Real Reasons Why Dogs Follow You to the Bathroom

Dogs have this amusing and adorable (sometimes annoying) habit of following us around to the most uncomfortable places. They love being around us, and we love having our fur babies near us.

But, it’s when they follow us right into the bathroom as we go about our private business that things can get uncomfortable. After all, you don’t want to groggily stumble into the bathroom in the morning only to be greeted by your dog following you a little too closely.

why dogs follow you to the bathroom
Real Reasons Why Dogs Follow You to the Bathroom

While this could just be a sign of your dog’s love for you, there are also a number of other reasons why your dog is following you around so much, even to the bathroom. 

11 Reasons Your Dog Is Being Clingy And Following You To The Bathroom

1. Breed Traits

In the case of some dogs, their breed plays a major role in their behavior. If they follow you to the bathroom or anywhere else, it’s just the way that dog breed is. 

For example, there are certain breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies, that show more clingy behavior and are more likely to follow their humans around. These breeds are called “velcro” dogs

On the other hand, some dog species will keep close to you just because they are inclined to protect you and keep you safe from potential harm. You’ll notice this behavior with breeds like the Doberman or Boxer.

Other breeds of dogs like the German Shepard will simply accompany you into the restroom for the sheer joy of it. They also really like being near your scent.

German Shepherd nudge owner
German Shepherd nudges his owner to show affection.

2. Dogs Have a Pack Mentality

Animals, in general, have the tendency to behave like a pack. And dogs, in particular, are pack animals. This pack mentality continues throughout their lives as they follow one leader who provides for them and takes care of them.

Dogs are born with this instinct, which is why they accompany you to the restroom as they consider you a member of the pack. They do so in order to prevent feeling alone and vulnerable.

different dog breeds
Different dog breeds posing together.

3. Dogs Do Not Understand Privacy

If allowed to, dogs will stay near you all day every day. They have no concept of privacy or private space. This also stems from their pack mentality where they believe being alone makes you vulnerable to danger.

So, dogs would rather do everything with you and make sure you’re safe.

A dog will essentially accompany you to the restroom because they don’t think there’s anything private. They do not understand privacy and are just showing their love for you.

walk away
Owner walks away from her dog.

4. Dogs Get Curious

Dogs are inherently curious animals. And your regular trips to the restroom without your dog will, of course, pique their interest and make them want to investigate.

Your dogs might start thinking there is something fascinating going on in there and would want to follow you in. Your dog will want to try and comprehend what is going on that you need to be away from them and they’ll become keen on being a part of it.

If your pet suspects something, they will prefer to remain near their owner for safety.

shaggy dog looking through door
A shaggy dog peeks through a door.

5. Dogs Are Protective

Let’s face it, dogs are incredibly loyal and protective of their humans. They are your best mates when it comes to sniffing out danger and keeping you safe.

A bathroom is an insecure space, and dogs understand that. Dogs consider pooping to be a vulnerable moment, and will thus join you in there to protect you as you go about your business.

Chihuahua rubbing legs
Chihuahua rubbing owner’s legs.

6. Dogs Enjoy Scents

It is undeniable that dogs are excellent sniffers. They adore sniffing out their owners’ scent and being around it. Every dog owner has seen their dog carry a piece of their human’s footwear or clothing in their mouth; that’s because of the scent that these items have.

Dogs are attracted to their owners’ smells, and a bathroom is a place where they can find a variety of scents. It’s where you keep the products that remind your dog of you.

Your dog will be eager to sniff up that area as it is the best source of your scent! 

Goldendoodle carried by her owner
Behaved Goldendoodle carried by her owner.

7. Dogs Look For a Treat

Ever opened a bag of chips and watch your dog zoom towards you with a wagging tail and tongue stuck out?

Dogs will sniff out treats from any corner of the house. That’s also one of the reasons they follow you into the bathroom because they’re expecting to find a treat in one of the cabinets. 

And since it’s an area where your dog is not allowed, your dog will become even more curious about what’s in the bathroom. They’ll start suspecting that the bathroom is where you hide all the treats and will rush inside before you close the door to look for treats. 

dog treats
Dog treats from a paper bag.

8. Dogs Are Insecure

When your dog follows you around and demands your attention all of the time, it is a sign that they are overly dependent on you. This can be problematic behavior as it can lead to anxiety. It’s important that you take the necessary steps to help correct this behavior before it becomes detrimental to your pet.

One way is to reward your dog when he stays back while you enter the bathroom or as he gradually learns to stay out of your personal space. Regular training can be very effective to enforce this. 

sad poodle
Poodles are smart and social – and a prone to separation anxiety. This can lead to problem behavior like excessive barking.

9. Dogs Enjoy Staring At their Owners

Dogs appreciate sitting and staring at you as you go about your business because it is a moment of bonding between you two. Because they are born with a pack mentality, dogs want to connect with you emotionally, despite how bothersome and awkward it can be.

Dogs, like people, also release a hormone called oxytocin that is responsible for creating a feeling of love and connection. Eye contact between a pet and its owner can release this hormone and strengthens your bond with your dog.

woman with her dog at night
A woman looking after her dog at night.

10. Dogs Are Quite Social Creatures

Dogs are very social creatures from the moment they are born, and they will continue to be so throughout their lives. You become your dog’s world the day you adopt them, so it’s only natural that they want to follow you around everywhere you go.

And once your dog has gained your trust, be prepared to see it follow you to the bathroom and stick with you there. If you don’t let your pooch in, your dog will start whining and stay by the door until you get out of the bathroom.

owner pets Border Collie
The owner pets his Border Collie!

11. Dogs Feel Sad When Left Alone

Have you ever returned late from work only to find your dog jumping on top of you and getting hyper? 

Once you and your dog form a bond, your dog will naturally miss you when you’re not around. They follow you around because they believe they must be with you at all times. Your dog does not understand why you need to exclude them from the bathroom and leave them alone, which makes them sad. 

In their minds, the bathroom is not an off-limits area and they want to spend as much time around you as possible.

sad Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel looks sad lying on the grass.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Following You Into The Bathroom? 

If your dog loves you too much and won’t quit following you around, it may be time to look into some training. So, how do you go about teaching your dog that they must wait for you while you use the restroom in privacy?

You need to understand that excessive attachment in dogs is a sign of anxiety. The first step should be to get your dog checked out by a vet to eliminate any serious concerns. You can then move on to incorporating the right training to help your dog overcome this problem.

Here are some ways in which you can encourage some independence in your dog, which will also let you enjoy some private bathroom time:

  • Focus on teaching your dog the “stay” command by gradually increasing your distance from him until you can leave him in one room while you are in another. 
  • Teach your dog to go to a specific location when you are not nearby. It can be a tiny bed made specifically for your dog. 
  • Installing baby gates is a practical and short-term solution to stop your puppy from constantly following you around and allow them to learn to be alone for some time. 
  • You can also make your dog bored to stop them from following you around. Try repeating your actions frequently, such as walking in circles or pacing back and forth for a while to make your dog bored to follow you.
  • Start an exercise regimen that positively promotes your dog’s mental wellness. This also gets rid of your dog’s excess energy and tire them out, and your dog will get used to falling asleep soundly without noticing if you have left the room.
Bichon Frise home alone
Bichon Frise home alone lying on the floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Elderly Dog Follow Me?

Doggie dementia is a condition associated with the aging of the dog’s brain. It is quite common in older dogs and makes them more susceptible to anxiety-inducing behaviors and diminished sensitivity to stimuli. This may be one of the reasons for your dog’s clingy behavior.

The likelihood that an older dog would exhibit at least one of the symptoms of doggie dementia or other chronic illnesses increases with age, which will also cause them to follow you around.

As your dog gets older, make sure that you take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups.

senior dog Boxador
Senior Boxador in the garden in a sunny afternoon!

Is It Okay For My Dog To Follow Me To The Bathroom?

Generally, there is no need for you to be alarmed if you find your dog following you into the bathroom. It’s your dog’s natural instinct to be around you no matter where you are.

However, if you begin to observe that this behavior is occurring frequently or your dog is becoming too clingy, you should consider establishing some boundaries.

Dogs get bored often, so they will follow you around if they think that something exciting is happening in a particular area of your house like your bathroom.

Do not raise your voice at your dog to get them out of the bathroom as it will only make your dog anxious. Establish training sessions, and find a way to establish limits in a considerate and effective way. 

If these methods don’t work, there may be an underlying medical problem that needs to be addressed. 

owner trains his dog
Owner trains his dog by teaching some basic commands!

Which Dog Breeds Are Commonly Known For Following Their owners Around?

Almost all dogs enjoy following their owners to see what they are up to, but some breeds have a tendency to exhibit the “velcro” trait. These dogs love to be as close as possible to their humans.

Here are some breeds of dogs that love being near their owners and commonly display the “velcro” behavior: 

  1. Vizsla
  2. Golden Retriever
  3. German Shephard
  4. Labrador Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Border Collie
  7. Chihuahua
  8. Pug
  9. Australian Shepherd
  10. French Bulldog
Golden Retriever and owner
Golden Retriever and owner taking a rest after a long run!

Does My Dog Have Separation Anxiety?

Just because your dog loves to follow you around does not necessarily mean that they have separation anxiety. However, there are certain signs you can look for. 

If you close the door behind you and your dog is left out of the room, does your dog often start to whimper aloud? When you’re not around, does your dog engage in damaging behavior? If the answer is yes, your dog has separation anxiety, and you should consult a veterinarian right away to learn how to deal with this issue.

Keep in mind that leaving this issue untreated won’t be healthy for your dog and you in the long run.

dog owner cleans
The dog owner cleans up the messy floor.

In Conclusion

Dogs love to be around us, regardless of where we are. So, when a dog is with their owner, they have no concept of privacy. It is up to you to strike a healthy balance between time spent together and reinforcing some boundaries.

Incorporate positive reinforcement training to wean this clingy behavior while maintaining a healthy bond with your dog. Just be vigilant of your dog’s behavior — as long as there are no signs of anxiety or other medical issues, your dog’s clingy is just a minor inconvenience that can easily be fixed.