Why Is My Dog Suddenly Following Me Everywhere?
[The Complete Guide]

By kropek2021. • Updated June 30, 2021

As dog owners, we feel delighted to spend some quality time with our pups. This activity can be equally fun and stress-relieving. But do you come across days when you think, “Why does my dog accompany me everywhere?” 

Some believe that this trait is due to the pack/herd mentality of canines. But in reality, there can be far more different reasons for that. Several renowned studies in veterinary science show that dogs’ clingy behavior can be associated with the fact that they think of you as their mother/parent.

Have you ever treated them nicely when they followed you? If so, then the affection and warmth they received from you can be another reason for the iterative behavior. We will go through some of the primary causal factors, followed by a few control measures you can employ to tone it down. So, without any further delays, let’s get started.

Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Following You

Speaking from personal experience, my dog Dash (Corgi), who used to be so independent, suddenly started shadowing me almost everywhere. This act surprised me, and I decided to consult my registered veterinarian for their views. Do you want to know what the reason was? Before that, let’s describe some of the most common ones in this section.

Owner Fixation

Getting over-attached to the primary caregiver of the house is pretty typical behavior in dogs. Their whole universe revolves around you when seen from the pet perspective. You feed them yummy food, give squishy cuddles, play with them, care for them, the list goes on.

This attitude is even more evident when it comes to rescue dogs. You were the architect responsible for transforming their lives from the gutter to the warmth and security of a home.

To a certain extent, the genetic herd mentality also has a role to play here. Following the pack-leader who provides the other dogs with food and safety from external threats. Dogs showcasing this form of fixation are often termed “Velcro dogs.”

Stress Build-up

Build up of stress in canines can make them do some unusual and weird things. In such a situation, following you is a means by which they’re trying to communicate something to you.

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is another medical condition that can urge them to repeat showcasing the same behavior. Loud noises, a strange animal/person, lack of physical exercise are some of the critical reasons behind stress generation.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are creatures of habit. If you take them for walks/jogs daily and in case you forgot the walk on a particular day, they will follow you. 

From your daily routine, they know the time when you leave home and return. When that routine breaks due to some reason, they will start feeling anxious. Your absence will be felt by them more than you realize. Once you get back home, the clingy behavior will be showcased by your dog.

Fearfulness

Your dog can idolize you as their guardian angel. By following you at all times, they feel you will protect them against any forms of external threats. 

The presence of unfamiliar people and animals can create a sense of fear and insecurity. For instance, my dog Dash was shy and scared of visitors at our home during the holiday season. He would never stay a few feet away from me. Some of the music and the loudness associated with the chit-chat were not well received by my dog. We had to take Dash out for a walk outside to calm him down. 

When dogs lie near their master, they are sensing each emotion and happenings around them. Their mood is influenced by what you feel too.

Health Problems

Dogs suffering from medical conditions like neurological issues, depression, heart health decline, and several other diseases can follow their master excessively. If you notice a sudden change in their behavior like loss of appetite, lack of sleep, etc., we recommend seeking medical help. Consult your trusted vet for proper medical diagnosis and apt medication. Jumping into your conclusions and self-treatments can do no good whatsoever.

Positive Reinforcement

Knowingly or unknowingly, if you appreciated your puppy somehow while they followed you in the past, this behavior is bound to repeat by them. The reinforcement you showed could be in the form of comforting words, a pat, a belly rub, or tasty food rewards. Your dog will infer this act as making you happy, and they will walk behind you until they have a reason not to.

Seasonal Behavior (Applicable for Female Dogs)

Summer seasons can make dogs extra clingy, especially in the case of females. Spaying the dog to alleviate this situation is an advisable action that can be taken.

For the benefit of our readers who are not aware of spaying, it is a veterinary procedure through which female dogs’ reproductivity is removed. You can choose this option if breeding dogs is not what you want.

Spaying is an excellent way to avoid the dogs’ heat cycle troubles. Always consult a vet before deciding on this surgical procedure. This procedure also has some other advantages like preventing foul odor and helps avoid canine diseases like mammary gland cancers and pyometra.

Ageing

As dogs enter the elderly phase of their lives, they typically start feeling weak and vulnerable. The independent mentality associated with younger dogs can get reduced in old dogs. 

Their physical fitness will start to wear off with weaker eyesight, muscles, and joints. This tired state will prompt them to seek your support and affection. Also, they will start following you for a sense of security and comfort.

Dogs, being loyal creatures, feel the responsibility to serve you till their last. With this mindset, they will showcase this clingy behavior.

These are some of the main factors that make your dog insistent on following you around all the time. In the next section, we will look at some of the remedial measures that can help control dogs’ shadowing behavior.

Ways to Control Your Dog’s Behavior of Following You Too Much

Let’s look at some practical and effective ways to control your buddy’s clingy attitude.

  • The socialization of pet dogs is a crucial element in shaping their character. Take care that your dog spends enough time with other family members, pets, and other acquaintances apart from you. This measure will help to tone down the master/owner fixation they have with you alone.

  • Often, dogs deviate towards ominous signs due to the presence of excess energy that goes unused. Ensure your pal gets sufficient physical workout in the form of outdoor games, walks, etc., periodically. These activities will make sure to channel their energies in the right direction.

  • The mental stimulation of the canine is equally, if not more important. Long hours at home doing nothing can disturb their moods and lead to undesirable acts. Spend quality time with your pups by engaging them in dog puzzles and toys so that they do not feel bored and are active and happy. These kinds of games are also suitable for cementing the pet-owner bond in the proper manner.

  • Following you excessively can also be due to the excessive craving for attention. This trait is subjective in dogs (breed traits). But, if you ignore them more often than not, they will feel sad, lonely, and left out. Their clinginess is a counter-response to compensate for their feeling of being alone most of the time. Ensure you give them all the love and attention they deserve.

  • If you are away from home for most of the time, a suitable alternative will be to hire a dog walker or enroll your pup in a doggy daycare center. In this way, they will get their fair share of socialization, stimulation, and overall fun.

  • Lack of training can be a potential causal link too. Impart systematic obedience training from a young age. Commands to make them stay where they are and not follow you will be applicable in this case.

  • Training can also help overcome their fearful mentality and insecurities in your absence. You can attempt to start by making them stay along in a room for a while and see how it goes.

  • Despite your training attempts, if your buddy continues displaying the same behavior, the next best option is to consult a professional dog trainer. They are experienced enough to identify the reasons behind the dog’s lack of confidence. Based on the initial analysis, they can devise a personalized training routine for your dog.

Our dog training center has experienced many such cases where puppies have shown quick and significant improvements. The core reason for the progress is sticking to the plan and consistency in all the training activities. Slacking off in intensity can dilute the progress of your dog’s training and confidence building.

Last but not least, as we saw earlier, several medical issues can lead to deviant behavior in canines. These can vary from digestive disorders, memory loss, anxiety, or some sign of OCD. If the basic training programs do not work on your dog, never shy away from getting medical help via a registered vet.

The last thing you want is to strengthen the issue by coming to the wrong conclusion regarding your dog’s health issue.

Conclusion

We have arrived at the closing chapter of our article. We discussed the primary causal factors behind dogs and their clingy attitude. As a caring pet parent, when you notice your dog following you repeatedly all of a sudden, the reasons could be aplenty. But, the situation demands to be looked into. 

Obedience training and stimulation activities can act as game-changers when it comes to boosting your dog’s confidence and helping them overcome insecurities. We highly recommend you seek dog trainers’ help to devise a curated training plan suited to your canine friend. 
Not making them feel lonely and bored is equally essential. Dogs are, after all, sensitive beings. Give them all the love and affection they deserve. Make them feel as if they are part of your family. This atmosphere will help keep unwanted clingy mindsets at bay.

Regular checkups at the vet center should never be ignored. Medical professionals do have the final say when it comes to identifying the root cause behind undesirable traits in dogs.

We hope this article gave you a clear picture of why your dogs suddenly started to follow you around. Do you have any such similar experiences with your pooch?