I was always wondering why my first westie chose not me as her favourite person. I was giving food, going for a walk, attention all day long, hugs, kisses and so on. I was so crazy about her but she chose other family member to be her favourite. And now that person is not living with us anymore but I still fell that I am not her favourite still. Well, she loves me, understands me, but she is still looking for someone else to come to our family so she could accept him as her hero.
My other westie is totally my. She cant imagine life without me, I am totally her favourite person. But its still me, the same me. So one westie is my and other is living with me :) It is hard to admit but it is like it is. Lets see why it happens like this.
First of all, it is important who they socialise with early.
West highland white terriers like all dogs have important socialisation period for the first six months. Puppies brain developing period. The social experiences westie has during this period can influence them for the rest of their lives.
So the person who is showing more positive expierences with your westie during this period can become favored human. If there is only one person during this important socialisation period dog has not other choice.
Pay attention that during this period is very important that westie meets many different types of people, it will help them later to be comfortable with various humans.
Second important factor: attention and affection that improves bonds.
Here is no surprise, westies love attention and person giving most attention to dog gets favourite human badge. It can be that human who feeds, give most physical attention and love, petting, brushing, massaging, playing.
Third factor to pay attention to if you want to get favourite humans badge is: positive associations.
Westies will remember good, positive, warm feelings with their favourite human. It can be person who always have treats or always plays games.
Ok, here is where it starts to clear out my situation. I used to train my first westie a lot. Every day. She hated that. But I read a lot books before getting her and knew a lot about their westietude and hard training character, so I wanted to rise healthy, clever, good behaved puppy. It could be my mistake. Training became negative associations with me, inspite of all attention and food she gave from me. I was that boring person who always wanted to train and train. Uh... Don't make my mistake!
And the most important factor - dogs feel if their personality is just like theirs or not. Just like we humans, dogs also feel similar personality and dog will seek to be friends with that person of course. If dog loves to play dog will look for person who can be his/her playmate. Calm and intelligent dog will choose same personality person as favourite.
In my case, my westie was strong minded, independent, quite selfish, rough when playing, no jokes, life is quite serious thing type dog. Its obvious, I was not her favourite person as I was opposite of that. It seems like I still have a chance to become her favourite as now we are more alike then before. Probably she is testing me, if these personality changes are permanent. And my other westie easily attached to me, because we both ware willing to smile and take life in big bites, at the moment my second westie came in to my life.
Interesting isn't it?