Why Does My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?
[Definitive Guide]

By kropek2021. • Updated July 29, 2021

Dogs are man’s best friend. Their companionship is priceless, and their affection timeless.  But sometimes, all that attention can get a little creepy. Before I became a dog trainer, I couldn’t wrap my head around how my dog follows me everywhere. From the living room to the kitchen, and of course, the yard, there are no limits. 

It’s hard to feel lonely when you own a canine, though there’s one particular place that we’d all appreciate some more privacy – the restroom. No one wants to get stared down in the middle of doing you know what

And don’t worry; there’s no shame in wondering why your dog follows you to the bathroom. I’ve heard the question too often not to want to shed some light here. Dogs are just as sensitive as their owners, and the reason behind their behavior might surprise you. 

Take a wild guess, then have a look.

Your Dog Might Be…

Guarding You

You’ve probably had your dog since it was a pup and trained it to be a good watch. Aside from your instruction, dogs have an instinct to guard their owner’s backs. After the first three weeks, their memory develops enough to know your voice and natural scent. In a 2010 study, Italian vet Paolo Mongillo proved that your dog could pick your face from a crowd or even a simple photograph. That’s what you call loyalty.

“Dogs like to obey. It gives them security.”
– James Herriot  

Chances are your dog doesn’t trust leaving any room unattended. It’s rooted in them to be the family police. And let’s be reasonable here: Toilet-time can be relatively short, but you might end up spending hours in the shower. Your doggo has no clue what’s going on. If something were to happen to you, they want to be at your side as protection

In your dog’s mind, nothing can go wrong as long as they’re around to stop it. But if your pet can’t see you in the first place, there’s no way to guarantee your safety.

A Velcro Dog

If you carried a lunch bag around as a kid, you’d know what I mean by velcro. It’s that rough stick-on material you’ll find on the underside of pouches. Most dogs naturally know to live in packs, but some have more attachment traits than others. In other words, they’ll want to latch onto you all the time. It’s no fault of theirs, though. Velcro dog breeds are common, and it’s just a matter of genetics. That’s right – your dog can’t help but follow you around. It’s in their blood!

Pack mentality comes across in the form of submission and overdependence. Sure, you teach your dog to rely on you as their master, but velcro dogs consider you superior. You’re the alpha, and wherever you lead, they’ll follow – even if it’s to look at you with your pants down.

If you own any of these breeds, you can bet you have a velcro dog on your hands:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • German and Australian Shepherds
  • Vizsla
  • French Bulldog
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Pug

Being away from the rest of their pack (you) makes them feel isolated and vulnerable. Your pet will do their best to avoid that.

Considerate

You walk your dog for potty breaks at least twice a day. Why can’t they exchange the favor? 

A trip to the bathroom might just be another exciting bonding experience for your dog. You do most things together (as far as they’re concerned); there’s no point in stopping now. When you shut the door on your dog, it makes them feel left out and unappreciated. 

Our alone time is sacred, no doubt. But our pets just don’t think that way.

Curious

Be proud. If your dog still explores the ins and outs of your home, that’s a sure sign of good brain health. Canines are very social animals, and they tend to get bored quickly. Seeing you move around is enticing. It signals another opportunity to play, drool, or sniff something new. 

It’s not that dogs like bathrooms, but they love the adventure!

Anxious

Do you pay close attention to your dog’s mental health? You should. 

It’s not just a nuisance if your dog cries until you open the bathroom door. It could signal a case of separation anxiety. Psychological distress in canines could stem from

  1. Premature detachment from your pup’s mother 
  2. Fear of being away from you, the pet owner

Whenever your pet has an episode, there’ll be a change in overall conduct. Silence or playfulness can change unexpectedly to excessive barking or whining, chewing and digging out household items, or incontinence. 

It’s not a good idea to exclude canines with separation anxiety, but treatment options are available. In the meantime, be patient with your doggo. Healing is a slow process.

Clever

Dogs are spoilt. They’ll take advantage of praise and treats whenever you let them. 

If you make it a habit to dish out hugs, kisses, pets, and other forms of affection in the bathroom, then you don’t be so upset when your dog follows you into the bathroom. Frankly, going to the toiler sounds like playtime. 

I may be a trainer, but your dog will only stick to the behaviors you reinforce back home. And if you let your dog into the bathroom, they won’t refuse.

That’s not to say that you should punish your dog for entering. Now that’ll be confusing. Instead, use the time to be constructive. 

This brings me to my next point.

How To Stop My Dog Following Me To The Bathroom

Train Them

Instead of simply shutting the door in their face, train your dog to sit and wait. That way, you get your privacy, and your dog develops more discipline. Kill two birds with one stone!

Get Creative

It’s time to call out the big guns. 

Remember, dogs need something to keep them occupied. If you notice your dog follows you to the restroom, distract it with a dog treat or its favorite toy. That should buy you enough time to get your business done in peace.

Conclusion

While it can be frustrating if your dog follows you from room to room, be grateful. There are far worse problems that could arise with a house pet. 

On the flip side, take note if your doggo suddenly ignores you or has a drastic behavior change. You know them best. 

And feel free to reach out to schedule a check-up or get started with your pup’s training regimen. We’re only one call away.