You may be curious as to why your furry pal is following you everywhere in the house. No matter where you go, whether it be the kitchen or the bathroom, Fido is always by your side. Why is that? Why does my dog follow me everywhere?
When your dog follows you everywhere, from room to room, it can be due to the fact that he wants attention. Dogs are social animals so it’s natural for them to seek companionship. Perhaps your dog is just curious about you or wants to know what you’re up to.
There can be many reasons why your dog follows you everywhere, but those reasons most likely all point back to him loving you. Below are 10 common purposes to this behavior.
Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere?
10. You Are The Leader
When your pooch views you as the alpha, he looks to you for guidance. He sees you as part of his “pack.” Being with the pack leader provides comfort and safeness. It is also said when your dog respects your position as the leader, he’ll let you walk through the door first. Doing so otherwise is a sign of disrespect.
Plus, when you move about your home, Fido doesn’t want to feel vulnerable when he’s alone, and neither does he want you to feel the same. So behind his doggie psychology, following the leader ensures safety for both.
09. A Velcro Dog
Dogs who follow and want to constantly be by their owner’s side are known as velcro dogs. Some breeds are more clingy than others such as Labradors, Frenchies, Pugs, Chihuahua, and German Shepherds. While some are bred to be more human-dependent, others can be influenced by human behaviors. Chances are, your furball may be a velcro dog if he is following you around on a daily basis.
Another possible reason is your dog wants attention from you. Following you do just that. Any type of reaction he gets out of you is a plus for him. So why the attention-seeking behavior? Well, a very common reason is that he’s just bored, perhaps not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation. Other possible reasons could be your furball lacks confidence or is scared, and contact with you provides security.
Naturally, dogs are very curious creatures. Possibly having a strong sense of smell and sight has something to do with them being nosy. They are eager to explore their surroundings and will sniff or lick things to figure out what they are. Your furball just wants to know what you’re up to, that’s all. He doesn’t want to miss out on the fun.
06. Looking For Clues
Your dog may be looking to see your next move. Following you allows him to constantly read your body language, which lets him know what you are about to do. Getting ready to leave the house? Fidos knows. Preparing to cook? Fido knows. Getting ready for some walkies? Fido knows. When you have a daily routine, he can easily catch up on it. Once he has the routine down, and if you ever forget to take him out for a walk, for example, he may even constantly check on you to remind you. “Hey! Hooman, time fur walkies!”
05. Social Animals
Dogs are highly socialized animals and they thrive in companionship. They were bred to be with people and look to us for guidance and survival. Through the course of the domestication of dogs, human-dog relationships became closer and closer. Your pup simply wants to be with you because he has a special bond with you.
04. Protecting You
Your four-legged family member senses he has a duty to protect you. In his mind, he views you as the leader who feeds and takes care of him wholeheartedly. That’s why Fido feels the need to protect his special Hooman at all costs. Although it is good to know he really loves you, being overprotective is something that should not be encouraged.
Let’s say friends come by to visit the house and when greeting each other, your dog decides to bark, growl, or worst case decide to bite. This aggressive behavior issue becomes problematic and if not fixed, it could lead to worse behavioral problems in the long run.
03. You’re Encouraging The Behavior
Just like any other behavior, you may be the one who actually trained him to follow you without noticing. Some things you do may have encouraged the behavior such as praises or positive reinforcements that occur on a daily basis. Through time, your furry pal associates the following behavior with a positive outcome, for example, getting a treat. Now that he knows, he will follow you knowing very well that a yummy treat is coming his way.
02. Separation Anxiety
What you don’t want to encourage is separation anxiety. Although it can be a bit hard to distinguish between separation anxiety and having a Velcro dog, there are differences. Almost all dogs suffering from separation anxiety are Velcro dogs, but not all Velcro dogs have separation anxiety. Despite the fact that both want to be as close to their owners as possible, separation anxiety tends to be more serious.
Those who suffer from it are extremely anxious when they are left alone. They will show signs of distress and will often display destructive behaviors, such as chewing on items around the house when they are by themselves.
If you suspect your dog has separation anxiety, beyond any doubt, talk to your veterinarian or dog trainer about the issue. It will cause damage to your dog both mentally and physically if not nip in the bud. Here’s an article If you want to know more about separation anxiety in dogs.
Doesn’t it seem like dogs are hungry all the time? Even if they’ve just been fed, they’ll still take up anything edible. Since you are the one who provides food, following you increases his chance of getting some tasty treats. Be prepared to face the irresistible puppy eyes when your adorable ball of fur is trying to convince you to give in! Or, maybe he’s just hungry.
Why Does My Dog Follow Me, But Not My Significant Other?
When your dog only follows you around the house, it could be that he views you as the Alpha of the “pack” and not your significant other. Are you the one feeding your dog? Are you the one taking your dog out for walks? Who grooms the dog? Your pooch knows who gives him more attention, who is the main provider of his necessities, and in return follows his designated Alpha. Perhaps, he’s just more bonded to you and trusts you more.
Should You Allow The Behavior?
To allow it or not is usually a personal preference. If you don’t find it bothersome, then usually it is not a big deal. Just be aware to address unwanted behaviors such as being overprotective or having separation anxiety. These issues should not be tolerated and instead, be confronted immediately. What you want is to have a blissful dog who loves your attention and presence, but is fine when you are not around.
How To Stop The Behavior
If you have ruled out any serious reasons, there are ways to train Fido to stop following you around the house if you want him to be more independent or if you find it annoying. Below are some training tips and tricks you can use to hopefully get your pooch to not be so clingy around you. If you suspect your dog has separation anxiety, check out this post to get some tips on how you can stop it.
Exercise: Like mentioned earlier, dogs who follow their owners can be due to a lack of exercise. They have a lot of energy to spare. Try to add sprints or a game of fetch in your dog’s daily routine to tire him out. By the time you’re back home, he’ll be resting instead.
Commands: Teach Fido commands such as “Stay.” Tell him to “Stay” or “Down” and leave for a few seconds. Once he gets the hang of it, you can gradually increase time and sooner or later you will find yourself being able to leave his sight for minutes.
Create A Safe Place: Create a designated area in the house, such as his crate, bed, or room, and fill it up with his favorite toys. Train him to understand that his safe place is a secure and happy place. You can do so by using encouragement and positive reinforcement.
Restrict Access: If the above tips aren’t working, and your dog is still constantly following you when you’re trying to relax, it’s time to limit access. Use a dog gate to restrict access to areas where you don’t want him to follow. He will still be able to see and hear from you. If he’s trying to get to you, use commands. Once he learns how to properly behave, then you can let him in.
Don’t Punish: Being followed around can be irritating, but training takes time and patience. During training, if he is still following you, don’t shout at him as this will only scare him and might damage the bond the two of you share. Here’s a useful article on 12 alternatives instead of being angry at your dog.
While some people absolutely love it when their dog is always by their side 24/7, others may want some time to relax without being distracted by their precious doggos. In the end, dogs are meant to be our companions so it’s only natural for them to want to follow their human parents.
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