Dogs Imprinting on Humans: Know the Signs

Dogs’ imprinting or bonding with humans is essential to the pet-owner relationship and may last a lifetime. Your dog’s imprinting promises an impactful bond and ensures you and your dog are lifelong friends. 

Our professionals at Dan Gentile’s Dog Training Center can teach you what a dog’s imprinting means and what signs to look for in yours. We also have years of experience training dogs in Howell, NJ.

What Does Dog Imprinting Mean?

A dog’s imprinting means it has trusted its owner, formed a strong and loving attachment to them and is continuing to learn about the world with its guidance. Filial imprinting is a social attachment between an animal (such as a dog) and a parental object, forming a bond that helps the animal survive and grow.

Three Stages of Imprinting

Imprinting occurs while a dog is a puppy but has three stages of development essential to the process.

  1. Canine Imprinting Stage

When dogs are three to seven weeks old, they start learning about their parents, littermates, and themselves as dogs.

  1. Human Imprinting Stage

Dogs begin the crucial socialization period of their lives at eight to ten weeks, interacting with and learning about humans and other pups.

  1. Fear Imprinting Stage

Some dogs go through the fear imprinting stage at eight to ten weeks old if they experience a traumatic event and become wary of people.

Signs Your Dog Imprinted on You

You can observe many behaviors that suggest your dog’s imprinting process has begun, including:

  • Frequent sniffing: A dog’s sense of smell is just one of its many sharp skills. Their attachment to you makes them gravitate towards your scents, such as by sniffing your shoes or laundry piles.
  • Greetings at the door: Dogs often greet you when you come home because they miss you and want to show how happy they are.
  • An offering of gifts: Your pet may present you with a toy or object to make you happy.
  • Sleeping near or next to you: Dogs that love you will take care of you, see you as a member of their pack, and adapt their emotions to yours. They may feel safe next to you when they sleep at night. They also want to protect and show affection to you by cuddling.
  • Staring at you: Eye contact means your dog loves, trusts, or is interested in you.
  • Showing the belly: This is a sign of submission and trust from your dog.

Other signs of imprinting include physical affection, following you wherever you go, and recognizing your name.

Schedule Dog Training at Dan Gentile’s Dog Training Center!

Dan Gentile’s Dog Training Center has over 40 years of experience assisting dogs and their owners. Now that you have learned about dogs imprinting on humans, we can help you form a stronger bond with your furry friend. In addition to the services we provide in Howell Township, NJ, we also offer helpful tips for first-time dog owners.

Fill out our online form to schedule a consultation, or call us at (732) 938-5040.