How Do Dachshunds Choose Their Favorite Person?
Dachshunds are loyal and affectionate family dogs. Nothing compares to the feeling of coming home and being loved up by your furry companion. Your doxie’s body language says it all… excited bark, wiggly tail, and lots of wet kisses. But, have you noticed that your dachshund favors one particular person in your household?
How Do Dachshunds Choose Their Favorite Person?
Most Dogs are loyal to their primary caregiver. Bonding usually occurs with the person who feeds, walks, and trains them. Give lots of love, get lots of love back.
Dachshunds, on the other hand, will show a good amount of love to all of their family members, but they tend to be more attached and attentive to one person. That person isn’t always the one who feeds, trains, or spends the most time with them.
My theory is that Dachshunds choose the person with the Most Authority in the household. To back this up, I have some detailed examples from my own experience that I will break down for you.
Example #1: Heidi
I was about 5 years old when my first dachshund, Heidi, was added to our family. My mother, sister, and I picked her up and brought her home. We were so excited to have our first family dachshund puppy. My father worked late that evening and didn’t really meet Heidi until the next morning.
Who was her main caregiver? My mother fed her and trained her.
Who was the Favorite? My dad.
Why did she chose him? Heidi was a part of our family for 16 years. She showed all of us love, but there was no doubt, she was my dad’s dog. Thinking that far back, I do remember my dad taking her on car rides and giving her many food scraps (out of love and habit). My dad is a dog person. Many dogs are attracted to him, not sure why, they just are.
My conclusion is that Heidi chose him because he was the head of our household and the high Authority Figure in our family. He may not have been the primary caregiver or the one that brought her home, but Heidi was his. She proudly stayed by his side and acted honored to protect him.
Why I wasn’t The Favorite: I was pretty young back then. I am sure Heidi loved me, but she kept me at a distance for her own safety. Dachshunds usually enjoy kids, but have a very low tolerance for wild play time.
Example #2: Reno
After college, I wanted to raise a dachshund of my own. I always admired Heidi’s loyalty to my father and I wanted some of that for myself too. I picked Reno up in Southern Pennsylvania in 2004 and fell in love with him immediately. He loved everyone he met, but he followed me around like a little shadow. In the evenings, TV time was spent with Reno on my lap every night.
Who was his main caregiver? I was Reno’s only caregiver for his first year.
Who was the Favorite? Me, of course.
Why did he chose me? Reno was my best friend for 14 years. Although he always showed his love to everyone in our family, relatives, and friends, he was loyal to me. I believe being his sole caregiver for his first year helped him see me as the Authority Figure in the home.
For example, Reno wasn’t afraid to boss my husband around. After dinner, my husband would occasionally help put the dishes in the dishwasher. While he was loading the dishes, Reno would bark at him like he was giving orders. It always gave us a good laugh. He never “bossy barked” at me. It made me feel pretty great to have such a devoted companion…which is why I needed to learn to cope when it was time to say goodbye in 2018.
Why My Husband Wasn’t The Favorite: I was engaged to my husband when I first adopted Reno. We weren’t living in the same home for the first year of Reno’s life. My husband visited with Reno occasionally but wasn’t around all the time.
Example #3: Eko
We adopted our sweet Eko one year after we lost Reno. He is his own pup. He keeps us on our toes and he reminds us why raising a dachshund puppy can be fun, but challenging. He is now only 10 months old, house trained for the most part, and has already chosen his favorite person.
Who is his main caregiver? Me, Myself, and I.
Who is the Favorite? My Husband… I say Boo to that!
Why Did He Choose My Husband? I’m really trying to figure that out for myself.. it just isn’t fair (sorry, had to show my true feelings on that). Again, my husband is our family’s Authority Figure. I may feed him, train him, play with him, take him to the vet… and my husband does none of that… he still wins. It’s like Eko has this respect for him, being the ‘leader’ of our home and family.
How I know my husband is the favorite: Eko gives all of us a good amount of love. But, it is clear when my husband and I enter a room at the same time, Eko gets so excited, wiggles, and kisses my husband like he hasn’t seen him in years. It’s that kind of love and attention that tells me I lost this competition. Eko will still occasionally sit and cuddle with me, but it is clear where his loyalty lies.
Why I’m not the Favorite? I have no idea! What the heck? My husband didn’t even try that hard, but he is the chosen one.
Per the photo below, my husband likes to refer to himself as the “Dachshund Magnet!” Eko and my senior dog, Bastian, are both asleep on his lap and legs during our evening TV time.
Why Do Dachshunds Have A Favorite Person?
Everybody wants to be the doxie’s favorite! I know that Eko loves me and my kids, but it is so obvious that my husband is on a higher level than the rest of us. He tends to gloat about it too. So, why do dachshunds choose one person in the family to put on a higher pedestal than the others?
#1 Showing Respect:
In my opinion, it is the dachshund dog breed and personality that dictate how they view others. Our dachshund, Eko, knows that if he comes to me, he will get love, food, and attention. When Eko goes to my husband, he is giving love and showing his respect to the high authority figure in the home. My husband shows love and affection towards Eko as well. He pets him and allows Eko to rest on his lap during our evening TV time. But, the rest of the day, it is pretty much me, Eko, and the kids.
Think about the Dachshund’s demeanor. They were bred to be brave in order to survive the hunt. They act as protectors of the family and they aren’t afraid to boss others around, even larger animals that tower over them. They have a Strong Respect for Authority.
My husband grew up on a dairy farm with lots of animals. He was raised to understand that animals provide food. He likes animals, but he could truly live without them and be just fine. I’m the opposite. I love animals and I believe it would be a hard life without them around.
So, I believe there is some sort of unseen bond or magnetism that dachshunds have with their favorite humans. The fact is, if their favorite person doesn’t have to be the caregiver, there has to be something else, right? That person’s mannerisms or the sound of their voice… There is something about that person’s chemistry that attracts the dog.
Dog Breeds That Attach To One Person
Many dog owners prefer a loyal and affectionate dog. Some dogs love everyone they meet, show attention towards the person with yummy treats, while others take time to trust and love people. For a complete list of loyal dog breeds of all sizes, check out Rover.com.
Top Loyal Dog Breeds:
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Great Pyrenees
- Irish Wolfhound
How To Become Your Dachshund’s Favorite Person
If you aren’t your Dachshund’s #1 person, don’t give up right away. I know that I’m Eko’s close second, so I won’t be giving up anytime soon. There are a few things you can do to strengthen that bond with your pup. It’s all about food, socialization training, positive attention, and personality.
The #1 way into your Dachshund’s Heart is through his Stomach. Food is a Dachshund’s Love Language! Giving your doxie snacks or food scraps is a quick way to have a dachshund attach to you, but it isn’t the most healthy way. Unfortunately, dachshunds don’t know when to quit eating. They rely on you to help them eat right and maintain a healthy weight to Avoid IVDD. Avoid letting your dachshund become obese in the process of getting him to like you more. Check out our post on Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds if your dachshund needs to drop some pounds.
Try some wholesome DIY Dog treat recipes made from real ingredients that your dog is sure to enjoy without gaining too much weight.
During the first 6 months of life, a dachshund puppy will bond with the people who are with them the most (as long as those interactions stay positive). It is important to expose your doxie to other animals and people at an early age. Positive socialization experiences are super critical for your dog. You can socialize your pup through doggie daycare, dog play dates, and walks in the park.
When someone new comes over for a visit, I usually have them meet my dachshund in the yard and give them treats. This creates a positive connection: New person = yummy treats = dog greets new people with love.
After reading through this post, check out some more details on How to Socialize Your Dachshund.
Spend some one-on-one time with your doxie 20-30 minutes per day. Focused time is bonding time. It can include playing games like fetch, tug of war, or hide and seek. Also do some uninterrupted training time to reinforce your dog’s skills or learn a new trick. Don’t forget the yummy rewards.
Taking time out of your day to pet, massage, or gently brush the dog creates a comfortable and positive experience for you and your dog.
Involve The Rest of the Family:
Don’t be a dog hog! It is important that your dachshund shares a strong bond with your whole family.
Individual Quality Time: Ask your family to spend some quality playtime with your doxie to firm up that bond. Check out some really neat ideas on our Pinterest Board: Fun Things To Do With Your Dog A little bit each day really goes a long way.
Feeding: Have someone else feed the dog. Share the responsibility of giving your pup fresh water and food a few times per week. It is a nice way of letting your dachshund know that many people care for him.
Training: Have a family member join you for a training session. Some Training Commands can involve two people. When Eko was really young, we needed to train him to learn his name. My son and I sat in a hallway and we each called his name one at a time and gave him a small treat.
Check out some DIY Doggie Brain Games on YouTube to enjoy with your dog inside.
Why is it important that your dog bonds with the whole family?
Have you ever seen the movie: Hachi, A Dog’s Tale?
Spoiler Alert: Hachi (aka: Hachiko) is a true story about a dog that was known for his complete loyalty, love, and devotion to his owner. Every afternoon, Hachi would wait at the train station until his owner returned from work.
Well, one day the owner ends up dying suddenly, so he never comes back home. Hachi continued to wait for his owner’s return for nine years until he died at the train station. This movie was good, but it was a tear-jerker.
Yes, this dog’s devotion was amazing… but how sad that he was so attached to his owner that he stayed on guard and couldn’t move on when his owner passed away. He didn’t get to play with other dogs, go for rides, go hiking. He was stuck there physically and emotionally. His owner had a family, but the dog was completely attached to him alone.
Know this, Dachshunds will guard and protect all of their family members even if they hold a certain person in high esteem. They are fearless and bold in the face of danger. A Dachshund raised with lots of love, plenty of patience, and occasional yummy treats will grow to be an affectionate and loving family dog.