Whether you named your pup “Shadow” or “Tracker” or not, there’s still a big chance they’re following you everywhere around the house. Kind of “Every move you make”, the doggo version. While you probably like to see it as a sign that your dog adores you, it may also be a sign of boredom, anxiety and many other reasons.
“The stalker dog” – the most common reasons behind it
You probably enjoy having a sneaky shadow following your every step or a curious loud-breathing nose pushing the inside doors wide-open. But you are probably wondering why your dog is doing it all day long and doesn’t get a life of its own? There are more than a few reasons your pup follows you around, and here are the most common ones:
Dogs are highly social creatures who are not used to spending their day alone. While you’re busy at work, your dog is patiently waiting for you at home, probably counting the seconds to feel your unique odor. So, as long as you are home, they strongly appreciate your presence and try to show you how much they’ve missed you by following you around. That’s gotta be one of the cutest reasons for stalking!
Some puppies don’t get enough mental and physical exercise on a regular basis as their owners are too busy and exhausted. So, in order to be more active, they follow their parents everywhere, looking for action or just trying to strengthen their legs.
Check whether your dog will stop following you once you give them a toy to chew. If they do, then they must be bored. If they don’t, then they’ll probably need some more physical activity.
In case your puppy hasn’t gone wild for some time and they’re behaving as if they were glued to you, they’re probably trying to tell you they want to go outside! Some canines become clingy once they feel under the weather and in need of help. In this case, take your dog to the backyard or the park and see if they want to release some energy and have fun.
Anxiety or lack of confidence
Lots of dogs become nervous when left alone. Some of them might feel anxious and uncomfortable, spending hours waiting for you to come back. Their anxiety turns them into a live shadow that follows you everywhere, making sure you won’t leave them alone again!
In order to recognize an anxious dog, you should just pay attention to their body language, especially those ears and eyes – an anxious dog often has wide eyes, pinned ears, grimaced breathlessness, or increased tightness as you prepare to leave. Dogs who experience anxiety about being left alone, often refuse to play with their favorite toy or eat a treat while they go out of the house.
A nice compliment
Your canine is probably following you just because you’re nice to them. If you positively engage with your canine, it will continue stalking you because you are a pleasant company for them to spend time with. So, just accept it as a compliment and be proud of your furry stalker.
Some dog breeds follow their parents all-around more than others- German Shepherds, the Great Pyrenees as well as Shelties and Border Collies, are more prone to shadowing their owners than other breeds. People have taken care of these breeds for centuries because they are loyal and follow their flock of sheep or their owners.
Is my dog’s stalking behavior a problem
Generally, the fact that your canine shadows you wherever you go isn’t a big deal. Still, there are two key exceptions to this basic rule: in case you find it irritating or if your pup feels distressed when left alone. The feeling that your dog loves your presence and the sense that your dog hates being alone is entirely different.
Try placing your puppy behind a baby gateway or leash him to a door and leave the area. Or, in case your canine typically joins you in the bathroom, try leaving him outside the door for a short time. If you notice that your puppy gets upset, it is the right time to try independence training. It’s also quite okay to admit that having a furry stalker is adorable. We all feel special about the love our pups give us, but we all need a personal space sometimes. If you follow these instructions, you can teach your dog to give you some more space.
How to teach your dog to stop following you everywhere
If you want your dog to stop shadowing you around, you should know that it is relatively easy. The only thing you need to do is to engage your dog with something else instead.
You can increase their independence by showing them that you care about them and that they can lay on a mat or bed and relax, without your presence.
Buy a new mat or bed and ask your canine to lay down and try it. Every time they do that successfully, reward them with something. You can also teach them to stay on the mat or in bed until you come back from the kitchen. This way, they would learn to feel comfortable and relaxed even when you’re out and will stop following you when you come back home.
Whether you think that having your dog following you around is the cutest thing ever or whether you miss your time alone, it’s always a good idea to think ahead and consider pet insurance to prepare for the unexpected.