Wondering Why Your Dog Follows You Everywhere
- 7 May 2018
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Dogs instinctively follow their pack leader, or “alpha,” and that is you! Because you provide the food, shelter, fun, and care for your dog, he will consistently look to you – and follow you if necessary — to have his needs met in these and other areas. Additional reasons, just in case you are wondering why your dog follows you everywhere, include:
- Scent – Dogs follow their noses. Even though you’ve had your morning shower and perhaps even splashed on some cologne, whatever your scent, your dog is always connecting that scent with your presence (or sensing your absence without the scent). Wherever he finds your scent, he knows food, fun, and attention may also be available. Following you then is a way of experiencing comfort because your scent is close by. Pillows, blankets, and clothing may also provide comfort to your dog if they also carry your scent.
- Boredom – When dogs are bored, they pursue their playmates for activity. If your dog’s other needs have already been met and he is following you, give him some play time and add some post-play affection. It may be just what he’s been waiting for. Games of catch, fetch, soap-bubble snapping, chase, or hide-and-seek can quickly cure doggie boredom and are a reminder that you are paying attention to him.
- Fear – Dogs stay close to their people when they are afraid of something such as a thunderstorm, fireworks, or strangers. If this is the case, interact normally with your dog while the disturbance is going on, but don’t over-do it with attention and affection. Just give enough to assure him everything is OK. After all, he’s looking to you for clues about how to respond to the situation. When the disturbance is over, he may act more like himself again.
- Health – When dogs have a significant health issue, they may seek your comfort or follow you to be near. If your dog is close-by but isn’t eating, drinking, playing, or responding, as usual, write down your dog’s unusual behaviors and call your veterinarian. He or she can give you the best advice on how to treat any health issues.
Establishing a routine for your dog may help reduce the likelihood that she will constantly follow you. Regularly exercising her is a great way to ensure she has the physical activity she needs daily. Scheduled times to go out and planned mealtimes will also help her know what to expect at certain times of day without getting underfoot.
If your pet’s health is good and there are no other circumstances creating a need to follow you, then just know that your dog is following you because she loves you and desires your companionship. The more time you spend together, the closer your bond will be.