Does your dog always follow you? The most possible reason is that your dog loves you. But there are a few more reasons why is my dog always by my side.
- Mutual affection
- Breed characteristic
- pattern of behavior
- recognize as parent
- separation anxiety
1 . Mutual affection
Over the course of time, the dogs are bred to be a good companion to humans. Even though some are bred for security, even they got to be good with their master. The domestication of dogs made the bond between humans and them much stronger. This mutual affection leads them to be on your side always.
You are being his whole world. He loves being next to you, loves the smell of you and listens to your voice. The dog being a very social animal, they enjoy the companionship of their owners or anyone they are attached to.
2 . Breed characteristic
Breeding the dogs for ages the sole purpose was to work with humans. This eventually became a characteristic to tag along with humans where ever they go, work and sleep.
Usually, the behavior of sticking by your side constantly is also known as Velcro. Velcro dog will always follow you, no matter if its kitchen or bathroom. The behavior is more related to “I got your back”. During their early stages, when he is just a pup you would have taken care of his all his needs. Now it’s his time to look after you.
Lap dogs are more velcro dogs than other breeds. Lap dogs are bred to be more dependent. Also the working dog breed. The working dog is bred to work alongside their owners.
“There is a big difference between velcro dogs and dogs with separation anxiety.”
3 . Pattern of behavior
The process of encouraging a pattern of behavior will lead to reinforcement. Dog loves food, treats, love and affection. If the dog thinks that you give them all, then he follows you always. Being a social animal, we need to accept the behavior as love.
Most of the times my dog follows me in the hope of getting some treats. Being a golden retriever he is always hungry of food and affection. When its time for a meal and I get up from my seat. He assumes I am going to the kitchen to feed him and follows me or sometimes goes ahead of me to the kitchen. He also loves to go for a walk. Whenever I head to the main door, he follows me with high energy. Sometimes he gets the leash with him, suggesting me to go for a walk.
4 . Recognize as parent
The dog will recognize you as a parent or master or any object of habitual trust and follows you everywhere. Usually, dogs do to their parents when they are young. Later as you take care of them, they feel secure and trusted as a parent and be your side always.
Another study done on dog relationships found that dogs likely follow the most friendly dog, not the pack leader. So it considers you as a good friend whom it can trust.
5 . Separation anxiety
Most common complaint of every pet owner is that their dog is destructive or undisciplined when left alone. Even though your dog is well house trained, this has nothing to do with distress behavior.
When dogs are separated from their owners or anyone they are attached to . if they become upset then this is Separation anxiety. In order to keep his anxiety level sane, he will be following you everywhere.
There is a big difference between velcro dogs and dogs with separation anxiety. Velcro dogs want to be close to their owner(always by his side) but dogs that suffer from separation anxiety panic when they are away from their owner or anyone they are attached to.
Most common symptoms of Velcro dogs are:
- Always wanting to be your side
- Follows you always
- Keeping an eye on you all the times
- Anticipating when you may be getting up
Most common symptoms of dogs with separation anxiety are :
- Dog showing not suitable behavior only when you are not around
- Barking when are not in sight
- Attempting the way to escape, even if it gets hurt
- Urinating or excreting when you are gone
- Destroying everything in its sight
- The dog becomes anxious when you’re getting ready to leave
Separation anxiety is not good for both you and your dog. Sometimes ignoring his attachment works best. The rewarding behavior which we possess spoils him a lot. He will be delusional about whenever and wherever he follows you, he will be treated with love and with treats. Ignore him for periods of time, make him accustomed to, its ok to be alone and without me.
Your dog’s following has gone too far when he experiences separation anxiety. The dog being a social animal, it’s his natural tendency to be with people. But due to our upbringing sometimes, we take a few wrong decisions to keep our dog to interact with only us and no one else. This is quite spoilt love which eventually spoils your dog too. It tries to avoid other people, or fear aggression is showed or other behavioral problems.
For example, my friend has a Labrador. He is 3 years old, but he is not good with other humans. So I asked him to tag along with me and our dog to a trekking place. The lab was not at all comfortable with both of us around. I started approaching him, he just showed aggression and wasn’t happy at all.
We started to tag along multiple times and started to give the lab some of my dog’s favorite treats. He started to show signs of being friendly. As the days went by, he started to greet me with his happy jump. He became very social with me after that. Slowly we tried to introduce him to new people, now he is a very happy dog. Also, my friend is quite relaxed, so that he can invite people to his home.
Well, that was a good step my friend took. Not everyone gets an opportunity or time to tag along with others. In order to help reduce the suffering of separation anxiety give me dog interactive toy. This helps him to divert his attention during your absence. If you cant get the interactive toy, at least leave the television or radio on. Even these do not work they consult your veterinarian for a more targeted approach.
Finally, Do not question his devotion, just enjoy it.