So, to answer the question, we have created a list of reasons that might be behind this behavior. Read through this to understand if your dog has a deeper rooted issue and help it live a healthier life. You can also get tips on how to stop your dog from doing so in order to get some space for yourself.
Reasons Your Dog Follow You Everywhere
Some of the main reasons why your dog may follow you around can be as follows:
The most obvious reason is that some dogs enjoy the company of their human owners. Natural selection has molded dogs into companions for humans during the domestication process.
Domesticated dogs are now ‘connected’ with humans in ways that are similar to how children are bonded with their parents. In this way, our relationship with dogs has developed over time as a result of domestication.
Need of Attention
Often, dogs frequently follow their owners around because they are rewarded with attention or some other type of compensation for doing so. Dogs have a tendency to repeat any sort of behavior that may result in treats or pets.
While a lot of people find this behavior quite cute, remember that if your dog’s shadowing becomes extreme, it can become bothersome and even dangerous to you and your dog in case you end up tripping on it.
When dogs get distressed as a result of being separated from their owners, separation anxiety develops. Owners frequently unwittingly encourage this in their dogs. This usually occurs when they leave or return home and make a huge deal out of it, which reinforces the dog’s anxiety about their absence and causes it to become even more stressed. The dog thinks that since the owner is so happy to see it, it must also mimic that happiness and stay sad for the amount of time the owner is not nearby.
Separation anxiety can cause several problems in the dog, including aggression, damaging behavior, depression, and urinating or defecating around the house despite being potty trained.
Another reason could be that your dog has nowhere to let your energy out and spends the entire day feeling bored. This might lead it to fixate more on you and accompany you everywhere to keep itself active. The best way to get rid of this boredom is to indulge the dog in some activities and games, particularly those that tire it out in a good way.
Dogs are good at picking up daily routines more easily than humans. So if you are used to taking it out for a walk or giving it dinner around a certain time every day, it will tend to get excited around that time. This will make it follow you around for the food or walk. While this might be a good thing to get the dog in a regular routine, you should also make sure that it does not become so dependent on the routine that getting sidetracked once or twice makes it stressed out.
Some breeds are simply more likely than others to go after you. Especially breeds like Border Collies and Shelties are notorious for doing this. For thousands of years, humans have bred these dogs to follow flocks of sheep. These dogs may instead run after their people if there are no sheep or other livestock nearby.
Velcro vs Separation Anxiety
The most significant distinction between separation anxiety and being a velcro dog is anxiety. Dogs with true anxiety worry when they are separated from their humans, unlike velcro dogs that like to be linked to their owners.
Although velcro dogs are more likely to experience anxiety, this does not guarantee that they will. However, it is always best to be prepared beforehand if you see your dog becoming too clingy and nip the behavior in the bud.
How to Stop Your Dog from Following You?
In case you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with how your dog is behaving, here are a few tips and tricks to help your dog give you some space:
Keep Your Dog Busy
One of the best things you can do is keep your dog busy. This will help it let its energy out and fixate less on you. Keeping a dog easy is quite an easy task, fortunately. Keep toys, chew toys, and food-filled puzzles at its disposal, since it usually spends hours with these.
Sometimes, dogs get bored, even with toys. This is the best time to plan a toy rotation system. What you have to do is basically rotate different toys for different days of the week and switch up the days as well. This will leave your dog guessing for which toy it will get on a particular day and keep it excited for that.
You could also help your dog socialize by taking it on walks and giving it the opportunity to bond with other dogs. Taking it to parks usually serves both purposes and creates in it a sense of joy.
Some dogs may follow you due to stress or anxiety. If you punish them for that, not only does the main issue remain unresolved, but it also triggers it more. Therefore, always refrain from punishing your dog for something that can be solved in a number of other ways.
Different breeds require different amounts of exercise to stay healthy and energized. Read up or ask your vet about how much your dog should be exercising, and try to incorporate that into your daily routine. If you are too busy, you can also hire a dog walker or ask a friend who will ensure that your dog gets all the steps it needs. As long as your dog is getting some action, it will stay active and happy and have fewer reasons to bother you for attention.
Training your dog as a puppy is usually quite easy. However, it becomes harder if it is a mature dog. Nevertheless, keep encouraging your dog to stay at a particular place, even if you leave that room.
You can gradually build up the distance, starting with one step and moving towards one room. This will assure them that nothing is wrong even if you are not in their direct eyesight.
When your dogs become aware of the fact that you are leaving the room, they usually make a big deal of it. If you can somehow desensitize them to your leaving, the results will be different. To do this, sit silently with your dog and then suddenly stand up. If your dog jumps up when you do, stand and sit until they settle down. Then attempt to get up and leave the room. If they begin to come after you, stroll in the room until they lose interest and stop following you.
If they continue to come when you get out, keep entering and exiting the room until they stop. Do not make it a game; instead, ignore them until they become bored. This will help desensitize them to you leaving.
Hopefully, by now, you have gotten a good idea regarding how to deal with your dog following you everywhere. The tips are also there to encourage a healthy balance, so refer to them whenever you feel too overwhelmed. Until then, keep enjoying your dog’s company!
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