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Do Dogs Have a Favorite Person? 7 Ways Dogs Choose Their Human

Do Dogs Have a Favorite Person

As pet owners, we often wonder if our dogs have a favorite person. Whether it’s just the two of you or a family of five, there’s always that one person your dog gravitates towards. But why is that a dog may bond with a single person more than others?

Does it mean your dog doesn’t like the other family members if they bond with one person? Dogs have their ways of showing us that they love us. In return, we should always take care to put their health first with quality vitamins, probiotics, and mobility supplements.

In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence a dog’s bond with humans, the signs of a dog’s favorite person, and whether or not it can change over time. To really get into this topic, we reviewed Gregory Brain’s How Dogs Love Us to explore the unbreakable human-canine bond.

This does not mean that your pup doesn’t love you deeply if they have bonded with someone else the most. Dogs have an incredible capacity to love many humans deeply, explaining why they are arguably the number one pet animal.

Understanding a Dog’s Bond with Humans

Before knowing why dogs bond with one person the most, you need to understand the human-dog bond. Dogs have a natural instinct to form bonds with humans, explaining why they’re so irresistible. 

In fact, studies have shown that dogs experience the same chemical reaction as humans do when they’re in love. This chemical, called oxytocin, is responsible for creating a strong emotional bond between dogs and their owners.

The bond between humans and dogs is unique and special, and it’s one that has been celebrated for generations. You can see this unbreakable bond in this dog’s reaction to being adopted:

The Role of Socialization in Forming Bonds

Socialization plays a vital role in shaping a dog’s personality and behavior toward humans. Puppies that are socialized during the key socialization period are more likely to form stronger bonds with their owners and others they meet throughout their lifetime.

Socialization involves exposing your puppy to different environments, people, and other animals to create positive associations and reduce anxiety. This process is critical in helping your dog develop the social skills needed to interact with other dogs and humans in a positive and healthy way.

When socializing your puppy, it’s important to expose them to different people of different ages, races, and genders. You should also introduce your puppy to other animals, such as cats and other dogs, to help them learn how to interact with other animals in a positive way.

Check out this cute pup meeting new people at a festival, counting as essential socialization to public places:

How Does a Dog Choose Their Favorite Human?

Several factors can influence a dog’s preference for one person over others. This is especially true with the people they spend time with during their imprinting stage as puppies.

Dogs perceive their owners as part of their pack and rely on them for love and protection. Dogs have an innate ability to sense our emotions and respond accordingly. This is especially true for the person a canine has bonded most deeply with. Some dog breeds also seem to tend to bond with a single person more than the whole family. This is why Golden Retrievers are seen as g

When a dog’s favorite person is happy and relaxed, our dogs will pick up on this and respond in kind. When stressed or anxious, the dog may sense this and become anxious or nervous.

It’s important to remember that dogs are social animals and need interaction and attention from their owners to form a strong bond. Spending time with your dog, playing with them, and taking them for walks are all great ways to strengthen your bond and build a strong relationship with your furry friend. 

Let’s get right into seven ways dogs choose their favorite person:

Time Spent Together

Time Spent Together

Dogs that spend more time with a particular person are likely to have a stronger bond with them. This connection can be formed by playing, walking, or cuddling together. Regular interaction can lead to a sense of trust and loyalty towards their favorite person.

This means a dog’s favorite person is more likely to be someone who stays at home with them all day, takes them on the most walks, and engages in the most activities. Dogs often love children as their favorite person because kids may play with them the most. 

Positive Reinforcement and Training

Dogs respond to positive reinforcement and training. If one family member is more consistent in rewarding good behavior or teaching tricks, the dog is more likely to form a bond with them. Training also requires bonding between the dog and the trainer, which can solidify the relationship.

Personality and Energy Levels

Dogs and humans have different personalities and energy levels that can affect their bond. A high-energy dog may prefer a more active person, while a laid-back dog may prefer someone calmer. Similarly, the owner’s personality traits may be appealing or unappealing to dogs.


Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can identify individuals by their scent. They may be drawn to the person whose scent they find most comforting. This is why it’s essential for the dog to spend time with all family members to become familiar with everyone’s scent and bond with each household member.

Physical Contact

Dogs are social animals and thrive on physical contact. They may prefer the person who gives them the most attention and affection. This can include petting, belly rubs, or even just sitting next to them. Dogs also respond well to touch and may form a stronger bond with the person who massages their ears or scratches their back.

Feeding and Care

Dogs rely on their owners for food and care, so it’s natural for them to form a bond with the person who provides for them. The person who feeds the dog or takes care of their basic needs may become their favorite person. Therefore, it’s important for all family members to participate in feeding and caring for the dog, so they can bond with each member of the household.

Previous Experiences (Positive Association is Key)

Dogs may have had positive or negative experiences with certain people in the past, which can influence their preference for one person over others. For example, if a dog was mistreated by a man in the past, they may be more comfortable with women. 

It’s essential to be patient and understanding if a dog is hesitant around a particular person, as it may take time for them to build trust.

How Do I Know If I’m My Dog’s Favorite Person?

How Do I Know If I’m My Dog’s Favorite Person?

Dogs will show signs of affection and loyalty towards their favorite person. It can be sloppy ways like licking you or clingy ways like laying on you. Your dog will try to get as close as possible if they have bonded with you the most.

This video of a dog hugging his owner will convince you of how deeply dogs bond with their special person:

Following Their Favorite Person Around

Dogs that tend to shadow their favorite person around the house or follow them from room to room are showing loyalty and affection.

Excitement and Affection Towards Their Favorite Person

Dogs will show excitement and affection when greeting their favorite person. This behavior is characterized by wagging tails, jumping up, and giving kisses. Check out our article to know how to deal with an overexcited dog

Protective Behavior

Dogs that feel a strong bond with their favorite person may become protective of them. This behavior can range from standing guard at the door to reacting aggressively to perceived threats. 

However, be careful that this apparent protectiveness isn’t just resource-guarding where a canine sees you as his stuff. Such dogs get unreasonably aggressive when another person or dog comes near you. 

They Like To Snuggle Your Stuff When You Aren’t Around

Have you ever caught your dog red-pawed sniffing your stuff like socks when you’re not around? Canines love to get a whiff of their favorite person’s belongings just to feel closer to them.

Maintaining Eye Contact and Seeking Attention 

Unlike many animals that interpret eye contact as a threat, dogs do it to humans to bond. They will look at you like they can’t believe their eyes if a dog has bonded with you as their special person. Some even look like they’re winking at you as a subtle sign of their love.

They will also go crazy about your attention, doing stuff like pawing at you and lying on your body.

Can Dogs Change Their Favorite Person?

Dogs are social creatures and can adapt to new changes over time. As a result, a dog’s favorite person can change based on various factors like changes in the environment, new family members, and their person moving away. 

Changes in the Dog’s Environment

A change in the dog’s environment, such as moving to a new house, can influence their preference for a particular person. This is often the person that will make them feel most at ease despite all the unusual sights and scents. 

New Family Members or Pets

Adding new family members or pets can also alter the dynamic in the household, potentially leading to a shift in the dog’s favorite person.

Aging and Health Factors

Aging and health factors, such as blindness or deafness, can alter a dog’s preference for a particular person. Older dogs may require more attention and care, thus causing them to form stronger bonds with individuals who take long naps with them in the sun, rather than the people who want to do fun activities they may have preferred when they were younger.

Can Dogs Bond With Two Owners?

Dogs can absolutely bond with two people, just as a kid can connect with both their mom and dad. Still, they may feel slightly more attached to one person. Measuring how equal a canine’s love is for two people is impossible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Imprinted on Me?

A dog imprinting on you means they have bonded with you most over everyone else and will typically hang around you the most. Your dog will follow you, be incredibly happy to see you, maintain eye contact, and constantly check in on you if they have imprinted on you. 

Why Does My Dog Follow Me Around Everywhere?

Your dog will follow you everywhere if they have bonded with you the most. This is part of canine imprinting behavior and happens with the person a dog spends the most time with as puppies. They will also have other signs like checking on you, laying on you, and obeying more readily. However, be aware that this can also be a sign of hyper attachment and can lead to separation anxiety.

Why Do Dogs Choose One Person To Sleep With?

Your dog feels secure and comfortable with you if they choose to sleep on you. Most dogs get attached to that one person, particularly those that feed, play, and spend time with them. It may be harder to use sleeping with you as a sign of bonding in crate-trained dogs.

Final Thoughts 

A dog’s favorite person usually results from the time, training, and bonding they have experienced with a particular individual. Socialization and positive reinforcement are essential for a dog to develop a strong connection with their owner.

 Signs of a dog’s favorite person include following them around, showing excitement and affection, and protective behavior. A dog’s favorite person can change over time due to various factors, but with proper care and attention, the bond between a dog and their owner can continue to grow stronger.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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