Picture it, Saturday evening snuggled on the couch with your best furry friend watching a prime-time movie. Suddenly, it hits you. You’ve spent the entire day with your dog!
You had a plan of action when you woke up, a list of errands, and a couple of activities that you had been dying to do. What happened?
When you look back on your day, you realize that dog was right behind you every step of the way. For some reason, your dog is obsessed with you.
We have all been there. But, where does this obsession begin? Why is your dog obsessed with you?
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In its simplest form, our dogs are obsessed because they love us. Uncomplicated in its reasoning, companionship and the need for affection are two reasons our dogs never leave our sides.
Like a toddler, a dog wants to be in your presence. You’re their best friend, and they expect you to return the favor.
Throughout history, dogs have become the most domesticated animal by humans. This bond goes beyond you and your dog. It speaks to a higher bond between humans and dogs in general.
As animals, domesticated dogs have the necessary instincts to fend for themselves. However, they naturally look to us to feed them, shelter them, and love them.
Need for Affection
Some people do not realize that dogs have emotions. They feel abandonment and anxiety, just like we do. However, sometimes the need for affection goes beyond normal boundaries.
For example, a rescue dog may need to be around its owner because it has felt anxiety, uneasiness, and abandonment in the past. Their need to constantly keep you in their sights makes them feel loved while simultaneously creating a safe space.
What is important to remember is that you must first diagnose why your dog is exhibiting this obsessive behavior. Is it love, or is there a deeper meaning behind it?
Love plays a significant role in the behavior of our dogs. Science has an equal role to play. Certain traits can be linked biologically to specific dogs. These traits can result in behaviors that make it hard for your pup to stay away.
13 Dog Breeds That Love You
All dogs love their owners. However, there are select groups of dog breeds prone to loyalty. These breeds do not abandon their owners.
Small dogs like Yorkies and Dachschund’s are bred to be human friends over the centuries. Dog breeds such as these are more likely to crave their owners. Their small size and stature can also enable owners. We may extend more privileges and engage in spoiling behavior.
- Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)
Large dogs often get a bad rap. But, many larger and mid-size dogs are big softies at heart. Gentle giants, large dogs often desire a lot of attention and love.
- Great Pyrenees
- St. Bernard
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
Love and science have their parts to play when discovering why your dog is obsessed with you, but they are not the only reasons. Another idea that we do not often consider is reinforcement.
Dogs have emotions, and they are intelligent creatures as well. Dogs pick up on behavior and trends that benefit them, much like babies, toddlers, and children.
When we as owners offer treats and cuddles without a specific cause, dogs learn from this pattern and anticipate the behavior. Dog’s will follow behind any person they know will give them what they want.
There may be less complicated reasons for why you can not shake your dog:
- Your dog could be trying to warn you of danger.
- Your dog could be experiencing a problem.
- Your dog needs food, water, or relief.
- Your dog is bored.
How to Wean Your Dog Off You
After determining why your dog will not leave your side, one can take specific steps to help your dog achieve slightly more independence.
First things first, don’t punish your dog for this obsessive behavior. Instead, work on building a healthier solution for your dog.
- Create boundaries: You can put actual boundaries with baby gates or a similar object to help eliminate the ability to travel freely around the house and continually follow you.
- Build their attention span: Work with your dog by using their toys to keep them engaged in play and keep their attention off your movements.
- Go for a walk: A nice long walk may tire your dog out. Resting dogs are not obsessive dogs. They are too busy sleeping.
- Reward them for staying put: Treats do the job for dogs. Reward their good behavior when they stay and don’t follow you around.
- Find doggy friends: Your dog needs to see more than just your face. Get your dog a new dog to play with or even one of your friends or family members to change pace and pull the attention away from you.
- Keep it noisy: When you leave, give your dog a little white noise to keep its attention away from you.
Your dog’s obsession with you isn’t the end of the world. There are much worse behavioral problems your dog could exhibit, like biting, barking, or destructive behavior.
If anything, feel flattered. Out of all the people in the world, your dog will always choose to spend all of its time with you. What’s more comforting than that?
However, an obsessive dog can be irritating at times or even make you feel guilty when you have to leave them to go to work or a social event.
This issue isn’t unfixable, though. You can take steps to ensure your dog doesn’t watch your every more.
If the tips mentioned in this article aren’t working for you, or you believe your dog is displaying behaviors related to anxiety or abandonment, you can always reach out to a dog behaviorist.
A dog behaviorist will work with you and your dog to find the best resolution. There may be patterns you’re exhibiting that you don’t realize in addition to your dog’s feelings that hinder your dog from its independence.