Golden Retrievers are very affectionate dogs, and they make such excellent family dogs for this exact reason. However, sometimes you just can’t help it but wonder “am I really my dog’s favorite person?”.
This is completely reasonable. At the end of the day, the huge majority of us humans tend to always prefer one person more than the others, but is this the same for dogs – or golden retrievers in particular?
So, is it real? Do Golden Retrievers have a favorite person? Yes, Golden Retrievers can have a favorite person if they spend more time with one person in particular than they spend with anyone else. In General, though, Goldens tend to spread their love equally and it’s quite hard to tell if they actually love one person more than the other.
This is the short answer, but to understand how can your golden retriever have a favorite person and how you can tell that they love one person more than the other, keep reading.
Do Golden Retrievers Have a Favorite Person?
Golden Retrievers are unique in many aspects, but not in this one. It’s not really a breed characteristic as it’s a personality trait, meaning it depends on your dog’s personality, genetics, and upbringing whether they will have a favorite person or not.
Does breed play a part? Yes, of course it does. A dog’s breed plays a huge part in their breeds, but Goldens are not one of the breeds that is well known for bonding with one person.
Dogs of certain breeds are very well known to bond to only one person but still being able to be friendly to other humans, but their will always be one human that’s kind of “their person”.
Dog Breeds that Attach to One Person
The breeds listed below are much more likely to bond to one person than other dog breeds.
- Cain Terrier
- Shiba Inu
- Shetland Sheepdog
- French Bulldog
Notice how I said “more likely”? because this is not a 100% guarantee, so let’s save the “NOT TRUE!!!” comments for another topic.
So, why do I say that Golden Retrievers can have a favorite person? They are clearly not on this list.
Because I’ve seen it and lived it all my life. I have always been around Golden Retrievers ever since I can remember, and while I’m very sure now that I’m the absolute favorite person for all my dogs, this was definitely not the case while growing up in my family’s home.
It kind of seemed like my mom was always the favorite person to any pet in the house really, not just our goldens, which did not always make sense for us.
I mean, she wasn’t always the person to spend the most time with them, she was not the person that walked them often, and she was the only one that consistently kicked them out of the kitchen when she was cooking.
Yet, she was always the favorite person to most of our goldens, which showed that Goldens can have a favorite person, but they don’t attach to only this person. That’s quite an important difference to distinguish.
How do dogs choose their favorite person?
Although this is not a concrete science, we do know some of the things that make dogs bond with one person more than anyone else.
I think there are 4 reasons why some dogs connect more strongly with some people than others:
- Positive Association
- Attention and Affection
- Connection built during the key socialization period
- The personality of the human
Let’s break them down one by one:
If you’re the person that your dog associates with good things, they are more likely to develop a stronger bond with you than with anyone else.
This doesn’t only have to be treats, but it can also be walks, road trips, or going to new walks and new places.
This is kind of like why some kids prefer the “fun parent” rather than the one that takes them to the doctor and forces them to take their medications. It helps to think of dogs as kids, because most of the time, they act exactly the same like kids do.
Attention and Affection
Interestingly enough, you don’t have to be the one that spends the most time with the dog to be their favorite person. This means that dogs don’t always favor their primary caregiver over other people.
Dogs tend to bond with the person that shows them the most attention and affection. This is more likely to be the person that takes them on walks every day, but it’s not necessarily the case, though.
Physical attention can also solidify your bond with your dog. Golden Retrievers absolutely love cuddles and other forms of physical attention, and they act like giant puppies that just want to be carried, hugged, and kissed all of the time.
If you’re the person your dog prefers to go to for hugs and cuddles, it’s very likely you are their favorite person.
Connection Built During Key Socialization Period
Dogs tend to form a very strong and deep connection with the person that cares for them during their key socialization period. This period starts at birth and lasts until they’re six months of age.
During this key socialization period, your puppy’s brain is incredibly receptive and those early social experiences they go through during this period influence them in all aspects of their lives for the remainder of their lives.
If your puppy develops a strong bond with you during this period, it’s quite likely that this will be the strongest and longest-lasting bond they will create with anyone.
Puppy socialization at this early age is one of the keys to help them become well-adjusted and happy goldens when they grow up. You can learn all the 20 reasons that make golden retrievers so happy and friendly here.
The Personality of the human
We all have this one friend whose dogs look and act like them. It’s kind of amazing when you first see it, but once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
Dogs can actually choose the person that most matches their personality and energy level. They can connect more with this person, and so their bond becomes stronger.
Since Golden Retrievers are such happy and cheerful dogs, they can bond more with the most energetic, cheerful, and affectionate person in the house.
The Key to Becoming Your Dog’s Favorite Person
The one key to becoming your dog’s favorite person is to spend as much quality time with them as possible.
This includes taking them for walks, playing with them all games, being the one to train them and socialize them when they’re young, and the person that shows them the most affection.
Being loved by your golden retriever takes little to no effort. They will love you for just being there and being good to them, and they will love you fiercely. I just think they deserve the same kind of love in return, don’t you?
Do Golden Retrievers love their owners?
Golden Retrievers love their owners fiercely and to the end of the time. Golden Retrievers also love to show their owners how much they love them by trying to please them all the time. Almost everything your golden will do will do to please you.
Goldens are very loving of humans, which makes the perfect family dogs but not the best guard dogs. However, they will guard you when they sense you are in serious danger. Check out what will your golden do if an intruder attacks here.
Are Golden Retrievers Loyal?
Golden Retrievers are incredibly loyal to their owners and their loyalty is unconditional and unwavering. They are also incredibly energetic, playful, and cheerful, which makes them the perfect family dogs. It’s no surprise they’re one of the most popular breeds in the country and they’ve been on this list for decades.
Payne E, Bennett PC, McGreevy PD. Current perspectives on attachment and bonding in the dog-human dyad. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2015;8:71-79. Published 2015 Feb 24. doi:10.2147/PRBM.S74972
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