Is your dog bonding with someone else? What could be the cause, how do you tell if your dog is bonded to you? How can you get your dog to bond with you? Learn all you need to know about dogs and bonding.
Do you ever get a fuzzy feeling that your dog is gearing towards a closer relationship with someone else or is it just too glaring that your dog doesn’t hide its newfound bond with another?
Dogs can be very covert in their friendship choices; they often form new bonds with people without any outward indication. On the other hand, there is a perfect reason for this.
Dogs will naturally steer towards the people who provide their needs— this includes, play time, feeding, exercising, etc. So, if someone else gets the opportunity to handle this better than you do, then your dog might just develop a thing for that person.
Luckily, a positive aspect to this is that it does not occur randomly.
The bond between your dog and the person they’re bonding with has been developing for quite some time, even though you’ve only recently started to take notice.
In any case, here are reasons why your canine companion is bonding with someone else.
Why is my dog bonding with someone else?
They have established themselves as your dog’s new provider
As a general rule, dogs form strong attachments to the people who provide them with the most care (through things like feeding, training, and play).
So, if there’s someone beside you who does all these, then it’s no surprise why your dog has started warming up to them.
Perhaps you’re not always home during the day or you’re always busy at work and therefore employed a sitter. It only takes time for your dog to form a bond with them.
They spend more time with your dog
Dogs love to be showered with affection, but that’s not complete without attention.
For instance, if your spouse spends most of the time with your dog, walking, playing, exercising or teaching them commands, then your dog is most likely going to start bonding with them.
It could be something about their personality
Don’t be surprised, dogs can tell personalities apart.
If your dog is showing a bias for a certain person, then it could be there’s something your dog finds really interesting about their personality.
Also, temperament is a factor as well. If your dog is laidback, then he may just fall in sync with someone who carries the same temperament.
On the other hand, if a dog is outgoing and energetic, then he might also bond with someone who has a similar personality.
A scent may be all that matters
While humans may depend on every sense to judge a person, dogs can tell a great deal about a person with a sniff.
After all, their sense of smell is over 15 times better than that of humans.
Most times, the issue with dogs picking another person over you could be down to something unthought of, like a scent.
If they find something particularly interesting about a person’s scent, then that could be all they need to start bonding.
Can a dog bond with multiple people?
No doubt, this has been a basis for debate among dog owners. However, here’s a perfect answer to the question.
As pack animals, dogs are naturally social and will form strong bonds with all members of the family.
One might wonder, though, whether a dog is capable of developing relationships with more than one human? A simple answer to this is yes and no
Even though dogs will frolic in the love and attention of everyone in the family, there will always be one special person who means the world to them.
What this means is that, they may opt to bond with everyone in the family, but they’ll only form a stronger bond with a single person.
How do you get a dog to bond to you instead of someone else?
There is no greater satisfaction than having a dog that is devoted to you and loves you unconditionally.
So whether you’re looking to build a healthy bond from scratch or repair a damaged relationship, here are 6 tried-and-true techniques for fostering a strong bond with your furry friend.
Exploit feeding time
Dogs form strong attachments to the people and animals who provide for them. Your dog will learn that you care about him and are willing to meet his needs when you feed him.
Create a routine with your dog
Dogs love to be around a perfect sphere of consistency. Hence, building a routine with your dog will only strengthen your bond with them.
They want to know what to expect and when to expect— this creates a sort of trust, helping your bond together grow stronger.
The trust between you and your dog can be strengthened through the establishment and maintenance of consistent routines, such as feeding and potty breaks.
Dogs are loyal companions who want to earn your approval by doing what you ask of them reliably and without fail.
Positive reinforcement can also do the trick
Teaching your dog a new trick or reprimanding a bad habit with positive reinforcement is a great way to strengthen your bond with him.
Positive reinforcement such as praise and treats allows you to bond with your dog and reinforces his belief that he is following the right path, which increases the likelihood that he will continue to obey your commands.
Teach Fido some tricks
You can strengthen your relationship with your dog through training.
Even if you’re only training a simple trick, you’re still stimulating your dog’s brain. You’re strengthening your bond with him as he learns new tricks.
Reward him with your love, praise, and some tasty Treats when he does well.
Exercise with your dog
You must understand that when trying to get a dog to bond with you, every moment spent together is a short goal achieved. And in the long run, a fully fledged bond is the reward.
Exercising with your dog is beneficial for both of you, both physically and emotionally. Taking your dog out for regular walks or runs is a wonderful way to bond with your four-legged friend and establish a healthy routine.
Play with your dog
It’s one thing to play with your dog, and it’s another to find that playtime activity your dog relishes.
Find out your dog’s favorite play activity, and give it your full attention.
Take an active role in games of fetch or tug-of-war; your dog will thrive on the energy you provide.
As an added bonus, physical activity derived from play can be even more invigorating than the usual routine.
How long does it take to bond with your dog?
We get this question often from dog owners who are so eager to get their dogs bonded to them.
While the key might not necessarily be in duration, being consistent is what sets the pace.
In further cases, a dog’s breed, temperament and the time dedicated with your dog are vital factors for forming a bond.
The average time it takes a puppy to become bonded to its owner is between three weeks- three months.
Again, this is highly dependent on how regularly you engage in activities that foster a closer relationship with your furry friend.
However, older dogs may require more time. Yet again, your level of consistency is also an important factor to consider.
Is it true that dogs bond better with opposite sex owners?
While there may be stories about dogs bonding better with the opposite gender, the odds may be in favor of something different but not totally out of context.
Dr. Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian working with Hepper, says, “If a dog is taken care of by a female, they’re more likely to prefer females, [whereas] if they’re primarily taken care of by a male, they may prefer males.”
Speaking further, he says, “This typically has to do with how they were socialized, who takes care of them and their past experiences.”
So in a sense, it may seem like dogs bond better to opposite sex owners, whereas the reality isn’t the case.
It’s more about their upbringing than a choice they make for themselves.
How do you know a dog has bonded with you
Dogs show their unconditional love and attachment to their human companions in a variety of ways, some of which may not be immediately obvious to every dog owner.
Dogs might not be able to verbalize their attachments the way humans can, but their actions still reveal a lot about the people they choose to bond with.
If you don’t know how to tell if a dog has attached to you, these 6 indicators should help.
They occasionally make eye contact with you
Dogs are known to make direct eye contact with the people they trust the most.
Because of their deep and abiding love and admiration for you, they are constantly monitoring your situation to figure out how they can be of assistance and how they can better serve as your friend and companion.
Dogs will readily make eye contact with who they’re bonded to.
They’re always on the lookout for what’s going on with you, what they can do for you and how they can become better companions for you because they love and respect you.
It’s more of an emotional connection.
They get ‘super excited’ when you come home
Dogs are really affectionate creatures and once they build a strong bond with you, it’s one hard nut to crack.
Dogs that are bonded to you will often put up a show when you come home after work.
And it doesn’t require a soothsayers to tell you that your dog is all into you—those affection whines, exciting barks and loud waggy tail all show they’re ‘super excited’ to see you, and they know you’re just as excited to see them too.
They carry your stuff around
Dogs that are bonded to you always want to be around you as well as your scent.
Similarly, devoted dogs may seek comfort in their owners’ clothing and shoes, especially the ones that stink like shoes and stockings.
Consider it from your dog’s point of view: your possessions send a message of safety, comfort, and love through scent.
Although shoe and clothing snuggling isn’t always a good thing, of course.
Dogs with separation anxiety may act out in destructive ways, such as hoarding dirty laundry or destroying a favorite pair of slippers.
If they’re not causing any harm to your possessions but just carrying them around and snuggling with it, then take it as a compliment.
They crave physical affection
Your dog’s attachment to you can be seen in the way he or she actively seeks out affection from you in the form of petting, leaning, snuggling, and even hugs.
Dogs thrive on physical contact with their loved ones and derive the most joy from being in the company of those with whom they have formed strong bonds.
They readily answer to your call and listen to commands
If you and your dog have formed a strong bond, responsiveness will be one of the most obvious signs. A dog’s attachment to its owner can be gauged by how attentive it is when it responds to voice commands and follows the owner’s lead.
They appear at ease and calm when in your company.
Dogs will generally feel more relaxed and calm in your company if they’re bonded with you. For instance, when a dog lays down next to you and goes to sleep, it’s showing you that they trust you and enjoy being in your company, two indicators of a strong bond.
Dogs are known for their unwavering devotion to their human companions and their ability to form strong bonds with those they deem worthy.
If your dog chooses to form an attachment to another dog or person, there’s a good reason for it.
But you can always make a change by dedicating more time and consistency to developing a bond with your dog, and in time you’ll have a dog that is perfectly bonded to you.