Bijgewerkt: 20 nov 2020
Some dogs create the habit of following their owners all around the house. Some owners find it cute, some find it annoying, but why is your dog following you everywhere? And what can you do about it?
It's important to know that in many cases there are no underlying problems when your dog follows you around every now and then, but if he can't leave you alone for one second, it might be time to teach him.
Why is your dog following you around?
There could be quite a few reasons why your dog is following you. Most often it's because you actually liked your dog around you and petted him or gave him a treat whenever he showed up near you. This process increases your dog's reason to follow you around, since he'll be likely to get a reward for doing so.
Sometimes it can get annoying if you're trying to get chores done and your dog keeps getting in the way. Because of this, I always reward my dogs when they stay in place without me giving them a command. This way they learn it's not necessary to follow everyone around and keep your home a calm place. This seems counterintuitive for many people raising puppies (because who doesn't want their puppy close to them), but reapes benefits later on in their lives.
Rescue dog might also develop this behaviour because of things that happened in their past. They might have had bad experiences and while overcoming these, rely on you in order to feel safe. While this may be a good solution at first, your dog should still be able to build his own self-confidence
Why is it sometimes better for your dog not to follow you?
Though this often gives no problems at all, some dogs tend to become overly attached to their owners. These 'velcro'-dogs then sometimes have problems functioning optimally when their owner is not around, which ofcourse is not a healthy state for your dog to be in.
How to teach your dog to stop following you?
As I mentioned above, I reward my puppies for staying in a spot when I move. This rule is only true when at home, when going on a walk, I want my dogs to return to me every now and then.
I do not give any command to my dog for staying in that spot, if they follow me around, no biggy, I didn't ask anything from them, so they did nothing wrong. But they won't get any reward. If they stay in their spot, they get a reward or attention. So they can choose wether or not to follow me, but will gain more benefits from just remaining calm.
You know your dog best, so you should be able to make an honest conclusion based on their behaviour. If your dog follows you around every now and then because he's curious about what you're up to, there clearly is no problem.
But if your dog is glued to you 24/7, it might be better to teach him to be alone.