Any dog has the potential to be a good family pet, though some breeds have reputations that are a cut above the rest.
Goldendoodles are one of these breeds, known for being extremely social and loving dogs.
But while getting along with everyone is a great trait to have, many of us cannot help but wonder if our dogs pick a favorite person… and whether or not we are that person! Find out about Goldendoodles choosing a favorite person below.
Do Goldendoodles Pick a Favorite Person?
Goldendoodles certainly can choose a favorite person. Any dog may bond more strongly with one person over others even though Goldendoodles can maintain strong relationships with multiple people in their lives. How and why a Goldendoodle chooses a favorite person depends on a variety of factors.
How Do I Tell Who Is My Goldendoodle’s Favorite Person?
When a dog like a Goldendoodle chooses a favorite person, they make it clear through their behavior. They may be more excited to see that person when they come through the door or more likely to come when called and obey commands from them.
No matter how your Goldendoodle shows affection, they may more frequently shower their preferred person with it.
This could come in the form of nuzzling, hand-licking, snuggling up on the couch, or bringing toys to play with.
Dogs also tend to keep their eyes on the people they love.
They will search for eye contact from their chosen person first and be inclined to displays of happiness when they do (i.e. wagging their tails).
How Do Goldendoodles Pick a Favorite Person?
It depends on how they were raised and what their daily interactions are like. It is the same as with people: they like whomever they are most comfortable with, whoever gives them the most attention, whom they have positive associations with, and whom their personalities click best with.
Who your dog will eventually become and whom they will be able to bond with is largely determined at the very beginning of their life, when they are a puppy.
From the time they are born until about six months of age is the most crucial learning period for a dog because it is when they are most open to new experiences.
It is also when they are learning how to be a dog and everything about the world around them. For example, what things are safe and what they should be afraid of.
As a consequence, very positive or negative experiences they have with people during this time can change their outlook and instincts for the rest of their lives.
You may have heard people say things about their dogs like “she doesn’t really like men” or “he gets upset around smokers.”
It is possible dogs with fears about particular types of people are that way because they associate certain qualities with previous bad experiences, especially those formed in puppyhood.
However, the same holds true of positive experiences. Some dogs may strongly prefer either men or women or be drawn to certain kinds of people just because of who their initial caretaker was.
And, of course, if a dog is able to remain with the human who was their initial caretaker (and who did a good job), that person will have the strongest claim of all to that dog’s favoritism.
Many dog owners do not know who raised their dog, though, or only met the original caretaker briefly.
You might not know why your Goldendoodle has a preference for one type of person over another or even be aware of it, but their early experiences can contribute to them picking a favorite.
The extent to which your qualities match up with what they imprinted on will determine whether they are more attracted to or repelled by you, all else equal.
Early experiences are not necessarily destiny either, so do not fear if your dog does not have a natural attraction to you right away.
A lot else goes into gaining their trust and love!
Probably what is most impactful when it comes to whom a dog feels a strong attachment to is: who spends the most quality time with them and shows them lots of love in ways that they appreciate.
Note that it has to be quality time.
Even if you stay at home all day with your Goldendoodle, if you are only ever working and looking at your devices, you might not be as well-beloved by them as someone who is home less frequently but gives them lots of one-on-one attention.
This quality attention and affection can come in many forms.
The person who feeds them can get extra points, but so does the person who greets them joyously, talks to them, plays with toys with them when they are excited, or allows them to cuddle up while at rest.
Many dogs love butt scratches and some enjoy belly rubs, but maybe your Goldendoodle has some other “one special thing” that guarantees a tail wag and a tongue loll.
Eye contact is also important. Dogs have adapted to life with humans such that they naturally seek our gaze. When we look at them and they at us, it releases oxytocin in both our brains.
This chemical is important for bonding in animals, so deeply engaging with your Goldendoodle as you would another person will improve your time together and hopefully increase their feelings of attachment towards you.
Finally, exercise is an underappreciated method of achieving closeness with one’s dog.
Training them (which includes activities like agility training if possible), going on hikes and outings, or even just daily walks are great for this. Exercise is crucial for relaxation and when you do it together, it cements in your dog’s mind that you are a pack and stick together.
A Goldendoodle’s favorite person may very well be the one who represents fun, fitness, and feeling good (like they do after a good workout).
How are positive associations different from sharing attention and affection? I hear you asking.
They need not be different necessarily, but “positive associations” as a category is included here just to distinguish between serious regular bonding activities and simpler fleeting associations like “when I see X person, Y positive thing happens.”
Treats are an example of this. Maybe every time a friend comes over for dinner, they sneak a little food off their plate to your dog.
Or maybe they always play tug-of-war with them when no one else does. It might sometimes seem like your dog is happier to see them, and no wonder!
They are acting like the doting aunt or uncle compared to your responsible parenting.
Additionally, your dog might jump for joy when the dog walker comes by because they know they are going out.
These heightened reactions from your pet might seem to you like votes of favoritism, although they can just be responses to the positive associations with particular people and little else.
That said, if you are already practicing giving them quality time and plenty of love, any little extra perk of being with you can help get you over the finish line of being your Goldendoodle’s number one.
Now, you have to be careful about your pet’s health when it comes to something like treats.
It’s not safe or fair for your dog to bribe them with things they like beyond what is good for them. But a little “treat” whether food or just something special now and again counts as a positive association.
Even something as simple as taking them to the dog park on occasion might make you that special person in their book.
Last but not least, something as basic as personality compatibility plays a role in how close a dog becomes with someone.
High energy dogs that love to run and play outside will be more excited to spend time with someone who is equally athletic as opposed to those who would rather stay in and watch tv with their pets.
A quieter, more reserved Goldendoodle, on the other hand, would likely prefer the latter person because too much energy or noise can be overwhelming to them.
Even if you and your Goldendoodle’s personalities are not perfectly matched up, you can take small steps towards doing more of what they like or giving them the attention they want most to bridge that gap.
This will improve your likeability and candidacy for Favorite Person.
A Goldendoodles Favorite Person
Your Goldendoodle might very well be the perfect social butterfly and get along equally well with everyone.
But if they are like most dogs (and people!), there is a good chance they could have favorites among humans.
Of course, we would all like to be our dog’s favorite, but even if we are the primary caregiver, that is not always the case.
Negative past experiences, a lack of bonding, or an absence of compatibility can lead to a Goldendoodle seemingly being more enthused about someone else. This is nothing to despair about, however.
Sharing more of your time with your Goldendoodle, focusing on activities they like, creating positive associations, and generally just loading them up with affection will win them over to loving you even more. Favorite or not, improving your relationship with your dog is always worth the effort!