dachshunds choose their favorite person

How Do Dachshunds Choose Their Favorite Person?

Updated 08/04/2023 by Ava Jaine

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 over all the others?

How Do Dachshunds Choose Their Favorite Person?  I have come up with an interesting theory using some detailed examples from my own experience that I will break down for you.

Dachshunds vs Other Dogs

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, right?

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 particular person.  That person isn’t always the one who feeds, trains, or spends the most time with them.

Example #1: Heidi

How Do Dachshunds Choose Their Favorite Person?

I was about 5 years old when my first Dachshund, Heidi, arrived on the scene.  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.

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.  I believe our mini Dachshund, Heidi, chose him because he was the head of our household and the high “Authority Figure” in our family. 

He may not have been her 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

dachshunds choose their favorite person

After college, I wanted to raise a Dachshund dog of my own.  I always admired Heidi’s loyalty to my father and I wanted some of that for myself.  I picked up my mini Dachshund, Reno, 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.

Main Caregiver? I was Reno’s only caregiver for his first year.

Who Was The Favorite? Me.

Why Did He Chose Me?  Reno was my best friend for 14 years.  Although he always showed his love to everyone in our family, 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.

My husband and I were married when Reno was almost 2 years old. 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 how to cope when it was time to say goodbye in 2018.

Why My Husband Wasn’t The Favorite:  My husband and I were engaged and not living in the same home when I adopted Reno.  My husband visited with Reno occasionally, but wasn’t around all the time.

Example #3: Eko

dachshunds choose their favorite person

We adopted our sweet Dachshund puppy, Eko, one year after we lost Reno.  He keeps us on our toes, and he reminds us why raising a Dachshund puppy can be fun and challenging. 

He is now only 10 months old, house trained for the most part, and has already chosen his favorite person.

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, I 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, but he still wins.

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 that 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?  My husband is the authority figure in our family (apparently).  He didn’t even try, but he is the chosen one.

Post You May Like: Complete Dachshund Puppy Guide

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 while he relaxes on the couch.

dachshunds choose their favorite person

Why Do Dachshunds Have A Favorite Person?

So, why do Dachshund dogs choose one person in the family to put on a higher pedestal than the others?

To give a ton of extra love to the authority figure of the family shows how intelligent they really are. Flooding this one person with all of their praise will pretty much get them anything they desire – and that’s pretty smart!

How Do Dachshunds Choose Their Favorite Person?


It is the bold and dedicated personality of the Dachshund that dictates how they view humans. 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 large animals that tower over them.

Dachshunds have a strong respect for authority.


I believe there is some sort of unseen bond or magnetism that Dachshunds have with their chosen human.  If their favorite person isn’t always the main caregiver, there has to be something else to it, right? 

It could be that the person has certain mannerisms or the right tone of voice.  It could also be something much deeper – beyond our understanding.

There is something about that person’s chemistry that attracts the Dachshund dog.

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.

dachshunds choose their favorite person

Dog Breeds That Attach to One Person

Many dog owners prefer a loyal and affectionate dog.  Some dogs love everyone they meet, 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:

  • Akita
  • Beagle
  • Boxer
  • Brittany
  • Chihuahua
  • Dachshund
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Irish Wolfhound

How To Become Your Dachshund’s Favorite Person

If you aren’t your Dachshund’s #1 choice, 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 doxie.


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 issues.  Don’t let your Dachshund become obese in the process of getting them to like you more. 

Check out: Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds if your pup needs to drop some pounds.



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 pup.  You can socialize your dog through doggie daycare, dog play dates, and walks in the park.

After reading through this post, check out some more details on How To Socialize Your Dachshund.

Bonding Activities:

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 your Dachshund can create a comfortable and positive experience for you and your dog.

dachshunds choose their favorite person

Involve the Rest of the Family:

Don’t be a hot 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 occasionally.  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 them.

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. It was super easy and fun too.

Check out some DIY Doggie Brain Games on YouTube to enjoy with your dog.

It Is Important for Your Dog to Bond 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.  There is now a statue there in memory of Hachi. 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.  His owner had a family, but the dog was completely attached to him alone.


Take This With You

Dachshunds will guard and protect all of their family members, even if they hold a certain person in high esteem.

A Dachshund raised with lots of love, patience, and plenty of yummy treats will grow to be an affectionate and loving family dog.

Who Is Your Dachshund’s Favorite Person?  We want to hear your story. Let us know below.

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