Why does my dog follow me everywhere? Many pet owners have stories of clingy doggos that don’t want to leave their side. Remember that for every behavior, there’s an explanation. Most dogs will keep following you around because of companionship, curiosity, or separation anxiety. While it’s a cute gesture, some reasons behind it might be a problem.
Reasons why your dog keeps following you around
If you’re puzzled as to why your pooch is strutting beside you all the time, you must consider these possible reasons:
- Separation anxiety
One of the main reasons why dogs cling to their owner’s side is separation anxiety. Basically, your dog doesn’t want you to leave them behind. Breeds like Retrievers, Bichon Frises, Spaniels, and Shepherds are prone to separation anxiety.
Some dogs get upset when they don’t see their owners for long periods. This leads them to develop a negative behavior of following the human around. And if their owner leaves, separation anxiety may trigger destructive chewing, accidents, barking, and howling.
Separation anxiety must be addressed right away before it worsens. This behavior causes extreme stress in dogs, which is not healthy. At some point, a dog may chew their way out and run away as an effort to chase after their owners.
If your dog is following you around, crying when you exit the door, having accidents, and escaping, it’s possible that the pooch is suffering from separation anxiety.
Domesticated dogs have grown fond of human interaction. This is also the same reason why some canines will follow their owners around – the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. Your dog is simply elated to be around you.
Dogs who are following around for companionship won’t usually exhibit negative behaviors. Also, some doggos may do this if they are afraid and are seeking comfort in your presence.
Some breeds like Boxers, Great Danes, Brussels Griffon, and Bulldogs are naturally affectionate. This is why they will always seek for some pets and hugs.
However, you should watch out as this innocent behavior may lean toward separation anxiety. You should teach your dog to have some level of independence so they won’t have destructive habits while you’re away.
- Getting your attention
If your dog is following you around, it’s possible that it wants your attention. Your dog may also hold a toy on its mouth while following you as an effort to initiate playtime.
Also, a bored dog will follow you around to drain the extra energy. The dog could be hoping that you would let them join in so they will not be bored anymore.
Dogs are curious beings, and they always want to be part of our routines. Some will follow their owners around and sniff on the things they hold. This is observed in dogs that lack mental and physical stimulation. Since they have the extra energy to spare, it will fuel their curiosity on almost anything.
Also, it’s possible that you smell like food or something that appeals to canines.
- Reinforcements and rewards
Lastly, it’s possible that your dog gets some form of reward when following you. Are you giving your dog food scraps when it follows you to the kitchen? Or do you snuggle with your dog when it trails you to the bedroom? If so, you are actually reinforcing the behavior.
Your dog has associated following you everywhere with something good. At some point, this can be annoying, much so if you need some private time in the bathroom.
Is it bad that my dog follows me everywhere?
Well, it depends on the reason behind it. If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, then you should have it addressed right away. Letting your dog following you around without solving its root cause will not allow the problem to linger and stress your dog even more.
Also, not doing anything about the clingy behavior of your dog will only make the problem worse. Your pooch will think that it’s a welcome habit.
If your pet’s clinginess is starting to be annoying and invasive, you have to act right away. Training is necessary to curb the behavior and to prevent any further problems.
Remember that dogs respond to our own behavior. If you allow them to follow around, they will not stop until you teach them not to. While being followed around by your dog is a show of affection, they may become fixated on you. This over-attachment will trigger the onset of separation anxiety.
Why does my dog follow me and not my husband?
Dogs tend to run favorites, which could be the reason why your pet follows you and not your husband. It’s also a matter of smell. Your dog may find your perfume more appealing since it’s mellow and not as overpowering as your husband’s.
It’s also possible that you are the one who feeds, grooms, and cuddles with the dog more. Like humans, dogs get attached to the person they often bond with.
This habit also roots back to socialization when your dog is still young. If you’re the one who’s always around, your dog will favor you over your husband and kids. Also, your dog sees you as the leader of the pack and your husband as another follower.
Why is my dog following me around more than usual?
Dogs will have a heightened desire to follow their owners around when they are bored. Also, if you’ve been away for long, being clingy than usual is your dog’s way of making up for the lost time.
Some experts also believe that dogs can sense pregnancy in humans. It’s tied to the changing odor linked to hormonal and physical changes. Your dog can sense this, and it will lead your pet to become more affectionate and protective. This could be the reason why your dog follows you around more than usual.
How to stop my dog from following me around
If you’re not happy with your dog following you around, you can do the following to stop or at least reduce the habit:
- Train your dog. The best thing you can do is to teach your dog the ‘stay’ command. This way, your pooch will learn to wait and not follow you around every single time. Start with a small distance then increase it as time passes by. Remember to reward with treats if your dog stays so the training would be effective.
- Use baby gates. If you want immediate results, you can install baby gates that are tall enough for your dog not to jump over. However, this is only a temporary solution, and you still need to train your doggo to solve the clingy problem.
- Exercise your dog. One thing that may cause your dog to follow you around is boredom. More exercise and playtime will drain their extra energy. This will make the dog less likely to follow you around because it’s already tired and sleepy.
- Don’t let the dog sleep on your bed. One way to teach your dog independence is by training it to sleep on its bed instead of yours. You can start by keeping their bed in your bedroom then slowly putting it out. This will make your dog recognize that each one in the house has a sleeping spot that needs to be respected.
- Give them attention. It’s best to schedule bonding moments with your dog so the pooch wouldn’t have to pester you around to get it. Remember that dogs are beings of habit, so it’s easy for them to get used to a bonding or playtime schedule.
Why does my dog follow me everywhere? It could be anything from separation anxiety, boredom, companionship, or lack of attention. Whatever the cause is, you must train your dog to be more independent. This will save you from further problems in the future since clinginess may lead to behavioral issues.