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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Do you feel your dog distinguishes between you and other people and loves you more than random strangers? I've given some thought to getting a Cocker one day as my 2nd dog but I do want a dog who thinks I'm more special than a stranger walking down the street. So I'm curious what Cocker owners and owners of other breeds that are usually extremely friendly with strangers think. I often see these dogs acting extremely friendly with complete strangers and wonder if they think their owner is any more special than a random person. I have a Cavalier mix who is very much a one person dog. She's usually slightly friendly with strangers but it takes her a while to really open up to them. I assume this "one-person" quality of hers is the result of whatever she's mixed with because that's generally not a characteristic of Cavaliers but it's one of my favorite things about her. I wouldn't really like it if I felt that my dog would be just as happy going home from a walk in the neighborhood with a complete stranger as he or she would be going back home with me.
 

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I'm fairly certain my dogs think I'm special because I'm the one who feeds them.
That's about it. My Golden is strongly bonded to our family, but I have no illusions that he "loves" me more than strangers. My suspicion is that he loves himself above all other carbon-based lifeforms, and we merely reinforce and validate his sense of self worth more than strangers typically do.

And we feed him.
 

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Esther is guarded with most strangers and hostile toward some. Molly (the lab) loves EVERYONE.

They both think I am God (though that doesn't always translate into total obedience.)

The other dogs in my life (the grand-dogs) think I am pretty special but a couple rungs below their owners (my children.) I may be some kind of third-tier god, but not the big Kahuna.

I don't necessarily buy into the whole pack-theory thing but I do think dogs size you up pretty quickly and decide where you stand on the food chain. That's not to say they can't warm up to you with time. The first three times my son's dog, Duke, saw me, he growled at me. Now I think I may have been promoted to #3 in his life, just behind my son and my wife.

I don't know if that even comes close to addressing your question, but it was fun to talk about.
 

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I can't really answer your question about Cockers, but I think a part of being a one person dog is the breed, a part of it is the breeding, and a part of it is socialization. Personally, I'd much rather have a dog that's overly friendly with strangers than a dog that isn't (like my current dog), but everyone is different :)
 

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I don't know about the breeds you asked about, but I have a Pug and they are known to be one of the most friendliest breeds. She loves strangers, kids, men, women, other animals, etc.

When someone comes over, say, my Mom whom she knows well as she is here almost daily, Chloe will go crazy for a minute with her and get the positive attention then come right back to me. Always.

She does make the distinction, no doubt about it. When kids come over, she plays with them endlessly but always looks to me if I move around and will follow me if I go into another room. She is bonded to me the most, but also loves everything and everyone we come across.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I can't really answer your question about Cockers, but I think a part of being a one person dog is the breed, a part of it is the breeding, and a part of it is socialization. Personally, I'd much rather have a dog that's overly friendly with strangers than a dog that isn't (like my current dog), but everyone is different :)
Yeah, I agree that the breed itself is probably only one of many factors. My Cavalier mix was a stray dog. So whatever early life experiences she had (and who knows what they were?) might be why she's cautious with strangers.

I don't know about the breeds you asked about, but I have a Pug and they are known to be one of the most friendliest breeds. She loves strangers, kids, men, women, other animals, etc.

When someone comes over, say, my Mom whom she knows well as she is here almost daily, Chloe will go crazy for a minute with her and get the positive attention then come right back to me. Always.

She does make the distinction, no doubt about it. When kids come over, she plays with them endlessly but always looks to me if I move around and will follow me if I go into another room. She is bonded to me the most, but also loves everything and everyone we come across.
That's what I was curious about. If the dog is friendly with others, I think that's a nice quality. But I would want him or her to show a preference for me over other people, which it sounds like your dog does.
 

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I don't know what breed my dog is, but he is very friendly to everyone. There is no doubt however, that he knows me and loves me more than anyone else (probably because I'm the one who walks him, feeds him, plays with him, etc.). The excitement he shows when I get home is second to none and definitely one of the highlights of my day. He doesn't get that excited about anyone else.
 

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My dog definitely loves us, but she also gets super excited to meet, well, anyone and everyone, people and other dogs.

But she knows who feeds her.

She's an attention whore when people are over or when we took her to my folks house for a week.
 

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My mutt has some lab in her, and while I like to think she loves me the best, this is clearly not the case. She would go home with anyone. Today there were some guys doing yard work in the yard, and I let the dogs out. Jack and Jonas barked and kept a circle around them, and Smalls ran up with her big dopey face and followed the guys around smiling and trying to nudge a ball in their hands.

Jack McCoy prefers my boyfriend but is comfortable with strangers, and Jonas prefers me over every one. He tolerates my boyfriend, but he is NOT a people dog.
 

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Rosie pretty much loves everyone, but she does show special affection to me. like fillebelle said it probably has something to do with the fact that i am the food and treat dispenser.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My lab only likes me, my husband and our family members when they come over. Anyone else walks in the house, she does not like nor does she like anyone walking past her yard, lol.
Really? Wow, I thought that was pretty uncommon for a lab!
 

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Here's the thing: Anyone or anything you spend a great deal of positive time and energy on is probably going to like you more than he/she/it likes a total stranger. It has nothing to do with being friendly, it has to do with the two of you having a relationship. Are you friendly to strangers in line at the supermarket? Do you "like" your significant other better? Know what I mean?

My friends and family know me to be a pragmatist. That side of me is speaking right now...most (NOT all) dogs would quickly adapt to going home with someone other than their owner after a walk. Frankly, most people adapt to the loss of loved ones pretty successfully, too. If you're picking a breed based primarily on how much it loves you above all others, I think you will have a long search ahead of you.

Having said that, if you prefer a dog that is more aloof with strangers, they are definitely out there. That quality certainly can be breed related, but I suspect it's even more connected to individual personalities. Get to know some dogs and bring home the one that most closely matches what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the comments. One more question: Can a Cocker Spaniel be a lapdog or are they too big for that?
 

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Hell, I have a 60lb English Bull-Lapdog.

I used to groom a 90lb rottie on the floor and when I would sit down, low and behold, he was a lap-dog...(Help, I can't get up!!)

As for you first question, I am very, very happy when my dogs are loving to strangers (if the stranger wants the attention, that is) I would think this is a good quality in a dog. I feel truly proud that my dogs are not fearfull of strangers. It shows they are wellrounded and socialized.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hell, I have a 60lb English Bull-Lapdog.

I used to groom a 90lb rottie on the floor and when I would sit down, low and behold, he was a lap-dog...(Help, I can't get up!!)

As for you first question, I am very, very happy when my dogs are loving to strangers (if the stranger wants the attention, that is) I would think this is a good quality in a dog. I feel truly proud that my dogs are not fearfull of strangers. It shows they are wellrounded and socialized.
I definitely wouldn't want my dog to be fearful of strangers. I think the previous post about the Pug being extremely friendly with strangers but then always coming back to the owner probably describes what I think is ideal.
 

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My Lab is a friendly dog...in the right setting. He doesn't like strangers walking in "his" yard and has on occasion reacted aggressively. In other settings, when introduced to strangers, he's very Lab-like and loves everyone. He just has a hangup about his yard...lol

Uallis, OTOH, is VERY aloof toward strangers in a public setting. He doesn't really concern himself with them because, I imagine in his mind, his surroundings are just more important and more interesting to him. From an early age, he's had strangers fawn all over him (not many Mastiff's in my area) so to him, its the norm and not that exciting. He also keeps "track" of where his "people" are when we are in public. He wants us all to be next to him and walk with him. He doesn't like it, if say, my BF has his leash and tries to walk him away from me. He wants us all walking together. He can get pretty serious about that, meaning that he'll refuse to walk...lol. He's very attached to his "people", more so than any other dog that I've ever owned. I do like that quality about him, however, I do wish that he were a tad more outgoing with strangers and showed at least a smidgen of an interest with them. As he gets older, he just is getting more and more aloof though. When he was a pup, I used to always say that he'd never met a stranger. He LOVED people when he was younger but they just aren't interesting to him anymore. The only interesting strangers to him are kids...he LOVES kids and will without a doubt ditch me to hang out with them. lol :rolleyes: He doesn't really want to play with them...he just wants to follow them around and watch them I guess. He is also very aloof toward unfamiliar dogs. He completely ignores them...and ignores every invitation to play. The only dog he will play with is my Lab.
 
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