Do you ever introduce your dog to a new person, only to find that your dog seems to like that new person more?
That’s not a surprise, says research published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, which shows that a minimum of 70% of all loyal dogs with caring owners exhibit behavior that implies they prefer new people to their own masters.
But don’t fret! This doesn’t actually mean they’re betraying you! In fact, it’s thanks to you that this may be happening at all. At the Arizona State University and University of Florida, experts determined through research that in 10-minute sessions aimed at discovering whether dogs prefer the affection of their owners or strangers, there were two clear types of behaviors.
One behavior concerned dogs who barely showed any interest in interacting with the stranger, preferring to stick to their owner. But the second type of behavior showed that the dogs demanded attention from both the stranger and their owner, skewing 70% in favor of the strangers. The defining factor? Location!
As it turns out, in a comfortable and familiar environment, dogs are more likely to befriend strangers because they feel safe and can rely on their owners for anchoring and security. But in unfamiliar locations, those same dogs would much prefer to play it safe and stick with their owners. In other words, it is their love for you that makes them confident enough to befriend new people!
Feature Image Source: Pixabay