If you own a pet at home, you would observe if they will keep on following wherever you go and watch whatever you do. You may wonder why your dog is doing it. However, this typical dog’s shadowing behavior has scientific reasons behind it.
Why is my dog following me everywhere suddenly? There are fourteen reasons why your dog is sticking around with you everywhere. This behavior can be innate to them, part of their learning and development, health-related, fear, and anxiety. Other reasons include reinforcement, dog’s basic needs, attention-seeking, boredom, and your bond together.
Sometimes, it’s cute and so endearing to know that your pet is so clingy. But, there are times where it’s a bit tiring for tripping over your dog all the time.
The following will help you describe the science behind your dog’s shadowing behavior.
Some dogs are considered clingy or known to be a Velcro dog. These types of dogs want to be with their owner’s side all the time. These dogs are bred to do work that will require them to work closely with people.
They might desire to be near their owner and constantly dependent on them. It is common for lap dogs to be clingy, for they are bred to work alongside their owners all day. Thus, they may have developed later this Velcro dog syndrome.
Your dog needs to watch how a person acts and reacts to things. It can be a breed characteristic of dogs that are genetically inborn to them.
It is also innate for breeds like German Shepherds and Akitas to attach them to one person. They rely highly on their owner’s body language and directions for guidance.
What leads to becoming clingy is dogs’ changes in their vision, hearing, or lack of mental stimulation and exercise.
To help them prevent anxiety in the future, teach and train your dog to be independent at an early age.
Most of the time, the bond you formed with your pet over time is paired with a great deal of reinforcement. Hence, this can be the reason why your dog keeps on following you in all of a sudden.
For instance, if you keep showing a positive attitude towards your dog, they may find you a good person. That is why they wanted to be near you.
They can also associate good things and great experiences with a particular person. If you are petting your dog every time it follows you around, then perhaps your attention is rewarding to them. Therefore, it reinforces their shadowing behavior.
The most common reason why your dog is following you around is that they just wanted a companion.
Dogs that undergo the domestication process molded them to be human’s great companions. Our intimate bond with them has evolved throughout taming.
Also, these animals are social creatures. You can’t deny that they want to be around us to socialize. Most of the time, they are exceptionally motivated to be in our presence as much as possible.
Spot your dog’s shadow behavior if this is motivated by fear of the unknown; that is why they keep bugging on you. You can notice your dog having anxiety once it displays pinned ears, wide eyes, grimacing panting, or heightened tension once you leave.
This anxiety can be triggered by feeling upset when they get separated from their owners. It is also known as separation anxiety.
Without even noticing it, you already created a big fuss when you leave and come home. Your pet may feel frantic or panic when left alone.
There are common indications if your dog has separation anxiety. It includes depression, aggression, destructive behavior, and urinating or defecating inside the house.
Imprinting is learning that generally happens in the dog’s younger years. If your pet is still a pup, it may recognize you as a parent of trust.
Through this imprinting, dogs can learn how to act around dogs and humans. Hence, they will keep on following you everywhere to learn this.
For puppies, suddenly following people around them can be a part of their normal development. In the absence of their mothers, puppies tend to depend on their human owners to keep them safe.
They usually tag along to feel secure, learn to interact with the surroundings, and socialize. It is essential in the early years so that they won’t be too dependent on you. Worse, it gets afraid whenever left alone.
Staying close to its owner can become their habit later on. Usually, these dogs are not taught what else to do.
This can be rooted in their younger years. If they are not trained to be independent before, they will likely be very reliant on you.
Your dog is known to be a social animal. It will suddenly keep following you simply because your pet started to love and enjoy being with you. Since dogs are indeed man’s best friend, being near you makes them feel good.
Sometimes, dogs expect you to play fun games with them, food, or anything interesting to happen. Positive interactions with them can elevate their oxytocin levels.
When dogs are not given proper mental or physical exercise, they might feel bored. This boredom will lead them to stick around with you.
Following you around is their means of looking for something or anything to do. Perhaps, to ease its boredom and stop bugging, you then offer some chew toy or anything that will get their attention.
You can also check out some indoor games you can play to keep your dog busy. Always make sure your dog receives plenty of physical exercises.
As they said, a tired dog can be calm. Thus, boredom makes your dog behave annoyingly.
Sometimes dogs can be so clingy because they are feeling unwell. Maybe your dog has not gotten into the potty for a while. Following you around can be a sign that you need to take your dog outside for a potty break.
If your pet just suddenly becomes so clingy that it keeps on following you around, maybe your dog wants to lead you somewhere.
Perhaps, they might be having an unusual feeling in their body that they are trying to get you noticed. It could also be that your paw friend wants to remind you of its routine, such as feeding them or time for a walk. With this, your canine will surely keep on following you.
Dogs are scared of sudden loud noises. They might be feeling afraid of something such as fireworks, thunderstorms, or other problematic times. Thus, they may cling to their human parents to ease their fear.
Your pet views you as its protector. Just like how they guard you, they also wanted to feel safe and calm. That is why they keep on staying beside you.
If you always keep in touch with your dog and provide them with enough attention, then they might desire it this time.
Dogs will return for this affection and some other reward forms by staying close to you anywhere you go.
This shadowing behavior can be tolerable but may be annoying sometimes. It may also pose a danger for you and your pet if that behavior causes you to stumble.
Environmental concerns such as stress can cause your dog to be extra clingy. You can easily spot this if following you happens after a change in routine, place, etc.
If you just move into a new house and observe this shadowing behavior, then your dog is just stressed.
Try to engage them in their usual or predictable pattern to help them relax and settle in.
It could be a health-related issue if the onset of this shadowing behavior is sudden. Sticking with you around could be your dog’s coping with its sickness.
If there are no apparent triggers, you better see a veterinarian check your dog’s condition.
For older dogs, this shadowing can be related to the development of cognitive dysfunction symptoms or also known as “doggie dementia” This can be the reason why your dog suddenly acts more clingy.
In summary, your dog’s shadowing behavior is not just simply to annoy you. It is generally a sign of your dog’s interest in you. However, it can sometimes be a signal of something that is greater than what meets the eye.
You may find it fascinating to bond with your dog when it keeps on tagging along with you. On the other hand, if it hinders you from performing your daily tasks because of the worry of tripping over them, then that’s a problem.
Pets may keep on following you everywhere due to the reasons mentioned earlier.
Oversee your dog’s body language, especially if the onset of its behavior is just all of a sudden. Perhaps, your dog may be experiencing changes in its physical, emotional, or social aspects.
As a matter of fact, it’s healthy for your dogs to learn independence at a young age. With this, you will be able to avoid future concerns regarding anxiety or fear that may lead to destructive behavior.
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