When Your Dog Plays Favorites
Bolty-Boy, Yorkie-Poo guest blogger: As a pet, it’s easy to pick that one person in the house to whom we gravitate the most. It seems that, even though we may like and appreciate everyone in the household, there is always that one person for whom we reserve our undying affections. But why does that happen? What sways our allegiances to that fortunate individual? According to vetstreet.com, it’s not uncommon and not that difficult to understand.
I will tell you that I love all of the humans in my house, but most specifically I appreciate the Mr. and Mrs. However, I really like the Mr. Sure, he goes off to work all day leaving me with the Mrs., as she works from home. She makes sure I get my potty breaks, my meals, my treats and my belly rubs, so she really is a good egg, but I still have much stronger affections for the Mr. in the equation.
Now, humans should not take this personally. We don’t intend to hurt your feelings when we choose one person over another.
For some dogs, fear could be the underlying cause. This is a complex reason, however, and should be discussed with your veterinarian. If your dog acts aggressively towards you by growling and lunging…but not towards others in your house…you have a problem to be resolved.
However, there are ways to beef up the friendship, and the more your dog associates good things with you, the more he or she will appreciate and prefer your company. Some dogs enjoy cuddle time; others do not. I fall into the latter category, but the Mrs. would rather hug and hold me more than I prefer. Of course, give me a belly rub, and I am all yours! Figure out what we love and then go for that. You will feel the relationship deepening.
Engage in some fun and games with your dog to deepen that bond. Play fetch or hide and seek or go for a walk or out to the local dog park. And don’t forget to stop by the pet store en route home to get a new chew toy!
It’s important to be consistent and predictable with your dog. Slowly build the trust and find a way to make sure he sees your presence as something to enjoy, look forward to and associate with positive things.
Now, I will add my own personal reflection. Each dog has its own personality. I tend to prefer a quiet and relaxed environment. The Mr. in the equation is more laid back than the Mrs., so her natural predisposition for stress and anxiety in her life cause the same in me. Therefore, I associate relaxed and calm feelings with the Mr. As soon as the Mrs. gets her emotional act together and stops being so uptight, then perhaps I will enjoy spending more quality time with her! She seriously needs to take a chill pill!