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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18814
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Why do dogs prefer one person over the other We ...

Customer Question

Why do dogs prefer one person over the other? We have a female Boxer in a household of four, mom, dad and and two older kids, one female and one male. I first observed that our Boxer seems to be more attracted to females. Within the female ranks of the family the Boxer prefers me, mom. The Boxer will follow me around the house. She will sit where I sit and generally wants to be around me at all times. I don''t ask her to come follow me or sit by me, she just does. In fact, all other members of the family will try to get the Boxer''s attention with food or toys so she will sit with them, but she will ignore them and sit by me. I''m not complaining. I have a great deal of affection for the dog. She is very sweet natured and loving. I just wonder why?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 years ago.
Hi Tamela,

Dogs have their favorites but it does seem that they pick the alpha member to be with. This is the natural order of the pack. Submissive members of the pack will stay with the alpha and even seek to fawn over the leader from time to time. Your dog probably sees you as the leader of the family. It probably helps that you are most likely the one who feeds her or tells others to feed her which she will pick up on.

I do understand exactly what you are saying. The same thing goes on at my house only with more dogs following me around. However, if the husband comes out, all the females flock to him.

We even bought a small dog for my son, since rotties were a bit large for a 6 year old to handle properly. So who does the little one follow around. Food is about the only thing that tempts him to hang around the children though he will go and play catch with them outside.

If they really want to strengthen their relationship with her, I would recommend that they do obedience work with her. This will elevate them to a higher position than her in the household and she will be more likely to spend a little more time with them as well. The following site at the bottom has links to specific basic commands which have pictures so you can see you are doing it correctly.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

I hope this information is helpful to you.