be a non-issue if they are attached to your loved ones. Or other family members in your home.
It can make some fur parents sad when their dog bonds with others first. I totally understand.
If it were me, I’d feel like my pooch rejected me. But we can get rid of this thinking. If you see your pooch happy with the person they bonded to, it might not be entirely bad, right?
All you have to do is start a relationship with your pooch, too.
Can a dog be bonded to more than one person?
Dogs can bond to more than one person. Especially if these people treat them right.
If you and someone else equally provide the needs of your canine, then they’ll bond to you both. After all, dogs are pack animals and build relationships with the members of their group.
Although, canines can prefer one person over the other. And this might change over time.