By John Braise
You stand up, your dog stands up. You move, your dog is two steps behind you. You go to the bathroom, he’s there with you.
However, for people who want some time alone, it can be a little annoying when you have a buddy watching every move you make.
Why do dogs insist on following you everywhere? And, how can you make it stop?
The first reason dogs tend to stick to you like glue lies in a natural survival instinct. In the wild, canines live in packs, so they are sociable animals.
Through years of domestication, they still keep the tendency to live in groups, that’s why it doesn’t take much effort for them to fit in your family or pack.
Your dog recognizes you as a leader and feels safe in your presence. When you are absent, he can feel vulnerable and insecure.
Another reason is that dogs are curious animals. And they don’t want to miss anything you do that could be interesting.
In nature, dogs put values on resources in their territory and feel obligated to protect those resources to survive. They feel the urge to keep an eye on everything in their territory and protect their food and water away from enemies.
Thus, when you go out, they think that you are patrolling your territory and naturally want to follow.
But there may come a time when you get tired of it and need to put a little space between you and your No. 1 sidekick.
Here are a few tips that might help solve the situation:
- Use gentle commands like sit, stay, etc., to give yourself some temporary space.
- Give him some of his favorite toys to play with such as a puzzle toy filled with tasty treats. That will buy you some time before your dog hunts you down again like Liam Neeson.
- Give your dog less attention. This might sound mean, but it may be the best for both you and your dog in the long term. For example, give your dog a bed of his own — perhaps on the floor next to your bed.
- Help your dog feel confident. Use music, toys, treats and other tricks to reduce separation anxiety.
When you limit the time your dog spends with you, just remember that your dog loves you and nothing makes him more happy than being in your presence.
John Braise is a professional blogger. He fancies penning helpful and valuable dog care tips to make owners feel at ease with their four-legged buddies at his GoHappyDogs blog.