Why does my dog follow me everywhere and what can I do?
Your dog is clingy. While this trait may seem cute and friendly, it can be difficult to deal with when your dog follows you to the bathroom or cries in your absence.
In this article, discover the reasons why your dog can be clingy and the solutions to limit his attachment.
Why is your dog clingy?
There are many reasons that can explain this behaviour.
Some dogs are naturally more clingy than others. For example, the Shiba Inu is known to be an independent breed, whereas the Bichon Frise doesn't really like solitude. It must also be taken into account that some individuals within the same race are more or less used to solitude.
If you are away from home very often, for long periods of time, your dog may simply be sad and cling to you when you are present. It's his way of showing you that he misses you.
The way you are with your dog can influence the way he behaves. If you spend a lot of time with him, or if you are constantly challenging him while he is sleeping or doing something else, he may become dependent on you.
Fear of abandonment
If your dog has been abandoned, he may tend to cling a little more to you and follow you around. His past will then have a strong influence on his behaviour.
What to do in case of a clingy dog?
If your dog is clingy, it will be possible to work with him on different aspects.
Work on his stress
Some dogs are simply stressed. To help them relieve stress, there are several tools available. For example, Bach Flower can help calm your dog. You can also offer him exercise to do alone for a few minutes in a room next to yours – that way he learns to stay alone without fear.
Let your dog enjoy and have fun on his own
When your dog is busy – playing, sleeping, eating – and doesn't need your attention, don't ask for it. Let him do it on his own. It is also by soliciting him that you make him dependent on you: he may think that you need him every day and cling to you to accompany you.
Leave your dog to a dog sitter
Prove to your dog that he can have fun and have a good time without you by entrusting him to a dog sitter. For a fee, this person can watch your dog and walk him for a few hours, a day or even several days.
Make an appointment with a behaviorist
If your dog's stress is too intense, it is also possible to have him consult a canine behaviorist. He will provide you with explanations about your dog's behavior as well as exercises to get him away from you.
Work on yourself too
As mentioned above, you may be one of the factors that made your dog become clingy.
Ask yourself this question: do you really want your dog to detach himself from you and enjoy himself alone? Do you want him to enjoy other humans besides you? Some dog owners like to have the exclusive affection of their pet and tend – not necessarily on purpose – to monopolize it.
If you consult a dog behaviorist, don't hesitate to share with him your habits with your dog and see what you can do to reduce his stress and reassure him.
Passionate about dogs since I was a child, I adopted my dog from a shelter 4 years ago. Thanks to her, I learned many things: the most adapted food, education, how to welcome a dog… I keep on discovering new things and share them with you here!