Why Your Dog Follows You Around
There are several reasons why dogs (and cats, if we’re being honest) desire to tag along. And while I’ve always imagined it was due to the possibility of food appearing, there are countless other possible explanations. So, let’s begin with…
Nature of the Breed Several hunting breeds are genetically programmed to remain close to their master. Why? Because a good Pointer or Retriever understands to calmly wait for commands by their owner’s side. Guns make it simpler to see hand gestures, hear orders, and practically keep out of the line of fire. Vizslas (also known as Velcro Dogs), Border Collies, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd dogs, and Shetland Sheepdogs are renowned for this behavior. Smaller dog breeds, such as Pugs, Chihuahuas, and French Bulldogs, are also known to have a dark side.
It is instinctive for young dogs or puppies to remain close to their parent or caretaker. It was their means of survival in the wild. And because you provide them with treats, food, affection, and general care, you are the one who now makes them feel safe and secure.
Deteriorating senses, such as hearing or vision loss, and aches and symptoms associated with aging might make senior dogs feel more dependent on their owner. They are reassured that a loving support system (you) is easily available by following you around.
This may be breed-specific or connected to a rescue dog’s possible history of mistreatment. Or, it may just depend on the temperament of your dog. It is not uncommon for this condition to appear as excessive barking, chewing shoes or furniture, urinating and/or defecating in the house. In summary, he experiences extreme anxiety whenever he is left alone. Probably for this reason is he following you around the house.
Some dogs must be aware of all events. The crunch of a wrapper, the opening of a cabinet, your reason for ascending or descending, etc. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and innate curiosity motivate him to leap up and tag along regardless of what else he may be doing.
Similar to the fear of missing out, your dog becomes bored and attempts to occupy you. Even if your dog does not require strenuous activity throughout the day owing to age, size, or illness, he still requires mental stimulation and, for larger breeds, a task to complete. And when you’re both simply laying around and you suddenly stand up, that’s plenty for him when he’s trying to pass time.
Creature of Habit
If your dog’s daily routine consists of breakfast, walks, snacks, dinner, and cuddling in front of your favorite Netflix show, he is likely to be mentally accustomed to and anticipating a routine. If you suddenly accept a phone call or become sidetracked by work, friends, family, or other life events, he may begin following you as a reminder to get back on track.
Rewards and Rewarding
If you’ve gotten into the habit (and it’s easy to do so) of offering your dog a head scratch, dog treat, or a small taste of your food every time you enter the kitchen, he will anticipate it. This implies that he will be by your side every time you get up, whether you’re going to the kitchen or not. Simply in case.
Companionship with His Human Pack
Welcome to the pack animal community. Your dog was once forced to travel in packs to ensure safety, hunting success, and yes, even friendship. While living with people has satisfied his first two wants, he still requires social interaction. As a result, their natural inclination is to rise and migrate with you in the same nomadic fashion as his ancestors.
He needs something.
Lastly, it is likely that your pet is following you closely because he needs something. It could be to relieve himself, eat, or be consoled during a rainstorm or fireworks display. Because he cannot speak, you must observe signs. Does he approach the rear door or his food dish, or does he cower behind you? Resolving any of these concerns may persuade your dog to calm down and spend the night.
So, how can this type of behavior be discouraged? While some answers may be clear and straightforward — providing him with a bit more food, some more comfort, or a quick restroom break – others may not be. Here are five that we believe may be effective:
You’ve heard the expression “dog tired,” right? Indeed, there is some truth to that. When you wish to deter a dog’s tendency to follow you from room to room, nothing works better than a freshly eliminated dog. A good stroll, chasing a Frisbee, or retrieving a ball are terrific ways to end your dog’s day, regardless of size. He will be exhausted, at ease, and less likely to follow you from room to room.
Modify Your Behavior: Who can resist giving him an extra treat or a quick scratch behind the ears whenever you turn around and see him? I mean, he loves you, he’s adorable, and a little extra attention can’t hurt, right? If you are attempting to dissuade this persistent desire to follow you, you are erroneous. Do not encourage this conduct. Withhold affection and cuddles until prizes and sweets have been earned.
Eliminate Boredom With Fun Stuff: Puzzle games that deliver treats or kibble can be used to combat boredom. Similarly, a rawhide or chew toy of high quality might keep him occupied and less interested in your activities. Again, you should not reward your dog with these goodies once he has followed you into the kitchen, but you should have them accessible before you leave him alone.
Remove Stress Factors: Determine the source of your dog’s fearful or anxious behavior and take the required steps to resolve it. De-sensitization can be used to combat the loudness caused by pyrotechnics and storms. This method involves a gradual exposure to mild recordings of the offensive sounds. Or via ThunderShirts, which aid in preventing hyperventilation.
Time to turn in: If your dog has a bed, blanket, or kennel where he prefers to sleep, train him to retreat there when he begins to shadow. And include some of his favorite toys, some snacks, and even puzzle games to ensure that he considers this directive as a reward rather than a punishment.