An owner holding their dog while they sit in a chair.

Do Dogs Like Having An Owner?

10 mins |

As a pet owner, you feed your dog. You walk it every morning and every evening. You spend time with your dog, grooming it and taking it to the vet for vaccinations and checkups. And you enjoy the company of your dog, but there’s still something you want to know. Do dogs like having an owner?

Yes, dogs like the owner’s company, as they wait and think all day about their owner. Dogs get excited when they hear or smell their owners. They come to us for comfort and safety. Some dogs become distressed when we leave them, possibly leading to separation anxiety. So, overall, dogs like having an owner.

Why Do Dogs Like Their Owners So Much?

Dogs want to stay close to their owners. They like their owners because oxytocin, a love hormone, is involved.

When humans and dogs engage with and are close to someone they like, the hormone oxytocin is released. This “love hormone” strengthens and deepens the relationship with the owner. It’s also the hormone that helps new moms bond with their kids.

Also, owners’ scents activate the caudate nucleus, a reward center in the dog’s brain. A stranger does not have this reaction.

Other reasons why dogs like their owners include the protection, food, care, and affection they receive from their owners.

Do Dogs Like Having An Owner?

A dog looking at the camera while their owner holds them.
Having fun!

Dogs like having an owner because they love their owner. They feel happy when their owners are close to them.

People and dogs have strong bonds similar to those between parents and children. Because of this bond of shared understanding and deep connection, dogs think of their owners as friends.

They depend on their owners and respond to their scent and voice. Dogs like to play with their owners and want to spend time with them.

For thousands of years, humans and dogs have shared a special link, which we can see in how dogs work, play, and live with us.

Some dog breeds tend to be too attached to their owners, though, especially working dogs bred to work with their owners.

Do Dogs Develop Emotional Connections with Their Owners?

Dogs get emotionally attached to their owners because they have a special chemistry with their owners. Dogs want to stay close to their owners and quickly develop strong connections with them. They feel stressed and even depressed when their owners are away for too long.

Although it may seem that younger dogs are more prone to stress and anxiety, the opposite is true. Older dogs may exhibit stronger feelings of stress than younger pups, but they have learned to cope better.

A puppy’s growth is highly influenced by what happens in the first few months of its life. Therefore, during this crucial time, dogs often develop a deep, lasting bond with the person who feeds them the most, plays with them the most, and generally cares for them the most.

Do Dogs Pick A Favorite Owner?

Dogs choose their favorite people based on previous positive interactions and socialization. As with humans, a dog’s developing brain is very open to new ideas, so the first six months of life are very important for socialization.

Even if the person with whom the dog first bonded has died, the dog may continue to prefer people similar to them. If their caregiver in puppyhood was a male, they might prefer males even if their new human parent is a female.

How Do Dogs Pick Their Favorite Owner/Person?

Just like their human friends, dogs tend to have a favorite person, which depends on several factors:

  • How the person treats the dog
  • What is the owner’s temperament like
  • How well the owner has cared for their dog

Ultimately, most dogs bond with the person who gives them the most attention. For example, in a home with two parents and two children, the dog will choose the parent who fills its bowl every morning and takes it for a walk every evening. Physical love also strengthens the bond between a dog and its owner.

Dogs prefer to form close bonds with people who give them the most affection and attention (e.g., by feeding, training, and playing). And remember that, in this case, quality is more important than quantity.

Also, in general, dogs prefer adults, especially women.

A dog’s preference for a particular person or type of person has a lot to do with socialization. Most dogs are cared for by women, which is why they feel more comfortable with them than with men, although dogs do not generally dislike them.

Do Dogs Like Having Another Dog In The House?

Dogs are friendly animals and are usually happier around other dogs, but this isn’t true for all dogs. Many dogs do well in a home with other dogs, but not all can adapt. Getting another puppy may not be good if your dog doesn’t like other dogs.

How To Determine Whether Your Dog Wants A New Puppy At Home

Here’s how:

  • Your dog likes being around other dogs
  • It shows signs of boredom or depression
  • It doesn’t like to leave the dog park

One advantage of having two dogs is that the companionship prevents boredom. Because they’ll be busy, the dogs will only have a little time to do things like chewing on things they shouldn’t.

However, many breeders advise waiting until your first dog is at least one to two years old before getting a second dog. When your dog is old, it may no longer be able to play with or tolerate a puppy due to physical limitations.

In addition, if you have more than one dog, ensure each dog has its bed, food bowl, and toys so they don’t get aggressive. Be aware of your dogs’ aggressiveness, and separate them if they start fighting.

Also, not all dogs are comfortable living with another dog. Adding another puppy can be difficult for you and your dog, depending on the dog’s previous experience, temperament, age, and health.

What Do Dogs Like Their Owners To Do?

Most dogs seem content with their lives as long as their basic needs are met. We all know how much dogs like their favorite foods and toys. They like eating, sleeping, and running around outside.

Interestingly, dogs have unique preferences that are specific to canines. Most people need to be made aware of these preferences. Like humans, dogs enjoy various activities involving their breeds, instincts, temperaments, and personalities.

Here are some things dogs want from their owners:

  • A safe and comfortable living environment
  • To not be locked in a parked car
  • To go for walks
  • Affection
  • A nice bed.
  • To play with you and to see you happy
  • To socialize.
  • They want to eat well
  • To not be hugged excessively
  • Your loving gaze.

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Loves You?

As dog owners, we freely admit that we love our pets. We do everything we can to make their lives easy. However, the nagging question remains: do our dogs love us as much as we love them?

Dogs love their owners, and they display this love in many ways. For example, the dogs we keep as pets are social and emotional beings who respond to our smells and voices. They are delighted by our smell and react to the tone of our voice. 

Signs Your Dog Loves You

Here are some signs your dog loves you:

  • They spy on you and meet you at the door
  • They like sleeping near you.
  • They stare at you with loving eyes
  • Your dog follows you everywhere
  • When they hear your name, they perk up
  • They make eye contact with you and attempt to herd you

Do Dogs Miss Their Owners?

Dogs do miss their owners when they aren’t around. Studies show that dogs get close to their favorite person and don’t like being apart from them for long periods. Dogs can be left alone for short periods, but they do miss you.

According to research published in Psychology Today, our dogs miss us more strongly when we are gone for extended periods. The study found that dogs welcomed their owners with tremendous enthusiasm after two hours versus 30 minutes. The dogs were more interested in the smell of the person they knew than the smell of a stranger.

Every dog is different, though. While everyone will likely miss their owners, some dogs will adjust to separation more quickly than others.

Also, dogs like their owners, but they also like familiar people. Leaving your pet with a buddy will ease their separation anxiety. Try a pet sitter if you can’t find a family member or neighbor to help. Your dog will start to recognize your sitter after a few visits. Pet sitters will never replace you, but they’ll help your dog get through the time while you’re away.

Here are six important signs your dog misses you while you’re gone.

  • The dog watches the door and waits for your return
  • They cuddle or chew your stuff while you’re away
  • Crying when you leave
  • They get excited when you return home.
  • When they see you, they smile and lean on you
  • They follow you all over the house

How Do Dogs Feel When They Lose Their Owner?

Dogs experience grief when they lose loved ones, whether that person is a human or another animal. Some dogs might cry and look around the house for their missing owner.

When an owner dies before their pet, it can be a frustrating, sad, and traumatic stage for your dog.

Dogs, like people, change their behavior as they mourn. They may become sad and listless. They may lose their appetite and refuse to play.

Each dog is unique, though. While some dogs may recover from their grief in as little as two months, others may need up to ten years or more. Some dogs may need medication or changes in their behavior to treat the signs of depression and sadness.

Why Do Dogs Stare At Their Owners?

Occasionally, dogs stare at their owners to get attention. They may need something from you.

Eye contact is not an instinct for dogs, but they learn through experience that it frequently results in attention or food.

Your dog might stare at you for different reasons, like to get your attention or food, to show affection, or to figure out what you’re trying to say with your body language.

Dogs may stare at us if they feel ignored too.

Like humans, dogs look at their owners to show affection. Mutual staring between people and dogs triggers the release of oxytocin, sometimes known as the “love hormone.” This molecule is necessary for bonding and increasing feelings of love and trust.

Most dog staring is a blend of affection and attention. You can use this method of communication for training, which works for both dogs and owners.

Do Dogs Recognize Their Owner?

Yes, dogs recognize their owner through facial recognition. Dogs can identify their owners from a crowd. They use scent, speech, and body language to identify their owner.

According to recent research, dogs can identify their owners only by their voices too. According to a recent study, your dog may not even use their eyesight or scent to guide them to you.

Do Dogs Remember Their Last Owner?

Most dogs do not simply forget their prior owners when they are adopted by new ones, at least not quickly. The longer a dog lives with a person, the more bonded they become.

Even after a long separation, dogs will identify and recall their owners. They mostly rely on their sense of smell.

So, as long as a dog can smell, see, and hear, it will most likely remember you no matter how long you’ve been gone.

Conclusion: Do Dogs Like Having An Owner?

Dogs are social, emotional animals that respond to the smells and voices of people. When they smell us, they smile, and when we speak, they reply.

So, does this deepen your bond with your dog? Do you feel like you understand your dog better now? Let us know in the comments below!

Dr. Ali Hussan
Dr. Ali Hussan
DVM, University Of Veterinary And Animal Science, 2019 M.Phil. (Clinical Medicine And Surgery), University Of Agriculture Faisalabad, 2021 Dr. Ali is a well-known veterinarian, writer, and pet clinical medicine expert. Dr. Ali has spent more than seven years following his passion for pets. He has an extensive background in treating pets. He is passionate about the welfare of speechless creatures. He is a regular contributor to numerous veterinary-industry books and websites.