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Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere?

Your dog can’t seem to get enough of you every day: they wake up in bed with you, follow you to the bathroom, sit next to you on the couch, and even stare at you while you play board games.

So why are they following you around all the time?

There are many reasons why your dog seems obsessed with you.

Genetics: The Inescapable Impulse

Do you have a working dog that just won’t seem to leave you alone for a minute?

That’s behavior inherent to their genes.

They have been bred to stay close to humans and to do what they can to help them.

Some of these dogs might even get very antsy or uncomfortable if you don’t give them work to do while you walk through your home.

Try to play with these pups regularly to keep them entertained.

Throwing a ball often gives work dogs a sense of finishing a vital activity.

Imprinting: A Question of Trust

Dogs are like other animals in that they imprint on someone they trust and who they believe will protect them.

As a result, they may follow you everywhere you go simply to feel more comfortable and safe.

You’ll probably notice this behavior more in younger puppies than in older dogs.

For example, if you owned your pup between 3-12 weeks old, they are more likely to imprint on you.

This behavior is rarer with older dogs but is possible with many.

dogs following man on bridge

Companionship: Dogs Love Your Company

Like humans, dogs are social creatures.

And while some breeds don’t mind being alone or tolerate it well, many others do not.

They instinctively crave a pack and consider you to be their alpha.

As a result, they’ll likely follow you through the home simply to avoid being left alone.

This is also why they tend to sit next to you on the couch or at your feet.

They love and need your company and will follow you around to make sure you stay within their sight.

Reinforcement: Dogs Quickly Learn Positive Rewards

Does your canine pal follow you to the kitchen every time you walk through it?

They likely believe that you are about to feed them or give them a treat.

Remember: dogs learn very quickly and are heavily influenced by things like food and snacks.

They may be waiting for you to reward them by connecting certain house areas with food and other rewards.

Or they may identify particular areas of the house, such as the bedroom, with rewards like petting and naps.

Curiosity: What are You Doing?

Canine intelligence is relatively high and often centers around heavy curiosity.

While not quite as compulsively interested as cats, dogs do like to know what other members of their pack are up to throughout the day.

And if you move to another room, they may be likely to follow you to see what you’re doing.

Even if you’re doing the dishes or laundry, they might find it fascinating and watch you.

Dogs are weird sometimes.

Boredom: Dogs Need Entertainment

Do you know why your pup sleeps so much during the day?

They’re primarily bored and are looking to you to entertain them.

That’s a big reason why they follow you around during the day.

They get sick of sitting in one spot and hope that you’re up to something more entertaining.

Or they just want to see a new part of the house or yard and get up to see what you’re doing.

Try to keep them entertained through the day with games and walks.

They aren’t that hard to entertain if you engage with them.

Even talks and pets are good enough.

Hunger: It’s Time to Eat

If you don’t have a continual bowl of food out for your pup during the day, they likely get up to follow you when they’re hungry.

Often, they may hope that you’re going to feed them early or give them a treat.

Dogs are creatures of habit and have an innate knowledge of when it is time to eat.

So, if it’s around feeding time and your pup is following you around or even whining and barking, they’re likely hungry.

You can give them a small snack, feed them, or just deal with it until feeding time.

High Energy: They Need a Walk

Walks are often the high point of a dog’s day.

They love getting out and seeing their neighborhood.

Their mind craves new sights, scents, sounds, and experiences.

In a sense, this reason is connected to boredom and a dog’s energy levels.

If your dog naturally has a lot of energy, they need to be walked more often and enjoy the exercise.

Try to get your dog out two or three times a day, for 15-20 minutes every walk, to keep them engaged and excited about their life.

Fear: Something is Bothering Them

Your dog might put up a big front of barking at everything that moves in your neighborhood, but many pups are naturally quite fearful.

And since they get a sense of comfort from you, they may follow you around during certain scary times.

For example, many canines are afraid of lightning and thunderstorms and will stay close to you during these times.

Or they might be frightened of things like loud traffic noises that come and go through the day.

So comfort your dog during these times to keep them happier.

Communication: Something is Up

Dogs cannot talk but are very communicative.

Whining, barking, certain facial expressions, and following behaviors are all attempts to tell you something.

Sometimes, they may just have an empty water bowl that needs to be filled.

Or maybe they have a stomach ache and don’t know what to do about it.

Pay attention to your dog’s verbal and non-verbal behaviors and trust them.

There’s a good chance that they can give you an idea of what is up with them.

Learn to Understand Your Dog

Understanding these behaviors will make it easier to diagnose why your pup is following you around all the time.

Mostly, these behaviors are pretty harmless and just part of your pet’s personality.

However, more severe problems, like separation anxiety, may take some therapy to manage appropriately.

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National Canine Research Association of America