Whether or not you named your pup “Shadow” or “Tracker,” there’s a good chance they’re following you everywhere you go. Kind of like the doggo version of “Every move you make.” While you might see it as a sign that your dog adores you, it may also be a sign of boredom, anxiety, or something else.
“The stalker dog,” and the most common reasons behind it
You probably enjoy having a sneaky shadow following your every step or a curious loud-breathing nose pushing doors wide-open for you, but you’re also probably wondering why your dog doesn’t let you catch a break. We’ll get into some of the most common reasons your dog follows you around:
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, likely counting down the seconds to sniff your unique odor again. So, as long as you’re home, they really appreciate your presence and will 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, their owners being too busy or exhausted. So, in order to be more active, they follow their parents everywhere, either 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 stop, then they’re probably just bored. If they don’t stop, then it may be time for more physical activity.
If your puppy hasn’t gone wild for some time and they’re virtually glued to you, they’re probably trying to tell you they want to go outside! Some canines become clingy once they have been inside too long. 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!
How do you recognize an anxious dog? Pay attention to their body language, especially their ears and eyes – an anxious dog often has wide eyes, pinned ears, grimaced breathlessness, or increased stiffness 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 when outside 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, they will continue stalking because you are 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 around more than others- German Shepherds, the Great Pyrenees, Shelties, and Border Collies are more prone to shadowing their owners than other breeds. These breeds are known to be super loyal to 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: if you find it irritating or if your pup feels distressed when left alone. The feeling that your dog loves your presence is great, but 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. If 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’s time to try independence training.
It’s also totally okay to admit that having a furry shadow is adorable. We all feel special about the love our pups give us, but we all need our personal space sometimes too. 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 need 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 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 will learn to feel comfortable and relaxed even when you’re out and will stop following you as soon as you come back home.
Whether you think that having your dog following you around is the cutest thing ever or you miss your me-time, it’s always a good idea to think ahead and consider pet insurance to prepare for the unexpected. Get a quote from Animalia today to learn more.
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