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So you guys dont believe he "one person dog" adage? That some dogs have (in their mind) only one "master". Just curious.
I personally believe in the "one favorite person dog". I am Harper's favorite person, my fiance is Abby's favorite person. They will respond to commands from both of us, they will cuddle with both of us, but Harper is quicker to respond and cuddle with me, while Abby is quicker to respond and cuddle with fiance.

That's the way I feel, too. Dogs most definitely have preferences, and there are definitely dogs and breeds that strongly bond to one person only. There are even some breeds of dogs that you will likely never be able to get affection from, no matter how hard you try. Sometimes the best you can get with these dogs is acknowledgment of your ability to give them things.

But there isn't a dog that can't learn that humans are in control of all resources, and that performing commands for those humans gets the resources. There isn't a dog that can't learn "x action gets me a valuable reward" if the action is explained well enough for the dog to understand. If I can teach a bobcat that jumping on platforms when asked is the way to get food, I can teach a dog that sitting when asked is the way to get food.
 

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I personally believe in the "one favorite person dog". I am Harper's favorite person, my fiance is Abby's favorite person. They will respond to commands from both of us, they will cuddle with both of us, but Harper is quicker to respond and cuddle with me, while Abby is quicker to respond and cuddle with fiance.
I am Izze's fave person, Josefina seems to love both of us pretty equally, but perhaps not. She seems to respond quicker to commands from me then OH, she will listen to OH... But not as quickly as she does with me, but he does a few annoying things with her that i wish he wouldn't do lol, like saying commands repeatedly instead of saying it once & waiting on her to do the behavior... But he doesn't have the patience for that lol, i always give him hell about it ;).
 

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So you guys dont believe he "one person dog" adage? That some dogs have (in their mind) only one "master". Just curious.
Nope.

I believe in conditioned/learned behaviors and that dogs are capable of learning that if you want good things from person X, listen to what person X wants.

I believe that person X needs to work with the dog so that the dog can learn person X's signals, voice, and behavior patterns and for the pair to build a relationship. I believe person X will need to be patient with the dog, even if person X knows the dog understands all the cues and such he/she is giving.

If it were true that a dog will listen to/consider only one person in their lives "master", then how would rescued dogs and such function?

I do not believe a dog will single out just one person for the rest of their lives as the only one their ever bond with. I do believe dogs bond, will feel the loss of a bond, and need to go through an adjustment period, but I don't think this means they will NEVER accept another person in their lives because their "one person" is not in their life anymore.

To use Wally as an example, if he only considered his past people his people, how could my mom and I have him consider us as his people as well? If dogs can't learn to form new bonds and relationships, how can Wally and I go from an "uneasy peace" to steadfast allies? And this is with a dog that has/had a suspicious, wary, and fearful nature.

Another Wally example, both me and my mom have a strong relationship with Wally. If a dog can only have "one master" or "one person", how does he show a bond with both of us?
 

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Well maybe it's the same ability we have with friends, some can be best friends, some just friends, and then acquaintances.

I think also that it does not rule out completely the possibility of a one person dog or as in Wally's case maybe 2 person dogs. Surely with the many people and dogs in the world anything while not probable might be possible. That's my story/belief and I'm gonna stick to it cause it just makes me feel good.
 

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Dogs become attached to one person when there is one person who is providing the most attention and resources. If you're the one who feeds the dog, trains it the most, and walks it the most of course the dog is going to favor you over everyone else. It's choosing you because it trusts you and knows you will provide what it needs.
 

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Dogs become attached to one person when there is one person who is providing the most attention and resources. If you're the one who feeds the dog, trains it the most, and walks it the most of course the dog is going to favor you over everyone else. It's choosing you because it trusts you and knows you will provide what it needs.
Right, except I'm not the only one doing that and it's not as those Wally will blow me off to go with her or her off to go with me. In fact, he's often conflicted about who to follow if we go in different places or are doing things (like if I help with her garden or such, and Wally's just hanging out), and often, he'll sit/lay where he has sight of both of us. So why doesn't he just pick his favorite and follow one of us around?

I think dogs can have a multitude of people they really enjoy and to be around, not just one. It depends on the experiences of the dog, imo. If the dog is surrounded by lots of people that all take care of, spend time with, and are good to the dog in general, the dog could very well like them all, not just pick one.

So, no, I don't believe that dogs "will" have just one person they stick to and that's just it. It depends on what's going on in the dog's life.
 

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I think dogs can have a multitude of people they really enjoy and to be around, not just one. It depends on the experiences of the dog, imo. If the dog is surrounded by lots of people that all take care of, spend time with, and are good to the dog in general, the dog could very well like them all, not just pick one.
That's kind of what I was implying but didn't directly say. That's the situation with our dogs, there's no clear "favorite" between my GF and myself because we tend to share duties equally (feeding, walking, training, etc).
 

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Izze has known my folks for as long as she has been alive, they even have cared for her on more then a few occasions but if she is with them & I even think about walking away, I dont even have to do it & she is right there at my side waiting.
 

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Izze has known my folks for as long as she has been alive, they even have cared for her on more then a few occasions but if she is with them & I even think about walking away, I dont even have to do it & she is right there at my side waiting.
Because you feed them and train them and provide shelter.
 
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