The question 'why the dog follows me everywhere' is a constant in your life? When pet parents make a big deal about arriving home and leaving the house, this can worsen anxiety behaviors. This is reinforcing his behavior because you are rewarding the behavior with your attention. Many dogs are scared of certain noises, like fireworks or thunderstorms, and may cling to their pet parents during these times. It doesn’t even have to be around meal time — dogs will happily accept food at any time and will follow you around in hopes that more food is on the way. Another reason your dog might stay close to your side is positive reinforcement. Dogs are really good human companions and they can get attached to their humans quickly. They went from being wolves living in packs to dogs living in packs with humans. What was their life like before they came to live with you? And, when it becomes a problem? While velcro dogs are constantly glued to their owner’s hip, dogs with true separation anxiety become anxious and panic when they’re away from their owners. Here are some reasons, and what you can do if it gets to be too much. Positive Reasons for Your Dog Following You Everywhere . One of the biggest reasons that humans bred dogs was for companionship. There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be a combination of factors. One of the biggest reasons that humans bred dogs was for companionship. Many dogs will follow their owners around due to boredom. While other breeds are “velcro dogs,” sticking like glue to their pet parents. “You might think you’re the cool one, but the person your dog is attached to is the road to everything wonderful and magical. Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere? Toy breeds, such as Chihuahuas, were mostly bred to be our little friends. For this reason, they may also follow their owner’s every move. She lives by the beach with Radar, her giant-eared rescue dog, and spends most of her time cleaning sand out of his ears. In households consisting of multiple people, there’s a good chance your dog will become fixated on one person in particular. Do dogs think if they stalk us that there is a chance that they might get fed? “Bonding with your dog is good for you,” says Dr. Barrack. According to Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian certified in both veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbology with Animal Acupuncture in New York City, there are scientific reasons behind dogs’ clingy behavior. That’s why The Dodo reached out to Dr. Andrea Tu, medical director at Behavior Vets NYC, to find out a little bit more. Most of the time your dog’s shadowing behavior is nothing to worry about. Let our authors & experts know what you think. “If every time you are with your dog, he gets affection or treats, he’s likely to [follow you around] more often,” Dr. Barrack says. If you notice that your dog is either too clingy or staying in isolation, it could be … “Your dog may follow you everywhere simply because they like you and want to spend time with you!” Dr. Tu said. They went from being wolves living in packs to dogs living in packs with humans. Rottweilers are One of the Oldest Herding Breeds. As dog owners, we love spending quality time with our pups. While an increase in shadowing behavior may be due to a behavioral or environmental issue, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Puppies will typically follow their two-legged parents very closely and may do so less once they mature and become more confident in different situations. Dr. Liz McCalley is a medical director for a small animal practice in San Diego. Interceptor is a trademark of Elanco or its affiliates. If your dog can’t seem to stop following you everywhere, it may be heading into “abnormal” territory. If following their pet parent around leads to treats, play time, or pets, dogs will remember and perform the behavior more frequently. Why would my dog start following me around the house everywhere - I've had him for 12 years and he just started doing - Answered by a verified Dog Veterinarian We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. So when your dog is following you everywhere, it means he really likes you and wants to be near you. Providing your dog with food-filled toys, treat dispensers, and puzzle toys helps to stimulate his brain and helps to alleviate boredom. A dog’s life experience before entering your home can play a big part when it comes to being fixated on one person, especially for dogs who have been rescued. Now, let’s go straight to the point. For instance, they had experienced something awful in the past. Are you staring at your dog and petting him when he is following you around? Although it doesn’t necessarily mean they will, Velcro dogs are more likely to develop separation anxiety. “Young puppies (anywhere from birth to 6 months of age) can often imprint on their owners and look to them as they would their mother,” says Dr. Barrack. Canine companions that exhibit this type of behavior are often referred to as “Velcro dogs” because of their desire to be attached to your side. Instead, try ignoring the undesired behavior and reward your dog by giving him a treat or scratches when he settles down onto his bed or takes his attention off of you to play with a toy. Separation anxiety is a very common behavioral disorder, with one study finding a prevalence of 17 percent in a large population of dogs (. While frequently following you is quite normal for a social animal like dogs, it could be part of an underlying issue you may not be aware of if their behavior seems a … © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. iy_2021; im_01; id_10; ih_19; imh_45; i_epoch:1610336741249, py_2020; pm_12; pd_13; ph_23; pmh_03; p_epoch:1607929433690, link-block-publisher; link-block-publisher_link-block-publisher; bodystr, pn_tstr:Sun Dec 13 23:03:53 PST 2020; pn_epoch:1607929433690. Dogs are more routine conscious. You stumble out of bed, half asleep, to make that oh-so-necessary cup of coffee and nearly fall flat on your face because your dog is following you a little too closely. You can help decrease how much your dog follows you around by making sure he receives plenty of daily exercise. Interactions with our dogs are a constant voyage of discovery for both of us. She enjoys educating pet parents on the latest research and emerging therapies in veterinary medicine. Change in routine. Humans aso provide dogs with food, shelter, and safety. Once this happens, a dog may follow you everywhere and may even be the kind of dog that may follow you everywhere, to the point … And it made them want to be near their owners all the time. This will also distract his energy away from you. Even when you go into the kitchen and bathroom? Either the dog was abused, or the dog was given up. Our dogs see us as their protectors and staying near to us helps to calm them and make them feel safe. ). Your dog may follow you around because she is simply lonely or under stimulated. Great Pet Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, It’s six o’clock in the morning. Does your dog watch you constantly and follow you everywhere you go? Possible reasons your dog follows you everywhere are that it is looking for attention, it wants something like food, separation anxiety or you might have been rewarding the behavior. If your dog is overly attached, it’s important to figure out whether this velcro behavior is part of his personality and breeding, or if something more serious is going on. Any change in their routine like a change in the … If your dog is normally pretty independent, but all of a sudden becomes excessively clingy, it’s time for a trip to your veterinarian. The focus is on that person because of what they give access to.”. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. Sometimes it’s the primary caregiver who provides food and walks or the fun-time human who plays tug of war, a game of catch, or hands out endless amounts of treats. Most dog owners have experienced some variation of this scenario at some point or another, and, for some, it may even be a daily occurrence. In some cases, that fear can cause real damage to the dog both mentally and physically. Elderly dogs are more prone to developing illnesses and chronic conditions so any new behavior could also be the signal of a medical problem. When pet parents make a big deal about arriving home and leaving the house, this can worsen anxiety behaviors. Many dogs follow their people because they are anxious and insecure. If your dog follows you around continuously, you’ll likely either find it extremely capitivating or you’ll be tired of almost tripping over him all the time. Dogs with separation anxiety tend to follow their pet parents excessively and feel frantic or they panic when left alone. This will save you from further problems in the future since clinginess may lead to behavioral issues. Whatever the cause is, you must train your dog to be more independent. By just devoting a little more time to playtime each day, you may be able to curtail her tendency to follow you around. “Look at it from the dog’s point of view,” says Erin Kramer, a professional certified dog trainer and owner of Tug Dogs in Northern California. Is his attachment to me indicative of some sort of issue? All Rights Reserved 2021. “It’s a trait that’s prized and bred into their genetic history,” says Kramer. The answer has to do with your dog's animal instinct and pack mentality.. Canine companions that exhibit this type of behavior are often referred to as “Velcro dogs” because of their desire to be attached to your side. For instance, if a puppy discovers that beneficial things, for example, food, pats, and fun exercises originate from a specific individual, they might be … AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports. You stumble out of bed, half asleep, to make that oh-so-necessary cup of coffee and nearly fall flat on your face because your dog is following you a, Following Behavior in Dogs: Why it Happens, Dogs were first domesticated at least 15,000 years ago (. Another thing that pet parents should do is evaluate if they are reinforcing their pup’s behavior. Why Does Your Dog Follow You Everywhere? An unpleasant smell for us is likely an intriguing smell for our dogs. It’s not uncommon for certain breeds to over-attach to their owners, particularly dogs in the working or herding groups that are bred to work side by side with their humans. These dogs seem to learn all the smallest cues, such as when you're about to get up and go to the kitchen, bathroom, or wherever you're heading. Dogs with separation anxiety tend to follow their pet parents excessively and feel frantic or they panic when left alone. Any of the above reasons may cause your dog to follow you into the bathroom. However, if this behavior becomes excessive or annoying to you, there are some things you can try at home to help limit your dog’s clingy behavior. Some breeds of dogs, like terrier breeds, are more independent and may be less prone to following their owners. Either way, it assists to understand some of the science behind why your dog might be constantly at your side. Your dog may follow you to find out what is going on, because she doesn’t want to miss out on anything. “Just make sure that in the process you do not limit their social interactions with other dogs and people. They are clingy for a lot of reasons (some of which I will also discuss here). It could be anything from separation anxiety, boredom, companionship, or lack of attention. You just recently fed him so it can’t be possible that he’s suddenly hungry after just 3 minutes. But it should serve as a wake-up call to address the behavior before it reaches the point where your dog can not function without you in the picture. https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php. Plus, bathrooms tend to have open garbage cans filled with tissues and other waste products that dogs enjoy sniffing through and tearing up. If you notice your dog going through the bathroom garbage, add a lid or keep the door closed! Because dogs respond to their owners’ behavior, it’s important to examine your relationship with your canine. If you’re flattered by this true sense of affection, and unknowingly reward your dog for his clingy behavior, you’re sending him a message that it’s welcome. All rights reserved. As a therapy dog organization in the United States, the Alliance of Therapy Dogs is often asked by dog owners why they are being stalked by their dog. Download this e-book to get the explanations behind some of the strangest canine behaviors. Dogs are pack animals. Dogs also have an excellent sense of smell and are often intrigued by the odors coming from bathrooms. You have questions, we have answers. Separation anxiety is a very common behavioral disorder, with one study finding a prevalence of 17 percent in a large population of dogs (2). Why does my dog follow me everywhere? Rottweilers were used for cattle herding many … A potentially obvious reason your dog may follow you around is that dogs are highly food motivated, and you are their gateway to food! Moreover, if you got your dog as a puppy, then it is easier for puppies to imprint on their owners and looks up to them as a parent. Our content and products are for informational purposes only. While the thought of your dog following you everywhere might seem cute and lovable, it can be an indication that something else is going on. The behavior is actually tied to natural needs of belonging to a group, so it is not something to be “corrected”. Herding dogs, including Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers, were bred to follow human orders to perform specific jobs. Could these signs be an indication that your dog has separation anxiety? If you have a dog that follows you all the time, even in the bathroom, you have a clingy dog. Dogs were first domesticated at least 15,000 years ago (1). They've spent centuries serving as companions to humans, and that's something most of them really love to do. Even if they’ve just been fed, they’ll still take … Additionally, humans can derive great benefit from that companionship too. Food. If you brought home your dog before the age of about 12 weeks, he most likely imprinted on you, seeing you as a parent-type figure. This may be a reason your old dog suddenly acts more clingy. As anyone with a dog already knows, dogs are often inclined to follow their owners everywhere they go and to watch their every move, but there is actually more to this behavior than meets the eye. 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