To be loved by your dog feels great.
But to be their only favorite person?
Well, it’s probably the best feeling in the world.
However, this isn’t always the case.
Which makes you and other dog parents wonder,
“Why is my dog bonding more with someone else?
And how can I win them over?”
Read on to find out:
- 13 proven tricks to be your dog’s favorite person.
- Whether they pick their favorite in the family or not.
- Signs to watch out for if they’re already bonding with you.
- And a whole lot more…
Table of contents
- How to make your dog love you the most in the family?
- 13 tricks to become your dog’s favorite person
- #1: Always give them one-on-one playtime
- #2: Make exercises more fun and special
- #3: Have some training sessions with them
- #4: Let them do the things they love
- #5: Take on new adventures with them
- #6: Find their ‘sweet spots’
- #7: Answer their love signals
- #8: Give them a loving gaze too
- #9: Speak to them in ‘baby-talk’
- #10: Match their energy level
- #11: Learn their body language
- #12: Avoid doing the things they hate
- #13: Strive for consistency
How to make your dog love you the most in the family?
You can make your dog love you the most in the family by spending quality time with them. Clear all distractions and be present with your dog. May it be while playing, walking, or training. Also, try out new things and learn their likes and dislikes. Show them enough affection and be consistent.
13 tricks to become your dog’s favorite person
#1: Always give them one-on-one playtime
A study shows that parents create stronger bonds with their kids by playing with them.
Now, dogs might not be humans like us…
But, they’re also our (fur) babies. And they surely know the difference between quantity and quality time.
“What do you mean?”
For example, you’re the one who’s feeding your dog.
You’re also taking them out for potty walks. And you sleep beside each other every night.
Someone in the family is always playing with them. And he or she is also giving your Fido the attention they need.
So if you weigh these things. You might be spending more time with your dog every day…
But, it may not be as enjoyable as an hour of playtime with another person. As well as a cuddle session.
And this could be the reason why your dog is bonding with someone else.
But, it isn’t the end of the world yet
You can still make it up for your pooch. And convince them to be their favorite person.
Start by giving them one-on-one playtime every day.
No matter how busy you are, try to squeeze in some 30 minutes of quality time with your pooch.
And when I say ‘quality time,’ this means that your focus is only on them.
Avoid looking at your phone or the TV. Be present with your Fido at the moment. And play their favorite games. Like fetch, tug, or hide and seek.
#2: Make exercises more fun and special
Another great way to spend some quality time with your dog is by being active with them.
Canines love taking strolls. So walk your pooch every day.
And this is because:
- It reduces stress.
- It prevents boredom.
- It exercises their muscles.
- They could explore their surroundings.
- They can spend more time with their humans
However, drop the usual short potty walks.
Instead, let your dog enjoy the stroll more.
Let them explore the surroundings for a bit. And sniff to their heart’s content.
Also, try to be present with them. (They know if they’re getting your full attention or not.)
So hide your phone, watch them closely, and interact with them as you walk.
You can try running or jogging as well. Especially if your dog’s on the athletic side.
How much exercise do dogs need daily?
This will depend on their size, age, and breed.
According to PDSA, it’s:
- 30 minutes: For toy breeds (e.g., Chihuahuas, Maltese dogs).
- 1 hour: For small to giant dogs (e.g., Pugs, Whippets, Saint Bernards).
- 2 hours: For working dogs (e.g., Retrievers, Border Collies, Siberian Huskies).
For small puppies, multiply their age in months to 5 minutes. For example, a 3-month old pup needs at least 15 minutes of exercise a day.
But for senior Fidos, watch them closely and stick to short (say, 5 to 10 minutes) but frequent walks with lots of breaks in between.
This is because their condition may not be the same as before.
Interesting fact: Did you know that dogs feel ‘high’ while exercising? Researchers refer to it as ‘runner’s high.’ This is because it’s a rewarding feeling that people who often run experience.
“What may have caused it?”
It was found that endocannabinoids a.k.a. eCB’s are the ones responsible for it. Which is similar to the substances that make people ‘high’ while taking marijuana.
#3: Have some training sessions with them
One more trick to having a deeper bond with your dog is by training them.
You can start with the basic commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay.”
But if they already mastered those, teach them more advanced ones. Like “wait,” “come,” and “leave it.”
Do this in short sessions only. Say, 5 minutes – twice or thrice a day.
To know more about dog training, check out this video:
How does training help with your bond?
By doing this, you’ll improve your synergy. As well as your communication with each other.
Your pooch will know how to communicate with you better. And you’ll also understand them more.
Plus, you’ll also make fun memories together.
This will only be effective if training is always a positive experience.
So, avoid punishments and use positive reinforcement instead.
“What do you mean by that?”
Only reward your dog when they obey you. And ignore them if they’re not doing great.
Once they did the command, give them praises or nice scratches. As well as small pieces of treats (make sure they’re healthy!).
This is to make your Fido motivated to learn. And this will also help them associate that it’s fun training with you.
You might also like: 13 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Hit Your Dog (Check #7) & Will My Dog Forgive Me For Hitting Him? 13 Vital Tips
#4: Let them do the things they love
Aside from playing and walking…
What are your dog’s other favorite activities?
Better find those out and do them more often. And your pooch will thank you for it!
This may depend on their breed.
For example, Retrievers enjoy swimming. This is because they were bred to get birds in the water during hunts.
While Dachshunds and Terriers love burrowing. And this is also due to their instincts as they were used to chasing critters in tunnels.
But for most working dogs, giving them a job might earn you extra points in their hearts.
Dogs love to please their humans. And they also get a sense of achievement after they finish a task.
“So, what should I ask them to do?”
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Even simple tasks like fetching your slippers or closing the door will do.
#5: Take on new adventures with them
“Woof! Did anyone say adventure??”
Although it may not look like it, your pooch will also appreciate trying out new things with you.
Be it hiking, doing agility courses, or going to dog parks.
“How does this help?”
Doing new things together can strengthen your bond.
The two of you are creating new memories. And you’re also
Plus, canines are full of energy and curiosity. And also, they need socialization.
So they’re surely up to experiencing things they haven’t done before. As well as meeting other Fidos.
#6: Find their ‘sweet spots’
You’re already conveying love to your pooch by giving them attention every day. And also by attending to their basic needs.
But the most obvious way to make your dog feel super loved is by showing them affection. Say, cuddling them or giving them the best belly rubs.
However, before you go and pet your pooch right now…
Let me remind you that not all dogs are the same.
Some love cuddles while others may be uncomfortable with it. (Signs to watch out for are sudden lip-licking, freezing, and ‘whale eyes’ – showing you the whites of their eyes.)
And also, their ‘sweet spots’ will vary.
Other dogs might prefer chest rubs over belly scratches.
So if your pooch enjoys cuddling, allot some time for daily snuggle sessions. And as I said earlier, remove any distractions.
Focus on them and enjoy your moments together. (It’ll be healing for you too, I swear!)
If so, respect their space.
They’ll show their love for you in other subtle ways. So, make sure to…
Check out also: Will My Dog Forgive Me For Hitting Him? 13 Vital Tips
#7: Answer their love signals
Once your dog is bonding with you more…
They’ll display their affection to you. So you’d better be ready to reciprocate it.
“Will they be mad at me for not doing it?”
Well, experts say no.
According to Nannette Morgan, a dog trainer, our Fidos don’t hold grudges.
But, they can be disappointed or annoyed.
So, try not to let your dog down no matter how busy you are.
When they paw at you for some hugs, give them one. Or if they happily show you their tummy, scratch it for them.
The latter is a sign that your dog trusts you. As they’re exposing a vulnerable part of their body.
But, this will be a different case if they’re being submissive. Or they’re showing signs of anxiety or fear (the ones I mentioned before, along with flattened ears).
Another hint that your puppy is bonding with you is listening to you attentively. As well as copying your actions.
Say, yawning right after you or even winking.
#8: Give them a loving gaze too
Dogs stare lovingly at their humans not only to grab their attention or beg for food.
But also to show affection.
So, if you want your dog to feel loved, exchange some warm gazes with them once in a while.
Why? Here’s what science says.
Research shows that we humans feel more connected to each other by gazing. And this is due to the hormone called ‘oxytocin.’
“What is it?”
Apparently, when 2 close people stare at each other, they also release this ‘love hormone.’
And high levels of this can help strengthen bonds.
This is why we feel so comforted looking at the eyes of someone we love.
But guess what.
The study also says that staring at our furry pals increases our oxytocin levels. And it’s also the same for them.
So it’s a two-way thing. Meaning, you and your dog can be more attached to each other while doing it.
Note: Don’t look at your dog’s eyes for so long. Sustained direct eye contact could mean something bad in the doggy world. As experts say that it’s intimidating to them. So, just give them a loving gaze for a brief moment.
Don’t forget to check out: Why does my dog stand in front of me?
#9: Speak to them in ‘baby-talk’
Based on a study, how you talk with your pooch affects your relationship with them.
In the experiment, dogs listened to 2 kinds of people.
The first one spoke in a ‘baby-talk’ or high-pitched tone.
And he or she said phrases related to dogs. Like “shall we go for a walk?” and “you’re a good dog.”
While the other speaker talked to them in a normal voice. As if he or she was talking to another adult.
Then, unlike the first person, he or she said things that weren’t related to the canines. Say, “I went to the cinema last night.”
And the results?
Dogs were more interested in the person who talked in a sweet voice. Rather than the one who didn’t use dog-directed speech.
Also, they chose to spend their time with the first speaker as well.
This means that speaking to dogs in baby-talk can help you earn their trust more. And they’ll also be more comfortable with you.
So, never underestimate the power of praises said in a high-pitched tone. Such as “good boy/girl!” or “good dog!”
Note: Canines can’t understand what we say – word for word. But, they could get what we’re trying to tell using our tone. As well as facial expressions.
#10: Match their energy level
“Why does my dog like someone else more than me?”
Another possible answer to this question is related to your Fido’s personality.
“What do you mean?”
Canines may also pick a person that has a similar character to them.
For example, a mellow dog might be uncomfortable with a highly-active person.
So if they just want to chill and rest, they may hang out with a calm person instead. As well as those who are distant from them and don’t pay much attention.
But wait, I’m not saying that you have to change your whole personality for your pooch.
Just observe them and try to match their energy level.
If they’re active dogs, play with them more. But if not, stay by their side and chill.
Interesting fact: Do dogs pick a favorite person? Yup, they do. Although this will also differ in every pooch. Reader’s Digest says that some breeds share their love with many people. Like Retrievers, Beagles, and Poodles. (Well, the more, the merrier!)
While certain doggos tend to be attached to only 1 person. Such as:
- Shiba Inus.
- Cairn Terriers.
But did you know that some people are natural dog magnets?
Experts even say that this trait could be in the blood.
If you want to know more, read this article: 9 Scientific Reasons Why Dogs Like You So Much
#11: Learn their body language
Isn’t it great to have someone who can understand your feelings?
Even if you’re not saying anything. They know exactly what you really feel inside.
Well, your Fido may also appreciate this. And it could help you earn additional points.
But first, here’s what you have to do.
Pay close attention to your dog and try to understand their body language.
Learn the signals they do when they’re tired, stressed, or nervous.
Based on VCA, you’ll know if your dog’s bothered if they show some of these signs (excessively):
- Licking their behind.
- Sniffing the air or ground.
- Panting without any reason.
- Having dilated pupils and pinned back ears.
Now, how can this help with your bond?
Your pooch may give you extra points when you notice that something’s making them uncomfy. And you made an effort to remove the stressor away. Like a superhero who saves the day.
For example, you saw that your Fido isn’t comfortable with a stranger. So, you didn’t permit him or her to touch your dog. And you said goodbye politely.
Your pooch may not show it immediately. But I’m sure they’ll be grateful for it.
Well, isn’t this our responsibility to our fur babies? To make them feel safe and comfy as much as possible? 🙂
You might also be interested in: Why are dogs attracted to me?
#12: Avoid doing the things they hate
Apart from knowing what your dog likes…
It’s also important to find out the things they hate.
This will also vary but most dogs don’t like mixed signals.
Say, you allowed your Fido to be on the couch before. But out of nowhere, you scolded them for climbing on it.
As a result, they’ll be confused and frustrated.
Irregular routines are also a no-no.
So, always try to feed and walk them around the same time daily. This is to make their days predictable. Which will prevent anxiety.
Also, never interrupt their sleep.
You may have heard of the saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie.”
And it’s true. As they’ll be aggressive and snap when disturbed. So, don’t attempt to pet your dog while they’re resting.
Reading recommendation: Why Does My Dog Hate Me? 9 Surprising Reasons + 7 Tips
#13: Strive for consistency
Last but not least. Do the tips above and be consistent.
Remember, earning a dog’s trust will take time and a lot of effort. And you’ll not convince them to be their favorite person overnight.
So if you want to let your dog know that you truly care for them, keep your enthusiasm at the end. And your efforts will never go unnoticed. 🙂