Why Dogs May Prefer Certain People Over Others

I often hear a guy say, “My dog likes my wife more than me!” Is there something I can do to make her like me more?

Well, my first thought is, “Does your wife feed your dogs/ Play with it?/ Greet her more warmly and cuddly than you?

The other thing I’ve observed is that dogs don’t prefer people that TEASE them. One study found that once dogs realized a person teased or misled them, they no longer trusted them. Some people, I’ve found, find this the only way to relate to dogs and just need to develop a new approach.

In their 50-dog experiments, researchers hid food in one of two containers, pointed to the container, and recorded which container each dog chose.

Believe it or not, this same research found that dogs find some people more competent than others. If two people were given containers with food in it, the dog would go to the person able to open the container easily, and avert its attention from the person experiencing difficulty opening it! Surprisingly, also, was the fact that female dogs preferred competent people, while males showed no preference.


Solutions: Take on feeding part of the time. Make an effort to cuddle and warmly welcome your dog. Stop teasing. Consider taking a class or activity with your dog to grow this bond.


Donna Stanley, Endless Mt. Labradors


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