Do you have a dog that tends to follow you everywhere you go without fail?
Are you the only person in your family, including your husband and children, that your pooch seems to endlessly trail?
Our pets can demonstrate a wide range of habits and behaviors that are often difficult for us—as their human owners—to understand or explain.
One of these habits, seen in some but not all dog breeds, is a tendency to lock on to one specific member of the family, never leaving his or her side as they move about the house.
To help explain this odd conduct, below we will briefly answer the question, “why does my dog follow me everywhere and not my husband.”
In doing so, we will highlight several potential reasons for this peculiar habit and outline some of the steps you can take—if you so desire—to regain some of your independence when moving around your home and yard.
Some of The Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Follow Your Husband
There are a number of reasons why a dog may cling more to one spouse than the other, or in this case, the wife more than the husband.
Below we have outlined several of these reasons with a brief explanation of each.
Your Dog Is Imprinted onto You
In studying the behavior of mothers and their young in the animal kingdom, researchers have long known that baby animals tend to imprint onto their mother very early—imprint on the being they look to for food and security.
As a result, the babies of some animal species will literally follow their mother everywhere she goes, much like baby ducklings will follow their mother step for step.
Members of the canine species will also do this to some degree.
If you acquired your pooch when he or she was very young, anywhere from 3 weeks to 12 weeks old, according to experts in this field, that puppy could essentially see you as its mother.
And the younger the dog was when you acquired him and took him from his real mother, there’s a much better chance it will lead to this imprinting behavior.
If this is the reason your dog follows you, fret not.
Most puppies will outgrow the need to relentlessly pursue you.
However, if your pet is still engaging in the behavior after he reaches one year in age, you may want to talk to a trainer or your vet for some advice on behavior modification strategies.
Do you leave the house every day for long periods of time, perhaps to go to work?
Do you leave your dog at the house with your husband or teenage children?
If you do, the “following” behavior you are noticing may be related to separation anxiety.
In other words, your dog is following you from room to room because he is afraid you are going to leave him.
When separation anxiety is the impetus for this behavior, your dog may engage in other odd actions that are easy to notice.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Pacing. When the nervous or anxious energy builds up in your pooch, he may pace incessantly, perhaps near the door from which you typically exit the house.
- Frequent potty-ing. Anxiety in dogs, as with humans, can cause frequent urination and defecation.
- Chewing. If you start to notice new chewing behavior, either on or near the bottom of the door, separation anxiety may be the reason.
- Escape attempts. Does your dog constantly try to escape when you are away from the home? He may be doing this in a misguided attempt to find you.
Dogs that have previously been abused by a male figure tend to suffer much more from separation anxiety—anxious that the woman, who they see as their protector, may leave the home.
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, be sure to mention the behaviors to your vet.
Feeding, Treats and Rewards
Are you the person in the home who regularly feeds your dog and/or gives him treats throughout the day?
If so, your dog may follow you everywhere to ensure he never misses out on one of these opportunities.
Dogs have all day, every day, to study our behavior as owners.
They know when we are happy or upset, in the mood to play or when we are frustrated.
If you tend to feed or give treats to your dog at a specific time each day, do not be surprised if he is on your tail the moment you leave the sofa.
If your husband is feeling left out by all the attention you are receiving from your dog, you can try relinquishing the feeding and positive reinforcement duties to him for a while.
If you do this, it won’t take long until he is the one being shadowed throughout the home.
About a century ago, most dogs were bred with certain tasks in mind.
Some breeds made better guard dogs or protectors, some were herders, hunting dogs and working dogs, and some, like terriers, were used for rodent control.
Fast forward to today and there are certain dogs that are bred exclusively for companionship.
These dogs—and there are far too many to count that fit this description—are affectionately known as “Velcro” dogs.
Velcro dogs, as the name implies, tend to stick very closely to the person in the home who shows them the most affection and love.
They want to follow that person, sleep with that person, and they may always be bugging that person to play.
Like any behavioral trait in dogs, this conduct can be “trained out of them,” but this seldom happens, largely because the receiver of this attention truly enjoys it.
Last but not least, your dog may follow you more frequently than your husband because he perceives you as the pack leader.
Women in the home do not necessarily have to seem bossy for this “follow the pack leader” behavior to occur.
As we mentioned before, dogs study us very carefully, and if you are the one in charge of making the food or the rules in the house, your dog will pick up on this and their pack mentality may take over.