When you get a dog for the first time, once adopted you will notice some behaviors that are difficult to decipher, for example, the dog always follows you. It is important to know the meaning and origin of this behavior because sometimes it can even become an annoying situation.
So in this guide, we’ll help you understand this strange behavior from your dog and what to do when your dog starts following you everywhere.
Following Behavior in Dogs
Dogs have an innate social behavior within the pack that drives them to organize themselves according to an invisible hierarchy that is not always established by force. The hierarchy and position of the alpha male determine the survival of the group.
If you have multiple dogs, you’ll notice that one of them will be a dominator, and the others tend to look up to him. The alpha male of the pack is the one who gets food or allows the rest of the group to act in a certain way or not.
His fellows do not follow him because he is the strongest or the greatest, but because they know by following his orders, the chances of survival are greater. Together they are stronger.
Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere?
For this reason, dogs tend to follow those who give them all the comfort and attention they need inside and outside the home.
Furthermore, a dog does not follow a person only for material and physical reasons why he sees him as a leader, but also because he is aware of all the love and affection that is given to him. “The dog is the only animal that loves you more than itself”.
It seems that some dogs like to chase us everywhere. In fact, it is a fairly frequent behavior that can occur at any stage of the dog’s life, but especially when they are puppies. It’s also a form of communication with their master. See our article on ways dogs communicate with humans for more details.
As we will see later, one of the reasons why dogs follow us everywhere is because they are naturally curious, and when they are puppies this curiosity is even greater due to their great interest in discovering the world around them.
However, this is not the only reason why your dog follows you everywhere. These are other reasons that explain this behavior.
Dogs are social animals
Since time immemorial, dogs have always been social animals that have based their survival on teamwork. Living in a group is vital for dogs and this information has been transmitted from generation to generation until it reaches today’s dog.
Your adorable puppy at home feels like he should be in your company and will feel better as long as there are other people by his side. This does not mean that dogs cannot be alone, but for this, they must have learned it.
Your dog has a huge interest in seeing what you are doing
Dogs are animals of a curious nature. Therefore, it is not strange that your dog wants to find out what you are up to when you are walking around your house.
Your dog may try to understand what you do when you are watching television or when you are taking a shower. Perhaps for you, they are normal and everyday actions, but for your dog’s brain they are things that he does not understand yet and they can attract a lot of attention.
So the way to get more information and understand what is happening is by observing what you do. In principle, if this behavior occurs occasionally, there is nothing to worry about.
Your dog thinks it’s his obligation to follow you
Another reason why your dog acts in this way, especially when he does it obsessively, is because he feels that it is his obligation to keep you under control.
Although this behavior may give you a feeling of protection, it is not a good thing and it may be creating a feeling of anxiety and stress in your dog, especially when you leave the house.
This is known as separation anxiety in dogs and correcting it in many cases requires the help of a professional. In order to determine if your dog suffers from this disorder, you must learn to recognize separation anxiety and seek help if necessary.
Your dog is bored or full of energy
If your dog follows you everywhere and seems to be looking for some entertainment, it is possible that the reason is that he is bored.
Dogs, especially when they are puppies or hyperactive, must provide entertainment to prevent them from getting bored. Sometimes it is not enough with the daily walks that you take through the park, but you must dedicate a little more time to it.
To ensure that your dog does not get bored, it is necessary to stimulate your dog’s mind and body.
What you can do
Provide toys at home: Offer your dog games so that they can be entertained at home, such as ropes or balls, but especially those that can develop their ingenuity and keep them entertained longer, such as Kong or puzzles for dogs.
Change the games from time to time: Even if you buy your dog the funniest game in the world, he can easily get bored after a while. Try to replace them with others from time to time to maintain their interest in toys.
Practice physical exercise: Outdoor games, long walks, and spending time with other dogs are very beneficial activities that will help you feel good and have a fun time.
In conclusion, it may be that, unwittingly, you are the one who reinforces this behavior in your dog. Perhaps on some occasion your dog began to observe you and follow you, to which you responded with praise, smiles and attention.
At that moment, your dog understood that following you had its reward and began to do it more often in order to get it again. If you think this may be the reason, you should simply ignore it when it follows you and worry that it receives other, more positive attention in the form of games, long walks and other activities in the park.
Always remember that the instinctive behavior of the dog is to live in a group. Even if there are dogs more distant and others more attached to you, they all need to relate and have fun in the company of other humans or dogs.
Your dog may also develop separation anxiety from lack of exercise, trauma, severe stressful situations, or sudden death or separation from a family member. Separation anxiety can be treated with Kong, although for more severe cases we recommend consulting an ethologist or dog educator.
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