Do you ever wonder why your dog follows you everywhere? Can’t you take a step by yourself? This can have many reasons. In this post, I try to clarify why our dogs follow us everywhere and how we can stop this in some situations.
There are different reasons why your dog follows you everywhere. But first and foremost, dogs are pack animals who see us, humans, as part of the pack and ideally as pack leaders. So they want to be close to us. But boredom or fear can also be why our dogs follow us everywhere.
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Which dogs are incredibly affectionate
Before we go into more detail about why our dogs follow us around, let’s look at which dog breeds are particularly affectionate.
The matter becomes a little clearer if you look at the individual dog breeds initially bred for.
For example, the Havanese or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred specifically as a companion dog or playmate. Their “job” was and is to be with his people.
Havanese do not like to stay alone. So, as a rule, these dogs will follow you everywhere. Whether you want it or not.
Similarly, working dogs like the Labrador or Golden Retriever. Their job is to be out and about with the hunter daily and follow him.
It is different, for example, with Jack Russel Terriers, that originally screamed around alone on farms and hunted rats.
Of course, all dog breeds follow us somehow everywhere. Some of them follow us more often and more intensively than others.
Puppy follows you everywhere
.With puppies, it is the natural protection instinct why they follow you everywhere. Without their parents, puppies would not survive in the wild.
For this reason, they have the following instinct.
The instinct to follow lasts about five months. You can let your puppy walk off-leash without problems during this time, as it would not run away. I am, of course, talking about a walk in the woods or a meadow and not on a busy main road.
Use this for recall
These times are perfect for training and reinforcing the signal for recall.
When you are out with your puppy, and he is still distracted, you can give your recall signal as soon as he runs to you, for example, “Here” and when he arrives at your place, you call “Here” again, give him a treat.
This way, you can easily link the signal “Here” with coming to you without any effort.
Routine: Dogs have an internal clock
If you have a dog and consistently feed it at the same time, you will notice that the dog follows you when you get up at mealtime and go to the kitchen.
Dogs know when it is time to eat.
Our dogs don’t always follow us around. But when we go to the kitchen around 6 pm, the three of them are standing in the doorway full of anticipation.
It’s precisely the same with the routine walk. I walk Malou every morning before work.
A Cane Corso doesn’t need as much exercise as a Labrador, but regular walks are mandatory, so we have the first round done straight away, and then there’s “breakfast.”
So when I come down in the morning, she runs happily after me because she knows it goes out now.
With big dogs, it is essential to prevent gastric torsion in the best possible way, that they go for a walk before feeding and relax after feeding.
However, you can use these situations very well for your training. Dogs must learn to deal with frustration. The three have built up an expectation: “There is food now” or “It goes out now.”
This expectation is not met in the meantime. I prepare the food but “forget” to put it down for them and don’t do it until half an hour later.
Or I drink a coffee first and go out with her 20 minutes later.
This is frustrating, and they must process this frustration and learn to live with it mentally.
Your dog is bored
Dogs need regular exercise. Depending on the breed, this can vary from 30 minutes to 3 to 4 hours a day. Your dog follows you everywhere because he is bored.
So if your dog doesn’t have enough exercise and mental activity, he’ll probably follow you everywhere in the hope that you’ll finally take him outside.
Your dog wants to tell you something
.Your dog is following you because he may want to signal that he needs to go outside. Not all dogs stand outside the door and whine when they need to pee.
For example, our Broholm dog follows us around when she has to. She gets restless and follows us around as if to say, “come on, I have to go.”
Your dog is afraid
Fear could be another reason why your dog follows you everywhere. Dogs see us as protectors and feel safe around us.
So, for example, if it is thunderstorms and your dog is following you everywhere, he is probably scared.
You should not over-peddle him at this time and encourage his behavior. However, if you sit next to him and pet him as you usually would, this can help calm your dog during a thunderstorm.
Your dog does not want to be alone
.Many dogs cannot and do not want to be left alone. No dog should be left alone for 8 hours a day. But getting your dog used to being alone slowly from the beginning is essential.
Even if it is not necessary for your current life situation, because your dog never has to be alone, it can change in 2, 3, or 4 years.
If your dog has to stay alone for 2, 3, or more hours overnight, there is a risk that he will develop separation anxiety and follow you excessively out of fear.
You have something to eat in your hand
.The classic with a greedy dog such as a Labrador. You have something to eat in your hand, and your dog follows you everywhere, hoping that something will fall for him.
Fortunately, we don’t have that problem because our dogs are generally not greedy and never get anything from the table as long as we are still eating. They get nothing from the table.
Only when having a barbecue can sometimes a piece of gristle or bone fall off. But only when we are done.
Why your dog follows you to the toilet
Your dog can follow you to the bathroom for about any of the above reasons. Dogs have an excellent sense of smell and know where you are.
In addition, the smells on the toilet, which are not so pleasant for us, are pretty interesting for dogs. Considering what dogs smell and sometimes roll around in, it is not surprising that your dog likes to follow you to the bathroom.
How to prevent your dog from following you everywhere
You can take small measures to prevent your dog from following you around all the time.
First of all, make sure he gets enough exercise and mental workout. If your dog is not bored, he will not follow you around.
Vary the feeding times so that no routine creeps in. Your dog will not starve if he gets his food an hour later now and then.
Slowly get him used to the fact that he has to stay alone and that it is a perfectly normal situation.
Please close the door when you prepare your dog’s food so that he can’t follow you.
Ignore your dog if he keeps following you. If you pet your dog and go after him, you will reinforce his behavior, and he will repeat it.
Conclusion: Why does my dog follow me everywhere?
Dogs are pack animals and like to be around us. They’re probably hoping for a walk if they’re bored due to too little exercise and activity. But certain situations can reinforce that they are constantly following us around.
© Karoline Thalhofer-stock.adobe.com (Contributed image)