Dogs are loyal animals. They are even known to go to great lengths to keep their owners safe. There are so many movies where it is the dog that saves the day at the end of the day. You might have a dog that loves to follow you around. You might even like it, but sometimes you do not need your dog to follow you around, yet they are determined to follow you around, and you can even get angry at that behavior. You might think that your dog cannot get enough of you, who might be the reason that he is following you around. However, there might be something else that might be causing this behavior. Your dog might be suffering from some confidence issues or separation anxiety. If you have a dog that does that, then we might have the answer to some of your questions of why your dog is following you around and how do we go about stopping it.
WHY IS YOUR DOG FOLLOWING YOU AROUND?
Coming back home from a long day at work is a reality we all face, and when you have someone as excited to see you like your dog can make you even feel validated at times. However, getting followed everywhere around the house can get annoying very fast. Why is your dog doing this? Here are a few reasons:
THEY CRAVE COMPANIONSHIP:
Dogs crave companionship as they are very social. This is the main reason they are so loyal. However, you have left home for work or other errands that might have left them craving your companionship. Hence this is one of the reasons that your dog is following you so much.
THEY ARE BORED AND HAVE HAVE UNUSED ENERGY:
Another reason your dog might be following you so much is that they are bored. Just imagine living in an apartment with not having enough space to run around in. You can imagine why your dog is bored. They also have a lot of unused energy that they need to redirect somewhere. If not redirected to things like exercise or physical activities will be later redirected to destructive activities like getting your carpets and curtains chewed. Hence a dog with a lot of energy will use some of that energy to follow you around.
YOUR DOG NEEDS TO GO URGENTLY:
If you feel that your dog has become clingy all of a sudden, then sometimes it’s not your companionship or separation anxiety that is causing this issue; your dog needs to do their business. In a perfect world, we would all be getting a notification on our phones about this, but this is all we got now. So if your dog has started following you around all of a sudden, then open your main doors and take it outside to see if your dog wants to do their number 2.
THEY ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU ABOUT SOMETHING:
Unless there comes a time when google starts translating dog to English, you might have to make do with the signals. A dog suddenly following you around trying to get your attention might also be a means of conveying something they want to say. So the next time it happens, instead of asking them to leave you alone, how about following them back. They might have found something they want to show you. So be patient and follow your dog back and see what is up.
IT’S TIME FOR A WALK/DINNER:
Dogs are consistent animals. The one thing that might even love more than you is sticking to a routine. They always try to follow their owner’s routines. In case the routine suddenly changes for some reason, then dogs are known to become worried about this, and this changed routine might even lead to separation anxiety. So when it is time to eat dinner or go out for a walk, then your dog will know and follow you around to remind you of it.
THEY ARE TERRIFIED:
You might have noticed your dog become especially clingy on loud days like the 4th of July or in times of a thunderstorm. Dogs are terrified of these noises and become very afraid when this happens. If your dog is following you at times like these, then you have got to calm them down and make them feel relaxed. One of the most effective things you can do in a time like this is pat them as their owner’s touch is one of the most soothing things that they can feel.
THEY ARE BRED LIKE THAT:
There are species of dogs that have breed traits that make them act instinctively to follow you around. These breed traits come from their conditioning of several millenniums of following their owner and their herd around. Dogs that are bred like these also wait and rely on their owners for directions to perform certain duties. Such dogs can be classified as coming from dependent breeds that for thousands of years have relied on their masters and now you are going to work, leaving them alone all day might be something that is not only new to them but also something they are not very well genetically equipped to do as well.
Separation anxiety can be caused due to a myriad of reasons, but one of the biggest might be a dog that either has lost its owner or its owner has changed. This anxiety makes the dog develop a dysfunctional amount of clinginess to their owners. This can also be developed due to loud noises and the owner leaving it alone for prolonged periods. So if your dog is following you around a lot, then you might want to research this. You might even have to contact your vet or a certified dog behavior expert to help you with this.
HOW TO STOP YOUR DOG FROM FOLLOWING YOU EVERYWHERE:
Your dog following around has many reasons, as we laid them out for you earlier. Now we are going to move forward talking about how to limit that behavior. It might be cute and adoring for you at times, but this can also get annoying. We will have to work on this, so your dog loses its anxiety and becomes a confident little pooch staying independent.
Here are a few things you can do to rid your dog of its clinginess:
As I mentioned earlier, a dog with pent up energy has to use it somewhere. Hence take some time out for your dog every day and take them out for a walk or something. Make them run and release all that pent up energy. This will also rid your dog of separation anxiety to some extent.
Play games with your dogs where it not only releases its energy but also uses its instincts to train them. These games can include fetching, where you throw a stick or a ball for your dog to fetch for you. Another game might be hide and seek, where you can hide from your dog and let it use its sense of smell to find you.
CREATE SOME OBSTRUCTIONS AROUND THE HOUSE:
Your dog following you around everywhere can be mitigated by placing obstructions or limiting your dog’s entrance to certain areas of the house. However, you should not fully limit them as let them come in from time to time. This will make your dog leave you alone when you enter those spaces.
DO NOT LET THEM SLEEP WITH YOU IN BED:
It would help if you had a dedicated sleeping area for your dog. It would help if you did not let them get inside your bed and sleep with you. This is the ultimate increase and encouragement for their clingy behavior.
STAND UP, SIT DOWN:
This command is not meant for your dog but for you. Your dog might do this thing where it might stand up the moment you stand up and sit down the moment you do. You will have to desensitize it to this behavior. When you stand up, and your dog stands up as well, sit back down and stand up again. Repeat this until he gets tired of doing this again and again. You can also try walking in circles until your pooch realizes you are doing nothing but wasting its time.
THE STAY COMMAND:
Teach them the stay command. There are many tutorials available that will fully teach you how to do this properly. Once your dog learns this, it will know it is okay to leave you for a while.
There might be many reasons your dog might be following you around; however, there are simple things that you can do to rid your dog of this behavior. This will not only help you become a lot less annoyed by your dog’s clinginess but also help them get the required confidence they need to live their lives well.