Why Does Your Dog Follow You Everywhere?

Instincts can play a big role in your pet’s constant companionship.

Dogs earned the moniker "man's best friend" for their loyal companionship. Our hearts swell when our pets greet us eagerly with wagging tails and when they reciprocate their affection with pawing or licking. It's no wonder that the unconditional love of dogs has the power to make people happier. Canines share a special bond with their owners, but sometimes, their companionship might feel a little too constant. It may seem like a furry shadow follows you throughout the house—even into the bathroom.

Woman and dogs walking in hallway at home
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Why does your dog follow you everywhere? Instincts are a big part of the reason. According to the American Kennel Club, a pet who glues himself to his owner's side is often called a "velcro dog." Canines are natural pack animals, the AKC explains, and people become their pack. It's also common for puppies to imprint on their owners and look to them as they would their mothers. Giving your dog positive reinforcement like affection and treats may be another reason for their clingy behavior. When rewarded for following you around 24-7, your dog will continue to do so. Additionally, it may be more common for certain breeds (like working or herding dogs) to attach themselves to humans more than others, the AKC notes. These groups were bred to work alongside humans, so following you around is in their DNA.

Your dog could also be trying to tell you something by shadowing you. For example, she might be bored and looking for a playmate; she might be hungry and ready for dinner; or she might need to go outside to use the bathroom. Keep an eye out for signs of separation anxiety. If your dog becomes distressed when you leave him, he could be experiencing separation anxiety. Consult your veterinarian or work with professional dog trainer to help set healthy boundaries and make alone time more enjoyable for your pet.

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  1. Meyers H. Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere? It’s in His Genes. American Kennel Club.

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