Why Does My Dog Follow Me and Not My Husband?

Dear Doggy,

My dog is always following me but she seems to leave my husband alone. I know my hubby loves the dog and is very kind to her, so why does my dog follow me and not my husband?

Me and My Shadow

Dear Me,

A dog will follow you around the house if she sees you as the leader, primary caregiver, and favorite companion. They also expect more treats and attention from you if you give them frequently than your husband does. Canines may not follow your partner as much if they perceive him as a stranger or somewhat threatening.

Your guests may find it sweet that your adorable pooch follows you around like a shadow. They are also quick to point out that the pup does not do this to your husband.

If your dog keeps stalking you and your husband feels left out, it may become an issue.

Why does your dog behave this way?

  • Your dog sees you as the leader. Your hubby may be the man of the family, but if your pooch observes you as being in charge of household matters, she may consider you as the Alpha.
  • Your dog thinks you are her primary caregiver. The attachment of a pup to her owner can be likened to a small child to her mommy, especially if you feed, bathe, and care for her more often.
  • Your dog picked you as her favorite. Canines have unique personalities. If your doggo identifies more with your qualities than your husband, she may be more clingy to you.
  • Your dog expects good stuff from you. Do you dole out treats and hugs to Fido more than your husband does? Your dog quickly picks up on that. 
  • Your husband is a stranger to your dog. If your partner came into your dog’s life in her later years, he may need to spend more time with her to get her trust.
  • Your dog is afraid of your husband. Your pup may fear your husband if he raises his voice to her or intimidates her. 

Can Dogs Change Their Favorite Person?

While you enjoy being your pooch’s favorite person, other family members might feel they are missing out on the love. Can your clingy pup ever switch her affection?

In general, a dog can change her favorite human if another person tries to match her distinctive personality more and provides her basic needs regularly. The pup also becomes more attentive to the person who bonds and socializes with her and attempts to make activities she hates fun and bearable. 

It can be quite obvious who your dog’s favorite person is. But others might compete for your mutt’s most prized affection. Can Fidos really change their favorite humans? 

It depends on the following factors:

  • Matching personalities – Your pup is probably more attached to you first because your characters jive. If she is a lively dog and she detects you as full of energy, you will get along the most. But if another person is more active and playful than you, Rover might start favoring them more. 
  • The primary caretaker – Through repeated positive interactions, a mutt will be conditioned to depend more on the person who provides her needs. So, if your role to feed, bathe, and cuddle with her is substituted by another person, your precious pooch could be won over.
  • Fun-time companion – A dog can switch favorites to another human who socializes with her through her preferred activities. A gentler dog would go for calmer games such as puzzle toys, Round Robin, or Finder’s Keeper. While hyperactive canines would enjoy tug of war, frisbee, or even hiking.
  • The enabler – Some dogs hate taking a bath, going to the vet, or taking medicines. A person who aims to be closest to the pooch can turn these unpleasant experiences into tolerable ones if they introduce rewards such as treats, pets, and praise.

Can A Dog Have 2 Masters?

In a big family with one doggo, competition may arise who is Rover’s favorite. But is it possible for dogs to have two or more masters?

Canines classified as “one-person” dogs choose a single human as their Alpha or one true master. They can still show respect and love to their other owners and bond with them in their special ways. While specific canine families tend to be more attached to just one person, other breeds express their love more fairly to all family members. 

Some are turned off by the term “master” if relating to their relationship with their dogs. But mutts do distinguish certain humans to obey, pay more respect to, and express love over all their other human companions.

This is especially true to “one-person” canines. If your pooch belongs to these breeds, expect that they will strongly attach themselves and be very protective to one particular human only.

  • Australian Shepherds
  • Afghan Hounds
  • Border Collies
  • Brussels Griffons
  • Chihuahuas
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Norwich Terriers
  • Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Vizslas

These next breeds are also very loyal to one owner but they are likely to be friendlier and expand their circles to include more in the family.

  • Akitas
  • Chow Chows
  • Estrela Mountain Dogs
  • Havaneses
  • Malteses
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranians
  • Pugs
  • Teddy Roosevelt Terriers
  • Yorkshire Terriers

If you are looking for a particular breed that does not play favorites and would love each and everyone in the family equally, Labrador Retrievers are your best choice. They socialize well and are even patient with children.

To be fair, dogs cannot be forced to favor one owner over the other. But Fidos who feel loved and cared for by the whole family will respond with the same affection. They may even bond with different family members in their unique way.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Is Attached To You?

One of the best things about dogs is their loyalty and innate affection to humans. But if a pup becomes attached to you, is it just their nature or it means something else?

Overall, dogs that have become particularly attached to a person are called “velcros,” who refuse to leave your side and always follow you around. Canine attachment may be brought about by the imprinting process, positive reinforcement, pack mentality, or physical illness. Excessive attachment may also be caused by separation anxiety in some mutts.

Velcro dogs are also known as clingy dogs. They become anxious when their favorite human leaves and get overly excited when their person comes home. 

What can cause canines to become devoted to a human?

  • Imprinting – This process is when puppies learn about dog behaviors and boundaries by observing other pups and humans. Imprinting is also when pups identify humans as their primary caregivers.
  • Reinforcement – When positive interactions between you and Fidos keep recurring, they will fixate on you more and follow you around. A steady flow of treats, cuddles, and loving attention encourages a dog to be attached to you. 
  • Pack mentality – Canines desire to be led by a strong leader. Once they recognize the Alpha in the family, it will be hard to separate them from the leader. They will be very protective of you and other pack members.
  • Physical illness – Aging dogs may be more dependent on you to provide protection and their needs. Loss of sight, hearing, or weakening body may prompt them to become more attached to you than when they were younger.
  • Separation anxiety – This is when your dogs develop an unhealthy dependence on you. Rovers with this condition show outward signs of anxiety and fear from being away from you that may sometimes lead to depression.

How Do You Know If A Dog Thinks You’re His Master?

Being a dog owner and his master are two different things. How will you know if he sees you as the Alpha?

A dog who sees you as his master listens to your commands, follows you around, and lets you lead him during walks. A submissive canine also avoids destructive behaviors such as urinating or defecating indoors. He would normally break eye contact first if they are looking at the Alpha.

While pups love and bond with the whole family, they would instinctively look for their Alpha to whom they will be most dedicated.

How do you know if that’s you? 

  1. He respects your authority. A canine looks to his master for guidance so he is quick to listen and obey his Alpha’s commands. Other people might need to repeat their instructions, but if the master says “stay” or “sit,” the mutt does not need telling twice.
  2. He follows you everywhere. A pup who has found his leader will stay close to him even when his master is just walking around the house. The dog sees it as patrolling the property and shows his support of keeping the pack safe.
  3. He puts you first. A submissive pooch to his master will never run ahead of him during walks nor pull his leash, never go through a door before his leader nor pick the best seat in the room first. Rover will never steal the Alpha’s food or spot on the sofa. 
  4. He behaves well around you. Urinating and defecating inside the house are signs of rebellion and marking of territory. This would not be the case if your dog thinks you’re the pack leader.
  5. He breaks eye contact with you first. A pooch will never have a staring contest with his master because the winner reveals the more dominant. 

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