Dogs live a different life than they did long before. Modern dogs are used to eating pre-made commercial super dog foods, that they never had access to thousands of years ago.
As humans evolve with time, so do our companions. Some dogs have gotten used to apartment life. They are living the urban life and developing metropolitan illnesses.
Living so close to you may have made your dog too dependent on you. Some dogs even get anxiety when you leave them alone!
This article is going to explain why your dog is following you wherever you go. Being followed around may get on your nerves, so we will also tell you how you can prevent your dog from displaying this behaviour.
Reasons Your Dog is Following You Everywhere
Here are all the possible reasons your dog may be following you around.
You are your dog’s life. Everything about its life revolves around you. Hence, naturally, your dog demands most of your attention.
If your dog became your family when it was a puppy, this attachment between you and it is more pronounced. Since you are also attached to your dog, you also want to give it attention. This is why your dog is tagging along wherever you go.
To Follow the Leader
A dog realizes who is providing in the house. It knows who loves it the most and who spends more time nurturing it.
The dog will want to show its love and respect for the person who provides for it. It knows who exactly to butter up to get what it desires.
Moreover, your dog may have its favourite human, which maybe you. It’s always the person who provides the meals, the one who takes it out for a walk, or the one that gives the best tummy rubs.
Let’s be honest. How often do you take your dog to a dog park? Or let it spend some time with other dogs?
If we are keeping it away from socializing with other dogs, chances are it seeks companionship in us. More domesticated your dog is, the clingier it will get.
However, you may not be on the same level as your dog because you meet your friends, colleagues, and family daily. So, how about you find your dog some cool friends?
Out of Curiosity
Dogs are curious about anything and everything. You just got back home from work; it’s curious to know how you smell or what have you brought for your little friend.
Your dog needs to smell everything to get an idea of the object. It may be annoying at times, especially when it has its nose in food items.
Your dog may also be following you around everywhere for mental issues because it wants you to do something about how it’s feeling. It may feel uncomfortable around other people and dogs if it is only used to spending time with you.
Often, dogs are mistreated or neglected from where they previously came from. Its co-dependency on you may be related to its past.
Sometimes, dogs follow you around because they are feeling sick, agitated, or afraid. If this is the case, you must pay more attention to your dog and take it to the veterinarian, if necessary.
Bored or Full of Energy
Active, energetic dogs need lots of exercise during the day to stay emotionally stable. They also need mental stimulation not to get bored.
Like its parent, it is your job to make sure your dog has all the supplies to stay busy. For example, you have to buy games, puzzles, and treat-dispensing toys so your dog can do something to pass the day.
Without proper mental stimulation, it may become frustrated and destructive. Play with it whenever you can, but train it to play by itself the rest of the time.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Your dog may appear stressed out when it sees you’re leaving the house. This is a sign of separation anxiety. A few symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs are whining, barking, destroying objects, excessive salivation, escapist behaviour, and scratches on the furniture, walls, and doors.
We want to discuss two types of separation anxiety in dogs. They are – genuine dog separation anxiety and simulated dog separation anxiety.
A genuine dog separation anxiety is when the dog is actually experiencing anxiety when separating from you. Simulated separation anxiety is a learned behaviour.
The most likely causes of simulated separation anxiety are lack of self-control and leadership. When this happens, the dog thinks that if it misbehaves, it will get attention. Even if you rebuke it for behaving that way, it is satisfied as long as it gets some attention.
Regardless, you can treat the simulated dog separation anxiety by using crates. It doesn’t matter whether you are home or away, use crates to teach your dog obedience training.
Velcro Syndrome in Dogs
Just like an overly attached dog, a velcro dog wants to stick to you like velcro. A dog with separation anxiety will completely flip when it notices you are leaving it behind, whereas a dog with velcro syndrome will worry about being without you.
A velcro dog is always curious about where you are and what you are doing. Separation anxiety gives it a panic attack when it sees you saying goodbye.
Having said that, the relationship between you and your velcro dog is unhealthy. Although some people may prefer the relationship to be that way, healthy boundaries are essential.
If your dog is spending 24 x 7 with you, you need to establish some proper boundaries. The velcro dog syndrome is bad for your dog, as the presence of it in a dog represents a lack of self-esteem and social skills with other dogs.
Prevention and Cure
If you just found out that your dog either has separation anxiety or velcro syndrome, don’t lose hope. You can prevent the syndrome from occurring in any future dog that you adopt, at the same time, cure your dog of it.
Here are a few tips that will cure your dog of separation anxiety and velcro syndrome.
It’s Okay to be Alone
You have to let your dog know that it’s okay to be alone and that nothing terrible will happen if you leave. Train your dog to sleep in the crate so you can teach independence.
Gently invite your dog to sit inside the crate with treats and affection. Feeding and patting it will make your pooch feel better inside the crate.
Leave it alone in the crate once it is comfortable, and move around the house. Make sure you do so after closing the door of the crate.
Practice by letting your dog spend time in the crate, whether you are home or not. Only leave your dog in a crate when you are returning home shortly.
If your dog knew that you don’t like it when it jumps up on your lap, it wouldn’t do it again. It knows that you will give your affection when it does something like that; that is why it keeps repeating the behaviour.
Tell him off when it is doing it at your displeasure; if it obeys, great. If it persists, gently lift it down.
A clingy dog may persist jumping on you, but keep giving the command, then put it down. Use various commands to manifest discipline. Just don’t encourage your dog to trouble you when you are busy.
Prescribe Suitable Medication
Don’t prescribe any medication to your dog without consulting first with a professional veterinarian. Some dogs may suffer from anxiety of different natures, one of which is separation anxiety.
No matter which medicine you put your dog through, it has to be paired up with behaviour-modification therapy. The combined treatment is going to take its sweet time to take effect, but don’t let that stop you.
Usually, it takes about two months for results to show. So please be patient.
Life can be tough for dogs as well. So, don’t mistreat your dog because it has separation anxiety or velcro syndrome.
First and foremost, you should learn as much as you can about separation anxiety and velcro syndrome in dogs. That way, you are aware of what is happening to your little pooch.
As you are its parent, your dog relies on you for help and cure. Hence, when you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, don’t waste your time, and take action.