Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere?
If you are lucky enough to have a canine companion in your home, you likely know what it’s like to have a miniature shadow.
Our pups often cling to our hips with every move we make, causing us to question why they are so invested in what we are doing.
So why does your dog seem to follow you everywhere?
In this article we will go into the details of why our dogs are so attached to us, and help you better understand the potential factors behind your clingy pup’s behavior.
Understanding The Behavior Of Following
Before we discuss the potential reasons why your dog is following you around the house, it’s important to understand a dog’s ingrained need to stick by your side.
Dogs naturally search for companionship with others, as they originally formed packs when in the wild.
These packs often had one leader, one of which they would all cling to for guidance.
The behavior of following the one they trust is natural, which is likely why they choose to follow us to this day.
Why Is My Dog Following Me Everywhere?
So why is your dog following your every move around your home?
Let’s discuss some of the most likely reasons below:
They Like To Be Near You
If your pup clings to your hip with each step around your home, it’s very possible that they may just enjoy your company.
We have many parts of our lives that we hold dear, but we are often our dog’s entire world.
Because of this, our dogs may want to spend every second they can with us.
This could involve cuddling up next to us on the couch, gazing at us from across the room, and even following us around the house.
They Are Interested In What You’re Doing
Our canine friends can be extremely nosey.
With forming such a strong bond with us over time, they are naturally curious about what we are up to when we leave the room.
It’s hard for our pups to miss out on anything, so following you around your home can be their way of preventing that.
If it seems like your puppy’s nose is always in your business, they may be following you as a result of their curiosity.
You Are Their Pack Leader
Our pups may be a far cry from their wild ancestral roots, but they do still have some ingrained habits.
One of these natural habits involves the desire to be in a pack, along with the need to stay close to their pack leader.
Because we are the center of our dog’s world, it makes sense that they begin to view us as the leader of their pack.
Our pups may also imprint on us if we adopt them when they are a puppy, meaning they will look up to us as a parental figure.
They Want To Protect You
Many dogs will have an instinctual need to protect their owners.
While some breeds of dog are more naturally protective than others, this trait is heavily ingrained in a dog’s DNA.
Wild dogs will often take shifts guarding their pack during vulnerable moments, often when another dog is resting or going potty.
If your protective pup seems to follow you everywhere around your home, they may just be watching your back for any incoming predators.
They Are Afraid To Be Left Alone
Some canine friends are extremely insecure in their own skin.
These pups can be fearful of the world around them, as well as the idea of being left alone.
Being alone itself is not only scary for some fearful pups, but it is especially scary for those attached to their owners.
These pups may act out each time they are left alone as a result of their fear, often turning to destructive behavior or whining.
This behavior is most common in newly adopted dogs, dogs that struggle with separation anxiety, and even those who are in a new environment.
We Are Promoting The Behavior
Many pet owners promote behaviors in our pup that we are not even aware of.
Plenty of undesirable behaviors develop due to our reinforcement of the activity, and following us around the home can be one of those behaviors.
It’s surprisingly easy to promote a behavior without knowing it.
Something as simple as talking to your dog from another room can encourage them to start following you around the house.
If the fact that your dog follows you around has become frustrating, we urge you to keep an eye out for any encouraging behaviors you may be participating in.
Why Is My Dog Suddenly Following Me Around The House?
So what about when your once independent dog suddenly begins to follow you around the house?
While we can often chalk up our dog’s clinginess to some of the reasons listed above, it is a bit more complicated if your dog has this sudden change of behavior.
Any abrupt change in your dog’s habits can point to an underlying issue, whether it is related to their physical or mental health.
If your dog is suddenly attached to you to the point of concern, we urge you to examine their environment for any potential stressors.
- Have you moved into a new home?
- Are you away from home more than often?
- Is there a new pet in the house?
If you can connect your dog’s behavior to a change in their environment, then it may just take some time for your pup to adjust.
However, if you cannot connect your dog’s sudden clinginess to any recent changes, it may be worth having them seen by your veterinarian.
Changes in behaviors can be a sign of developing illness, so it’s always best to be safe in these situations.
How To Know When It’s Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a fairly common behavioral issue in our canine companions.
While some pups simply enjoy following us around our home, others cannot handle being out of our sight for any period of time.
Not only can this be frustrating for owners, but it is extremely stressful for the dog affected as well.
To help you better differentiate between basic clinginess and separation anxiety, let’s list some of the details below.
Some of the most common signs of separation anxiety in dogs include:
- Crying and howling when left alone
- Destructive behavior like shredding toys, scratching doors, and soiling furniture
- Excessive yawning
- Inability to calm down easily when you get home
Can I Teach My Dog To Stop Following Me?
If your dog following you around the house is becoming an issue, there are a few ways to help put an end to the behavior.
As long as you are willing to put in a bit of effort, you can break your pup of this habit in no time.
Some of the best ways to teach your dog to stop following you include:
- Using a baby gate to block any areas you would like your pup to stay out of
- Offering your pup their favorite toy or bone just as you are about to leave the room
- Teaching them a stay command with positive reinforcement and treats when they follow your guidance
- Try not to call them from other rooms or talk to them as you are walking away
- Make sure you are spending plenty of quality time with them each day
Implementing the above changes can help your pup break free of the habit of being your shadow.
We are our dog’s entire world, so it’s no surprise that they want to be at our side at all times.
Be sure to review the potential reasons behind your dog’s clinginess above, and you can better understand your dog’s behavior going forward.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! More About Us