How Your JRT Picks Their Favorite Person

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It was your idea to get a dog. You picked the dog out. You feed your friend, walk them, give them baths, and take them to the vet. But when it comes to cuddles, they always go to someone else, first. Or maybe they sleep at the foot of someone else’s bed.

You might be in this position, or you might be feeling smug that someone else is. But it’s still an interesting question. How do dogs choose their favorite person? Often their favorite is their primary caregiver, but not always. So, what’s behind the choice?

Who Gives the Best Attention?

Notice, we said “best,” and not “most.”

The primary caregiver does all of the “business” stuff — making sure shots are up to date, cleaning up after Fido, exercise, making sure the dog’s diet is up to snuff, and so on. One might think that this would translate into gratitude — and it probably does in some doggy way.

But if your interaction with the family pooch is “all business,” this may be how your dog thinks of you. And if another family member means “playtime,” then that’s who they’ll go to for that. And cuddles? And treats? Yup, you guessed it.

If you want more of your pup’s attention, try turning up the charm by increasing cuddles and playtime.

Early Experiences

For a dog, the key socialization period — that is, when they’re learning how to relate to the world — is between birth and six months. A lot can happen during that time, and not all of it might be good.

Bad experiences during this time — or during any other time — can affect how your dog relates to you. For example, if your dog seems more comfortable around one gender than another, it could be that they were raised primarily by a person of that gender. And if your dog isn’t fond of people of a specific gender, it could be because someone of that gender scared them or were mean to them during that key socialization period.

The good news is, you can work with your pup to get through it. Exposing them to more and different kinds of people through doggy day care, the dog park, walks in your neighborhood, and so on, can help them to become more receptive to different kinds of people, no matter what their age.

Work Together

The key to improving your relationship with your dog is to spend more one-on-one time interacting with them. You can do this just by playing a game your dog likes — like fetch or tug o war or chase — for half an hour a day. Alternately, you can do special training together, whether it’s obedience, agility, nosework, or more.

You can also show more physical affection — cuddles, belly rubs, ear skritches — whatever your dog seems to like the best. And then there are treats. But if your pup is watching his or her weight, best to stick to cuddles.

Ultimately, if your dog knows you’re the source of an enjoyable activity, they will want to spend more time with you.

And you can improve your relationship with other people the same way, too.

Featured Image: CC0 via Pxhere

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