When not in the same room with his human companion, a clinging dog remains unnaturally physically near him, displaying discomfort signals. When they are physically separated, the dog may refuse to leave the human’s side, watch their every move, and whimper, bark, and attempt to follow the person. While loyalty and bondedness are commonly regarded as desirable attributes in a dog, that is healthy both physically, and emotionally sound dog maintains its independence and is unaffected by brief periods of absence. While clingy dog behavior can be influenced by emotional or physical suffering, a clingy dog is insecure and seeks care, support, and reassurance.
Your dog may be clingy for a variety of reasons. It could be a learned behavior or an indication of a problem. In this article, you might learn the most possible reason why your dog is so clingy. But if you are still unsure, you have to make an appointment with your veterinarian to work together to establish the reason for your dog’s clinginess.
Below are some frequent causes of clinginess in dogs.
Do you have a specific question about your dog being so clingy? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
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Boredom or need for mental stimulation
Many dogs, especially young puppies, regularly require more significant physical and mental activity. They may follow you if they have excess energy and no entertaining activities to channel it into. They want to do something, even if it means generating trouble.
Dogs, like infants, learn behaviors through picking up on patterns (and even words). When you get ready for work, they may recognize it’s time to go in their crate without saying anything. Your dog may be clingy because you’ve become overly attached to them.
Puppies who receive a lot of attention, like other patterns, may become fearful of being alone. As a result, they become more reliant on your adoration and less self-sufficient in return.
Although our canine friends may not appear like classic pack animals, dogs have been domesticated for ages to accompany humans. Dogs are not meant to be left alone. A dog’s best companion is a human. Humans are the pack that dogs belong to.
Stress and Anxiety
Anxious dogs frequently exhibit clinging dog characteristics. Dogs, interestingly, can become clingy if they detect our worry or fear.
Dogs can also become clingy if their daily routine is disrupted or if changes in the home or household cause them to worry.
Suppose your dog receives a treat, cuddle, or affectionate massage every time they contact you. In that case, they are more inclined to follow you. Every time you give your dog a treat, cuddle, or compliment, you are rewarding them. By rewarding your dog, even if inadvertently, you are encouraging them that their clingy behavior is OK.
Dogs’ bodies change as they become older. They may have hearing and vision loss, as well as cognitive impairment. As their surroundings become increasingly unfamiliar, they cling to the person they most trust for guidance.
Because of their previous life experiences, shelter and rescue dogs may exhibit Velcro behavior. In addition, they may harbor a persistent dread of abandonment.
Illness or Physical Pain
Dogs, like toddlers, require additional attention when they are unwell. They want to remain near their valued friend for comfort when they are ill.
Being clingy suddenly could result in anything simple or more serious. Consult a veterinarian if you observe any other indications of clinginess.
Because of their natural tendencies, some breeds are more prone to follow humans. Natural protective instincts, herding behaviors, or simply a yearning for the company are examples of breed features.
Because herding breeds such as Australian shepherds, border collies, and shelties do not have sheep to chase, they will keep an eye on the entire family.
Guardian breeds such as German shepherds and Great Pyrenees will guard their flock. Working dogs, such as Doberman Pinschers and boxers, have been bred to work with people and remain close since they rely on them.
Shih Tzus are excellent lap dogs since they were bred as companions for dog owners.
Dogs, like humans, can experience stress and anxiety. Many people might identify with having co-dependency issues when they are nervous. When a dog is stressed, it may cling to its owners for comfort.
On the other hand, dogs are incredibly observant and can detect when humans are nervous. So if your dog realizes you are anxious or distressed, it may come over to soothe you.
Separation anxiety occurs when your dog becomes extremely anxious when you leave, even if only for a minute or two.
Here are some signs that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety you might want to look for:
Clingy dogs who do not exhibit separation anxiety may follow you around the house. Still, they do not fear when you leave. If a dog develops separation anxiety, it will be extremely distressed if you leave it for any time.
Even if you’re going to the mailbox, your dog may act out if you leave. They might ruin your furniture, pee on your clothes, chew your shoes, and howl for hours.
If you feel your dog has separation anxiety, consult a veterinarian behaviorist to assist you, and your dog handles it. For example, if a dog suffers from separation anxiety, they may lick you repeatedly.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it could also be driving your dog to the porcelain throne. Dogs are curious creatures. They’re curious about what their pack members are up to. So you may get treats or participate in a fun activity. Your four-legged family member isn’t going to miss out.
Changes in Life or Routine
Dogs, as previously stated, pick up on patterns and routines. They rely on this sense of normalcy throughout their lives. If their reality abruptly changes, they may cling to the person who provides them with reassurance.
Allow your pet to acclimate to new changes if you intend to relocate or obtain a new pet.
Older dogs with eyesight or hearing impairments may grow clinging as they become more reliant on their owners. This greater reliance is due to their surroundings becoming strange and frightening to them.
Consult your physician if you feel your dog’s clinginess is caused by blindness, inability to see, deafness, or another health issue.
How to Help Your Dog Be Less Clingy?
If you have a clinging dog who does not suffer from separation anxiety, you can teach them to be more independent. Here are some methods for dealing with a dog’s clinginess.
Instead of getting out the food, go to the kitchen and start sweeping, or grab your keys and switch on the TV instead of leaving the house. Your dog will eventually learn that your motions do not warrant much or any attention.
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