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Do pets know they are your favorite?
06-28-2016, 08:14 PM,
#1
Corzhens Offline
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Do pets know they are your favorite?
knowing that I care too much for my pets, this question was asked of me by a colleague. I couldn't answer because I don't want to admit that I am playing favorites. When we had our pigeon named Twinkle, she was my least favorite because she doesn't seem to like me. Our pekingese Epoy was admittedly my favorite. And when I would be cuddling Epoy, our pigeon would approach me as if showing herself to me. With Epoy, he is bullied by Twinkle but he would just run away as if toavoid hurting the pigeon. Maybe Epoy knows that he is my favorite. 

Now it is Barbie, another pekingese that is my favorite over the 2 male dogs. And this time, it looks like the 2 male dogs know that Barbie is my favorite because they seem to be afraid of Barbie - a reverse of Epoy's character before.
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06-29-2016, 10:09 AM,
#2
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: Do pets know they are your favorite?
Chipper is the Top Dog at our house, and he knows that he is, and also Tootsie, our other dog, knows that Chipper is the favorite.
I have had Chipper since he was a tiny puppy, and also had his mother ; so he has lived his whole life with us. He is now around 13 years old, so he would rate special treatment in any case, just because he is older,and he is also only 6 lbs and fragile.
Chipper and Tootsie get along just fine, and she does not seem to object to Chipper being the favorite dog. Since dogs already have an established order of dominance, Chipper, being the senior dog, would be the dominant one in any case.
I think that most dogs are able to tell whether they are the favorite or not, and if it is not them, then they know full well which one is the favorite.
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06-30-2016, 02:30 AM,
#3
remnant Offline
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RE: Do pets know they are your favorite?
Unbeknown to most pet keepers, pets are very observant. They come to conclusion of whether favouritism is present or not through a different process to that of humans. Its not through deductive reasoning but through conditioning and cognition. For instance, you might cuddle your favourite pet in the prescence of another. Naturally, the other pet would love the same to be done to it and would move closer expecting the same treatment. When you decline to repeat the same action, you will have missed a chance at positive reinforcement through conditioning. If you chase the other pet away, it will associate its presence as negative. But then you continue to positively reinforce another pet and this would now be associated with negativity towards it and therefore positivity towards another pet hence favouritism. It doesn't take long for pets to come to this conclusion as I learnt from two puppies who were fraternal twins. I favoured one over the other since it was gentler. I learnt from my mistake and would hesitate to lower the self esteem of a pet.
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07-01-2016, 01:28 PM,
#4
CatCuddler57 Offline
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RE: Do pets know they are your favorite?
Tony, my cat, knew I liked him better than his brother.  Normally, I don't like the cats sleeping in my bed especially at night because I toss and turn.  But Tony would sleep on the floor or the closet until he was sure I was asleep before hoping into bed.  I would normally kick his brother out but Tony was smart and found a sweet spot where I didn't kick or roll over too.  So some nights he would sleep in bed with me and know he wouldn't get kicked out like his brother would.  Before you get made at me, his brother was the type to sleep on your face and suffocated you.
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