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Why Doesn’t My Dog Follow Me – Things To Know

It isn’t out of our nature to wonder why our dog stops suddenly following us. Are they ok, or is something bothering them? These are all typical questions that go through our minds as we wonder about our dog’s behaviors. So, have you wondered, why doesn’t my dog follow me?

Your dog doesn’t follow you because they don’t see you as part of their pack or are not trained to follow you. Some dogs only follow when they are given instructions to do so. There may be a larger underlying issue as to why they are not following you.

Making sure your dog is happy and healthy is essential. As a dog owner, you want to ensure that why they are not following you is not due to a larger underlying issue. My dog is usually at my heels, so it is odd when it isn’t right behind me. Read on to learn why your dog may have stopped following you.

7 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Follow You

It may be concerning why your dog will not follow you if they used to, or if they never did in the first place. As confusing as it sounds, it is in their nature to do both things and usually depends on the breed. Here are a few typical reasons why your dog may have stopped following you – 

  • Your dog is comfortable and knows if you leave, you will come back  
  • There Might be issues with diet if changed recently
  • Your dog is becoming more independent  
  • Your dog may feel intimidated
  • Your dog may see you as the alpha and wait for your command
  • Your dog is picking up in your cues 
  • Your dog may be sick or injured

These are just some of the tell-tale reasons why your dog may not follow you. There might be larger, more underlying issues, but as long as the behavior isn’t new or problematic, you shouldn’t be worried.  

Is It Normal For A Dog Not To Follow You? 

Although it may seem odd and out of character, it is normal for dogs not always to follow their owner. This is usually due to the reasons mentioned above, but there may be other reasons for this.

Often time we are unknowingly training our dogs. We will reward them for things we don’t mean to, reinforcing behavior that we are not looking for.

Most of the time, when we are in our homes, our dogs are right at our heels and want to be everywhere we are, but the moment we step outside, they are out of sight and do not follow us anywhere.  

It is entirely normal and expected behavior. Often, in a situation like this, your dogs’ excitement gets the best of them, and all logic goes out the window. Strict training and reinforcement can help you to train your dog to follow you when needed.  

Should You Let Your Dog Follow You

Letting your dog follow you is entirely up to you. If you want your dog to follow you, then you should let them follow you. Doing this will be a great way to train them when you are outside on walks or out in public anywhere.  

The more practice your dog gets, the better your dog will listen. 

This will teach your dog to rely on you, and you will always have a furry companion and sometimes a guard dog when needed.  

It would help if you were wary, though – this can create an unhealthy relationship, and your dog may become too attached to you. This could cause problems when you need to leave your dog at home. It can lead to separation anxiety and stress. Not all dogs will experience this, so gauge your dog’s reactions and change some things up if needed.  

How Do I Get My Dog To Follow Me Everywhere

Be careful what you wish for. When you train your dog to follow you everywhere, they will follow you. Everywhere. Much like a toddler. If you need to go to the bathroom, they are there with you. Need a drink? They are watching you get your glass of water.

Once you decide you want them to follow, start by luring them to you in your home when you want them to follow you.

Make sure you have a lot of treats and reinforce them when they do what you ask. Usually, this is pretty easy to do in your home, but it can be a bit trickier in the outside world, and we will get into that a little further on.  

How Can I Get My Dog To Follow Me On A Leash

The easiest way to do this is learned behavior. Whether you are using treats or other forms of positive reinforcement, it is essential to be firm. Be dominant, and remember that they are animals, and it is in their nature to listen to you, their master.  

Make sure that your dog knows that you are the pack leader – the alpha. Once you assert your dominance, it will be so much easier for you to train your dogs. 

Persistence is vital, so whatever way you decide to train your dog, follow the same routine as they will learn best with repetition.  

Lastly, use the leash as your tool. It is a guide for your dog, and you can show them where you want them to go and how to follow you.  

How To Get A Dog To Follow You Without A Leash

Getting your dog to follow you without a leash will be a bit trickier than getting your dog to follow with a leash. Because you don’t have the leash to use as a tool, you will need to train your dog with the following steps:

  • Show your dog you are the boss – do not let them boss you around
  • Teach them simple commands like sit, lie down, and stay
  • Practice with a leash so they get the general feel
  • While on the leash, take your dog to a public place, so you get the chance to correct them if they try to stray
  • Once you are at this point, take your dog somewhere that isn’t very populated and start your walk off the leash
  • Correct them if they stop and sniff and keep a fast pace so they will not fall behind.
  • Do this a few times in short increments until the dog gets comfortable.

Your dog may be easier or harder to train depending on tier temperament and breed. These general guidelines should help to get you started.  

How To Train Your Dog To Come When Called Every Time 

In a few simple steps, with a LOT of practice, you can train your dog to come to you every time!

Teach your dog a recall – this is the phrase you will use for them to come to you. You can use something simple like ‘come,’ etc. 

  • You will want to do this at home with minimal distractions and lots of rewards to reinforce the action.  
  • When your dog comes to you, and you are ready to give the treat, grab their collar. This will stop them from grabbing the treat and running away, and not understanding the point
  • Your last step is reinforcement. Do this over and over again. The best way to teach a dog is repetition and reinforcement.  

Final Thoughts

Your dog is your buddy, and you want them to be with you all the time. Learning why they don’t follow you can help you train them and correct the issue. 

Eventually, you may even be able to work up to getting them to follow you without a leash with is a huge feat! 

Overall, you know your dog, and you know what will work and what will not. 

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