Your dog likes your girlfriend/boyfriend more, there's no doubts about it from watching how your dog interacts with him/her.
The moment your dog sees him or her enter the home, it's as if his eyes light up from happiness.
Your girlfriend/boyfriend is then greeted enthusiastically, in a way that makes you green with envy.
Or maybe he's just stuck to him/her like glue. Yet you are the one feeding and walking the dog.
A Matter of "One Person Dogs"
With dogs, variety is the spice of life. This is not surprising considering that dogs are the most varied species on earth, with dogs breeds coming in all shapes and sizes.
It's therefore not surprising that you'll find several forms of attachments when it comes to the dog and owner bond.
You'll have "no person dogs" who are aloof and quite independent and never seem to really attach to their owners.
Then, on the opposite spectrum, you'll have "any person dogs" who are social butterflies and bond to anybody who interacts with them.
"One-family dogs" are instead dogs who are loyal and strongly attached to all people in the family, and then you have the so-called, "one person dogs."
Some Dog Are "One Person Dogs"
Yes, despite dogs doling out unconditioned love, some dogs have a reputation for being so-called "one-person dogs."
As the name implies, these are dogs who prefer one person and become very loyal to that particular individual.
One person dogs may sometimes go to some extremes such as guarding their owners from other dogs or people, acing aloof towards strangers and showing signs of separation anxiety, when separated from their favorite person.
If your dog likes your girlfriend or boyfriend more, it could just be that he's ultimately a "one-person dog."
Some dog breeds that are generally known for being "one person dogs" include Australian Cattle dogs, Dalmatians, dachshunds, Chow Chows and German shepherds.
A History of Bonding Activities
Dogs often bond with a particular owner when the owner is the one doing most of the training, walking, feeding and playing with the dog.
These are considered "bonding activities." In other words, they are activities that layer a strong foundation of positive associations and trust.
The dog feels secure, happy and eager to be with this person who carries out most of the tasks.
Being More Lax on Rules
What if you are the one doing the feeding, training and walking the dog, while your girlfriend or boyfriend who does considerably less, or maybe even nothing, gains all the adoration from your dog?
This is more common than thought, and often dog owners are quite upset over this, and point the finger at their dogs, labeling them as "un-loyal."
Here's the thing: if you are training and watching your dog for most of the day, you are likely the one also disciplining your dog and telling him to stop certain behaviors.
If your girlfriend or boyfriend is instead more lax on the rules, your dog may stick to his/her side because he knows he can get away from things more, or perhaps he even gains things, like tasty morsels dropped by the table or cares less if he jumps on the couch or bed.
In this case, your dog may therefore be more drawn to your boyfriend or girlfriend for the simple fact that he knows he gains more from him/her.
The Saliency After Absence
If your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't live with you, your dog may show over excitement when they come over to visit.
Here's the thing: many dogs tend to get overly excited when guests come over and your dog showering your girlfriend or boyfriend with attention and over-the-top greetings, may just be a temporary thing.
In other words, if your girlfriend or boyfriend lived in the home too, they would eventually become a bit more ho-hum and bland after some time.
Sure, your dog may jump, lick, wag his tail and even accompany your girlfriend out of the door, and maybe even whine when he or she leaves, but at the end of the day, your dog ultimately wants to be with you.
In Search of Security
Then, you may have dogs with an anxious or fearful personality who are simply prone to bonding more with the person in the home that seems to be more consistent and makes them feel more safe and secure.
A Fear of Men
Many rescue dogs are fearful of men. This doesn't automatically mean that they were abused by some man in the past.
Men can be naturally perceived as more intimidating simply due to their deeper voices, facial hairs and the way they walk.
Some dogs become suspicious of men because they wear hats or carry large items from the yard or do housework that is perceived as noisy and scary (using drills, carrying ladders, walking with loud heavy boots, bringing the trash out).
On top of this, if a dog wasn't socialized much to men as a puppy, he or she may therefore feel intimidated by them.
Some dogs dislike men wearing heavy cologne as they are really sensitive to heavy scents
If you recently rescued a dog and this dog appears to prefer you (the girlfriend) rather than your boyfriend, it may take some time for your dog to get used to him.
A Recent Negative Experience
If your dog used to like you a lot, and now he suddenly is showing an abrupt change of heart, think a bit back in time and evaluate whether something negative may have happened.
When you think about negative, consider that it's negative from your dog's perspective not yours.
This means it can be anything as innocent as you putting ear drop in your dog's ears, giving him a bath, or trimming his nails if these are activities your dog doesn't enjoy.
Now That You Know...
As seen, there are several reasons why your dog may like your girlfriend or boyfriend more.
In most cases, there's really nothing to be upset about.
Rather than being reactive, try to be proactive by implementing some bonding activities and doing some things that benefit your bond.
Here are some tips:
- Try clicker training. Clicker training is a very rewarding activity that dogs come to look forward to, once they grasp how it works. Use a verbal marker rather than a clicker if your dog is afraid of the clicker.
- If your dog appears afraid of you and you are a man, you may need to invest some time in behavior modification to get your new dog used to you. Here are some tips: Dog barking when boyfriend enters the room.
- Play with your dog more! Do brain games, play hide and seek, fetch and other fun games with your dog.
- Use force-free training. Some dogs are particularly soft and they may feel unintimidated when dog owners scold them with a harsh tone. Tone things down by training your dog alternate behaviors to engage in and reward those rather than constantly telling your dog to stop.
- Use desensitization and counterconditioning. Finally, if your dog dislikes certain activities such as baths, nail trims or having ear drops placed in his ears, find a professional to show you how to use desensitization and counterconditioning to make these activities more pleasant.