December 5, 2023

As loving as dogs can be to everyone they interact with, they typically show favoritism toward one person.

If you’re wondering whether that person is you, you might in fact be the “spare human” in your dog’s life. But don’t let that discourage you, as plenty of families and co-parents experience the same feeling.

One spare human in a golden retriever puppy’s life has learned the hard way that dogs tend to listen to their favorite more often. Sarah Gounder LaRussa wanted Gnocchi to sit in the back seat of the car, but he did not pay any attention to her. Instead, he leaned on his favorite human for support. Literally.

This puppy was lying on top of the center console, with his back up against her husband’s arm. Gnocchi stared up at Gounder LaRussa with a look that said, “I can do whatever I want.”

Golden retriever puppy in car
A golden retriever named Gnocchi is seen as a puppy (left) and now (right). When it comes to his two owners, he has a favorite.
Sarah Gounder LaRussa

The October 20 TikTok video, which has over 2.9 million views, proves that dogs tend to follow their favorite human.

Gounder LaRussa told Newsweek that Gnocchi and her husband, Cory, have a special bond that started almost instantly when they brought the dog home in July. Gnocchi always goes up to Cory, licking his face and rubbing up against him.

Cory is Gnocchi’s favorite human because he lets the dog onto the couch and bed way more than she does. But at least Gnocchi listens to them equally, Gounder LaRussa said, although that isn’t too often because the dog likes to use his selective hearing.

“He has ears, but we’re not sure they work,” said Gounder LaRussa. “Sometimes I lift his ears and ask, ‘Are these things working?'”

Sounds like a typical puppy.

Now that Gnocchi is older and weighs about 50 pounds, the couple does not let him up on the center console anymore. Instead, Gnocchi has the entire back seat to himself. He’s strapped in with a buckle, which makes it safe for both the dog and the drivers.

“Even though Cory loves having him, Cory is a firefighter and appreciates the safety aspect,” Gounder LaRussa said.

Signs You Are Your Dog’s Favorite

Newsweek previously spoke to veterinarians about signs indicating you are your dog’s favorite human. Have you noticed your dog does the following?

Dogs will gravitate toward their favorite human, leaning in and touching that person as much as possible. They want to do anything and everything with you. They’ll never leave their favorite person’s side.

If you have noticed prolonged eye contact with your dog, that is usually a sign of trust. A wiggly body and wagging tails are also signs of affection. And from time to time, a dog may rub its face against its favorite human to show its love.

But how does a dog choose its favorite human? It often comes down to the imprinting stage when it’s a puppy, according to Paw Safe. Time spent with your dog also plays an important role. The person who typically spends more time with the dog, whether that is walking, playing or cuddling, usually forms a stronger bond.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.