Do Dogs Have Favorites?
We all know that we have favorite foods, favorite movies or TV shows, favorite books even favorite people. But do dogs? Do dogs really prefer one toy over another or one food over another or one person over another?
My totally unscientific research says ABSOLUTELY!
Let me offer evidence from my personal experience:
- Sally had a favorite toy – her “Bear”. When I brought her home from the breeder at 8 weeks old, I had a small stuffed bear for her that I put in her crate for the two hour drive home. The bear was about the same size as her at that time and became her “go to” toy. She never ripped him up and never took him outside. Sally always did a little welcome home parade for us. She would grab the first available toy in her mouth and parade around the room wiggling her butt and singing her little happy song. But if we had been away for a longer period of time, grabbing the first available toy wouldn’t do – she had to find bear and bear had to be part of the parade. After 14 years, many washings and lots of tugging and fetching, bear was still her favorite toy. Not only was it her first toy, it was her last. When we cremated Sally…we cremated bear with her.
- Tino had a favorite “spot” in the backyard. He would sleep almost anywhere in the yard as I’ve noted in the past, but he had one go to spot where he usually started and ended his day. It was also a great spot when it rained because it provided shelter for him. It was behind a big bush right outside the back door. It was always the first place I looked for him if I didn’t see him.
- Jack has a favorite person…me. He latched onto me right from the start and has been my devotee ever since. You can call him “shadow”, “velcro dog”, “mama’s boy”…whatever, he is right there behind me. When I wear flip-flops, he steps on the back of them and trips me he’s so close. When I leave, he sits in his bed by the backdoor watching for me. Until the next mealtime that is. If I’m still away by then, he turns his devotion to Steve, or to whoever is staying with him. He is a really people dog.
- Maggie has a favorite game and that is “Find the Food”. We’ve talked about this game before, and Maggie is obsessed with it. She has come to
expectdemand it as her after dinner game every night. Typically, we will take a handful of treats or kibble and hide them in the front yard – behind bushes, on the tires of the car or on top of the bench or rocks. They wait impatiently in the house until we’re done and then go flying out to find the food. Maggie absolutely loves this game and she will scour every inch of the yard for 30 minutes or more each night. Jack only lasts about 10 minutes – then he quits. He enjoys his other treat games just as much as this one, but Maggie…this is her favorite.
Here’s just a snippet of a “find the food” game – she comes barreling out the door and scampers all over the yard looking for treats.
What about you – tell us about your dog’s favorite thing…