Not all dogs are the same. While some need a lot of attention from their owners, others are much more independent. If your dog accompanies you everywhere you go, it’s probably because they are afraid of being separated from you. Separation anxiety could be a real struggle for your dog. Are you worried because your dog follows you everywhere? In this article, Letsgetpet will help you to understand why your faithful companion follows you all the time and how to help your dog with this situation.
Dogs are naturally attached to their owners
Dogs have always been considered man’s best friend. The loyalty and the affection that these animals show is incomparable. Dogs are naturally attached to their owners. However, this can become a problem when the attachment becomes unmanageable. Dogs are social animals. For them, contact with their owners is indispensable. For dogs, it is natural to look for companionship.
Your dog follows you a lot because you provide them with many positive things such as caresses, food, walks, games, and most importantly—trust. A dog doesn’t just rely on what you give him. They also need trust. By following you around everywhere, your dog is showing you that you matter and that they care about you. You are a daily source of security for your dog when they are near you. Therefore, they are trying to maximise the time that they are with you by following you around everywhere. If they take their guardian activities to heart, it because they want to protect to you.
The idea of separation makes your dog anxious
Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety are very fond of their owners. It is one of the main symptoms of dependance. These issues are most often found in dogs that have been abandoned by their owners. Puppies that have been separated from their mothers at an early age also develop this dependency if they have not been properly trained to be alone. Being separated from their owners is a real hardship for these dogs. Dogs are plunged into a deep distress as soon as they are separated from their owner.
Their despair can be manifested in many different ways. Separation anxiety may cause your dog to whine, bark incessantly, and sometimes destroy everything in sight. They may also leave their waste and urine all over the house. The return of their owner is a real relief for him. However, you will certainly end up with a lot of mess when you return home. Your dog may not understand your disappointment or even your reprimands. You should understand that a dog that follows you around when you are present is usually stressed and anxious.
The mistake of the leaving and returning ritual
The leaving ritual is a common mistake that dog owners often make. Out of fear of making their animal suffer by leaving them alone, many pet owners caress and hug their little balls of fur right before leaving the house. Contrary to what one might think, this habit only reinforces their separation anxiety. This type of behavior reinforces their fear of solitude. In addition, when dog owners are very affectionate with their dogs upon returning home, this can worsen their future anxiety.
To resolve this problem, it’s important to make leaving and returning a routine part of your daily routine. Reduce the caresses before you leave or come home. In addition, when your return home, you need to stay firm and calm while waiting for your dog to calm down before you hug and caress them. You’re the one who has to decide when to give your dog hugs, not the other way around. In this way, you are helping your dog become more independent.
My dog follows me everywhere: what should I do?
Does your dog follow you everywhere? If so, it is important to find a solution to help your dog overcome this situation without making them suffer.
My dog follows me everywhere: get your dog used to spending time alone
The fear of being alone is a behavioral issue that can be problematic for you. For example, you might have difficulties leaving your dog with someone else because they want to follow you everywhere. Sometimes, your dog will bark loudly when you leave your house. This can be annoying for your neighbors.
Even if you don’t see the immediate benefit, training is absolutely necessary to prevent your dog from panicking while you’re away. If you have a puppy, you should teach them while they are still you to spend some time alone. The training should be done gently and over time. For example, you can simulate leaving the house by leaving your house for ten, fifteen or twenty minutes. When you return home, do not show right away your enthusiasm to your dog. Ideally, you should wait a bit before calmly greeting your dog. The goal is to get your dog to understand that your absence is normal. That’s why you should make your leaving and returning times a ritual where you give your dog a lot of attention.
My dog follows me everywhere: teach your dog to be independent
It is important to teach your dog independence and detachment. They should be able to fend for themselves even when you are not around for a bit. Do not respond to all of their requests. You can ignore them a few times when they are too intrusive. After cuddling your dog, try to get your dog to play or do something on their own.
If you return home and see that your dog has made a mess, clean the mess while your dog is out of the room. Ignore your dog every so often. Try to avoid non-neutral reactions that show your dog that they have succeeded in getting your attention. Try to get your dog to be more independent takes a lot of rigor and perseverance. The slightest mistake where you give your dog too much attention can reinforce your dog’s anxiety when you leave. If you are too worried about your dog, you can contact a dog trainer or vet to get medication for stress. Professional help is sometimes needed to help your dog overcome their separation anxiety.
My dog follows me everywhere: create a reassuring environment
To help relieve your dog’s separation anxiety, you should create a reassuring environment where they can feel good being alone. Teach your dog to detach themselves from you by forbidding them to go into certain rooms where you go such as the bedroom or kitchen. Try not to respond to every single demand that they have. Try to get your dog to like their life and to get used to it. Do not hesitate to refuse their demands for attention by convincing your dog to play games alone.
Another solution to get your dog to better handle separation is to tire your dog with a physical activity that you do regularly such as canine sports or long walks. A lack of activity can also contribute to your dog’s anxiety. You can also try to introduce your dog to other dogs that they can play with. Training your dog to spend time alone must be progressive to obtain good results.