Do you have a dog that seems to follow you everywhere? Some dogs will become your shadow, and stalk you aimlessly around the house for hours. This can be cute, but sometimes they get in the way, or want to follow you into the bathroom and just sit and stare at you…which isn’t so cute.
You may even notice that your dog is unhealthily attached to you, following your every move, and never relaxing if you are on the go. This can be a problem, as the dog may actually be showing signs of anxiety, and you are probably falling over them all the time.
So, why do they do it? Why do dogs follow you around the house? With this guide, we will discuss some of the reasons why this happens, and how you can prevent it from going too far.
Why do dogs follow you around the house?
Some owners will find an overly attached dog very endearing and loving, whereas others will not take well to their personal space being invaded every five seconds. This is why it is important to understand this behavior, find out why it happens and what you can do to stop it.
For the most part, dogs will follow their owners around the house because of one of four reasons. The first reason is companionship. Dogs will follow you around the house because they love your company and want to be with you all of the time.
In addition, since dogs have become domesticated, they naturally want to form a bond with their owners, and will try and be as close to you as possible.
The second reason is due to natural traits in the breed. Some breeds are more inclined to be attached and at your side for any given moment, and it is just a behavior that your dogs enjoy doing.
The third reason is because of positive reinforcement. A dog will love to be around someone who actively spends time with them, gives them treats, foods, love, attention, pats and much more. If there is a person at home who loves to spoil the dog and make them happy, then they will probably follow them around for more.
The final reason, and one of the more common reasons is because your dog has separation anxiety. This is when a dog is nervous, triggered, upset or becomes depressed when they are away from their owners. Although most dog owners do not realize, or do it on purpose, some of their actions can encourage separation anxiety.
For instance, if you make a huge fuss or give your dog a lot of attention when you return home, or make it sad when you leave, then the dog is aware that leaving them is a bad thing, and will become stressed and nervous when you are gone. This can sometimes lead to destructive behavior whilst you are away.
If you find that your dog follows you a lot, and you are unsure whether it is an issue, try changing your behavior to see how the dog acts. For instance, try letting them sleep alone downstairs, or do not invite them into the toilet with you.
If your dog becomes stressed or upset, then you may have a clingy dog, or one suffering from separation anxiety. If this is the case, then you will need to build up their confidence and independence.
How to Stop Your Dog from Following You Around the House
We love dogs so much, but they can get on top of you sometimes. Whenever I try to cook, my dog sits at my feet, and I have to tiptoe around her. One of these days I have a fear that I am going to trip over her and break something, crack my head, or hurt my dog. So, maybe putting some boundaries in place is a good idea.
The best way to put some distance between you and a clingy dog is to offer them something else to focus on. Instead of focusing on what you are doing, perhaps give your dog a command, a toy or a treat for being independent and calm.
For instance, you will need to teach your dog to lie down and stay on their bed for periods of time, while you are busy doing other things. To do this, ask and command your dog to sit or lie down on a mat or bed. When they obey, reward with treats. Do this again and again until they understand that they need to stay there in order to be rewarded.
Why does my dog follow me and not my husband?
Some dogs will bond closer to one person rather than two. This is because they may perceive you as the leader or Alpha of the pack. In other cases, your dog may be following you more than anyone else as they think that you are their parent, or if they have a stronger relationship with you.
For instance, if you are the one who feeds, walks, pets and plays with them, they are more likely to be closer to you.
Why do dogs follow you to the bathroom?
Some dogs are considered velcro dogs. This is because they want to be by your side at all times. If your dog follows you to the bathroom as well, then you may have a velcro dog on your hands!
In addition, dogs used to be pack animals and they still have those wild dog animal instincts in them. As part of a pack, dogs would hunt, play, sleep, stalk and do everything together. This is why your dog thinks that it has to do everything with you, even when you go to the bathroom.
Your dog believes that you are part of their pack, and they must protect you when you are most vulnerable.