Let’s face it. Our dogs love us. So much so that anytime I walk in the door or sit on the couch, my dog is right by my side, trying to tackle me or sit on top of me. It is so great, and I love him so much. But it can be a bit bothersome after a while, and you start to wonder, why is my dog so attached to me?
Dogs become attached to their owner as a result of separation anxiety. This is also due to their breed and needs for attention. Some dogs also imprint on their owner, an intense reaction that causes your dog to gravitate towards you as a parent figure.
In this article, we will delve deeper into why your dog is so attached to you. We will touch on subjects like a new or sudden attachment or how dogs can become obsessive or clingy. Read on to learn some possibilities about your pup and what can be done about the little shadow that follows your heels.
Why Is My Dog So Attached To Me All Of A Sudden
A sudden attachment to you from your dog may be because of two main things – fear and anxiety.
There can be many reasons for your dog to become fearful or anxious and usually equates to something in their environment or a significant change. In a case like that, they tend to cling to you – their constant.
Whether you are changing your schedule, moving, or changing anything in their environment, it is good practice to reassure your dog and let them know it is ok.
When I moved into my current home a few years ago, my one-year-old dog at the time was too anxious. He was always a clinger, but he never left my side once we got to our new place.
Eventually, he got used to the place after a few days and returned to his usual self.
Can Your Dog Get Too Attached To You
Yes, your dog can become too attached, usually due to an extreme case of separation anxiety. Most of the time, it is due to stress and anxiety. Here are a few signs to look for in cases of extreme separation anxiety:
- Scratching at doors, chewing things, and possibly digging holes when possible
- Trying to escape (that is where the scratches come into play)
- If they start to whine or bark incessantly
- Pacing – usually done very obsessively
- Going to the bathroom inside (if trained)
- More drooling or panting than normal
Your pet may do these things when you are not around. Or they may already do a few of these things naturally. The key is to watch and make sure they are not increasing in behavior or adding a new one.
Can A Dog Be Obsessed With Its Owner
Yes, your dog can be obsessed with you. If your dog is ‘obsessed’ with you, they may have what is called Velcro dog syndrome. Much like OCD. This often happens when your dog sets its sights on you, rather than everyone that owns him – like a partner, parent, or child. Many things could trigger this in your dog, such as:
- Reinforced behavior -accidentally rewarding them for unwanted behavior
- Separation anxiety
- Being left with someone else for care for an extended time
- And even hunger or thirst
The best way to deal with an obsessive dog is to get to the root of the problem and then develop a way to combat the issue.
Why Is My Dog So Clingy To Me
Most of this time, it is due to fear and anxiety. Maybe you stayed out later than planned, and the dog waited for an extended period. This can cause anxiety.
Maybe you have a loud argument, and the dog was scared to hear you that way. Most of the time, there is a trigger that causes your pet to be anxious or fearful. Look at your day-to-day life and see if something had recently changed, then think back to when your dog’s behavior started. Often the two correlate.
Dogs like continuity. They like knowing what to expect. And most of all, they like to feel loved and safe. If they do not feel that way, they may cling to you. Literally.
You are their constant in life, and they feel most safe with you.
What Does It Mean If My Dog Follows Me Everywhere
If your dog follows you everywhere, it is usually due to their instincts. They are animals, and they are born with instincts, just like us humans are. There is a pack mentality, and they want to follow the leader, so to speak. You are their pack, and they want to make sure they are there by your side.
Certain things you let your dog do can influence how your dog sees you – like letting them sleep in your bed and lay with you on the couch. When this type of behavior is allowed, your dog is being conditioned to need to be by your side as much as possible. They look to you like they would your mother and never want to leave your side.
Do Dogs Need Constant Attention
No, your do does not require constant attention. Although they want as much attention as they can get, they do not need to be continuously watched and played with. Dogs only require a few hours of attention a day typically, and too much attention can be negative for your dog as it creates unwanted behaviors.
- Separation anxiety
- A constant need to be with you
- Incessantly barking or whining
Even puppies do not require constant attention. Dogs need their time alone, and we need to make sure we create boundaries, or we could be met with a myriad of problems with learned behavior.
Which Dog Breeds Are Clingy
It is safe to say that some dog breeds are inherently clingier than others. Here are the top 10 clingiest dog breeds:
- Australian Sheppard
- Great Dane
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Saint Bernard
- Labrador Retriever
- Italian Greyhound
- French Bulldog
- Bichon Frise
While other breeds are clingy, these breeds tend to top the list and need a bit more attention than usual. Make sure you have the time and energy before getting one of these!
How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Being So Attached To Me
Most of the time, they are attached to you because of learned behavior. The best way to get your dog to stop needing you so much is to train them not to be needy.
There are a few ways this can be done – the easiest is simple commands. Call your dog to you, pet them for a moment or so, and then you need to let them know you are done. Tell them, all done, or no more, and have them go lay down.
You need to be consistent with your training; just like housebreaking, you need to be firm and give them a set of rules to abide by. It is so important not to reinforce the behavior you do not want them to have.
If they sleep in bed with you, get a dog bed and put it right next to your bed. After a few nights, slowly start to move it further and further away until you have your dog sleeping in their new spot in their new bed. Being consistent is critical.
We love our dogs, and it is hard not to give them too much attention at times. Just be aware of your dog’s surroundings and your dog’s environment.
Make sure they feel safe and help calm fears when you can. Show them you are not going anywhere. At the same time, be firm and let them know where the boundaries are, or you will have a dog all over you all day long.