Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere?

Why do dogs follow their owners everywhere?

Dogs often follow their owners, that’s their nature. I remember my dog following my car until the next 3 blocks in our neighborhood and my housemate was running after him to bring him back home. That’s so sweet, right? However, it is important to know the reasons why do our dogs follow us. Let’s take a look at the list below:

Why do dogs follow their owners everywhere?

1) Follow the Leader

As their owner, we become our dog’s leader. We are the ones that they’re with all the time, taking care of them and that registers in their minds. Our dog then learns from our behaviors and we become their master. Kristien Hens in his journal Ethical Responsibilities Towards Dogs: An Inquiry into the Dog–Human Relationship stated that it is our responsibility as an owner to build trust between us and our dogs and that shouldn’t be easily broken.

What does our dog want?

He doesn’t want to miss any activities that you do together.

As our dog’s leader, our dogs want us to do activities with them, and following us is their way of making sure that they don’t lose us in their sight.

Dog Training

We may not know but yes, dogs love training. However, it depends on the kind of training we do. Saro Boghozian, an expert family dog trainer, in his article, “Do dogs enjoy being trained?”, said that our dogs feel more relaxed and comfortable when being trained in a fun and positive way as it becomes familiar with the information being taught to him. This makes our dogs more confident and emotionally balanced with the process.

2) Attention-seeking

Like humans, our dog also feels sad when they are taken for granted. They can also feel sadness if we don’t give them attention. Our dogs can even go through depression. There are many ways that our dog begs for our attention, and one of those is by following us wherever we go.

What does our dog want?

Being noticed

Like humans, dogs are thirsty for attention. As an owner, they treat us as their friend, playmate, and family. Being unnoticed is something strange for them. As much as possible, we must assure them that they are not neglected and we notice them.

To Play with him

One thing that our dog wants is to play especially when there isn’t anyone else to play with him. He follows us when he wants us to play with him.

To feed him

Our dogs cannot speak. They can’t say, “Hey Dad/Mom, I’m hungry, please feed me.” So following us is one way for them of saying that they want food or drink.

3) Fear

Many things can contribute to a dog’s fear such as thunder, fireworks, strangers, or a specific object. Another thing is the fear of being left alone. In a study conducted by Linda J. Keeling on the effect of time left alone at home on dog welfare, the behavior of the dogs after 2 hours of being separated from their owners has changed. They become more attentive and intense eventually. They also tend to have a higher frequency of physical activity when the owner returned. It only means that their fear vanishes because of the owner’s presence.

What does our dog want?

To be comforted

Even humans want to be comforted whenever we’re afraid. So do dogs. There is nothing more comforting than being cuddled, given much attention for them to overcome fear.

To be protected

When our dogs fear something, we become their protectors. Our dogs feel safer being with us. Besides, it is our responsibility as owners to make sure that they are away from harm. Remember, we are their comfort zone and haven.

4) Breed Traits

Some dog breeds are naturally clingy and want to be close to their owners all the time- we call them Velcro Dogs. Some examples of the Velcro dog breeds are the golden retriever, French bulldog, German shepherd, pug, and Great Dane. These breeds are clingy by nature and they often follow their owner everywhere they go. Thus, if your dog is a Velcro dog breed, then expect them always stick by your side.

What does our dog want?

Our presence

Of course, to be physically present for our dogs is important especially if they are one of the Velcro dog breeds. There might be some situations to consider but we should make time as much as possible to avoid making them sad.

Our Affection

Aside from our presence, our dogs also need our affection. It makes them feel better being taken care of and loved by their owners. The bond between us and our dogs makes them want to be with you more.

How do I Stop My Dog from Following Me?

It’s sweet to see our dog being clingy. However, there are some instances that they can’t be with us. For example: when we leaving to work or other places. One way to shift their attention is to give them something else to focus on. We can give them toys, have them watch TV, or get them a playmate.

Training our dogs is also an effective way to make them stop. Teaching our dogs to be calm in a given situation is helpful. A Protocol of Relaxation by Dr. Karen L. Overall shares the protocols in training a dog how to sit and stay while relaxing in different circumstances.