"I want the dog to like me more than my husband;" she secretly whispers to me. Even though her husband is not home at the time; her actions speak volumes. This owner feels like a traitor letting me in on her little secret. She is not alone; most of us want our dogs to love us most, it is human nature. When I'm out at an appointment and come home to three very happy dogs; hearing that they have been pining for me, even though everyone else is home, of course it makes me feel special. I am told by many Dad's in the family that they wish their dog liked them more.
So how does one go about obtaining the highly desirable position of the "special" one in your dog's heart? Well; you cannot just tell your dog who the one is, it is done with time, quality time. Typically if there is a stay at home Mom; that is the person who becomes the one. Of course not always; sometimes when Dad or one of the kids get home from work or school there actions fill the void left by the one at home all the time. Just because someone is home for the largest percentage of time does not mean that they have sealed the deal; they may not have a connection with the dog.
Time and attention is what is required to be an important person in your dogs heart. There are relationships and then there are RELATIONSHIPS. I go for the RELATIONSHIPS; when you put everything into it; you get everything out as well. So if you are the person who spends less time with your dog because you are at work all day you can make up for that with quality time. I have always been the one in our house that does the dog stuff; feeding, grooming, training, walking etc. The other members occasionally do these things but I'm the regular doer. Several years ago I had a very bad leg injury; my husband had to take over the dog walking completely, this act alone shifted relationships. Not only was he now playing a major role in the dogs lives but he was connecting like never before.
To become an important human in your dogs life you simply need to give of yourself. Sometimes it can be a struggle; often personalities clash and connecting can be a challenge. Many of these strained relationships only need the help of a professional; someone on the outside looking in to see where the problem lies. Once you become an important human in your dog's life; things evolved. There is nothing like a great relationship with a dog; nothing.