How do I help my dog bond with others?

Hello Dr. Barchas, We recently adopted a female Chihuahua form a breeder. She is three years old. I am very concerned because she will only...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Oct 4th 2007


Hello Dr. Barchas,
We recently adopted a female Chihuahua form a
breeder. She is three years old. I am very concerned because she will only
come to me. I can tell that she wants to go to my
husband but instead she always goes the other way.
What can I do to help her bond with him?

Thank you for your time.

Pam

Las Vegas, NV

Many pets have a favorite person. Some cats will only sit in one person’s lap. Often, dogs prefer to sleep or play with only one member of the family. So take comfort in the knowledge that your problem is a common one.

However, people in the house who are not the chosen favorite may take issue with the pet’s choice. And having a favorite person can be unhealthy for the pet if she is not able to bond with all of the members of the household.

Your husband will have to work to make the dog bond to him, but it is a task that should be manageable.

My first recommendation is to have your husband feed your dog. Feeding pets is one of the most consistent ways to win their affection. Have your husband teach her tricks, and then reward her with praise and food.

As well, your husband should take your dog for walks, play with her, and give her praise and rewards.

In other words, your husband should make an effort to be a very positive part of your dog’s life. Over time, I’m sure she’ll come around.