Many dog owners know it: they can't take a step without being accompanied by their furry friend. There are various reasons behind this.
They are our faithful companions: it is not for nothing that dogs are called "man's best friend". Surely you have already noticed that your four-legged friend would love to spend every free minute with you. Of course, because we also have other obligations, this is not always possible. However, some dogs follow their owners everywhere – whether in the basement, in the kitchen or even in the bathroom. Often, at the very last moment, the animals push their snouts between the door and the frame to accompany us. But what is actually behind this clingy behavior – and how is it to be evaluated?
Dogs are pack animals: they protect and want to be protected
Dogs are naturally social animals that live in packs and bond with their pack leaders. In their imagination, you are the leader of their pack and they follow you instinctively. It doesn't matter where the path leads. Ideally, the dog wants to do everything together with you, because this is the best way to protect you.
Even if you're in a safe environment, your furry friend wants to make sure you don't put yourself in danger. This also includes activities such as showering or cleaning – after all, you are then distracted and cannot react to dangers in time in your dog's eyes. Conversely, dogs also see us as protectors. For example, many four-legged friends are afraid of storms and seek our proximity in these situations in order to feel safe.
Dogs love to spend time with their owners. © IMAGO
Dogs need attention and love
In addition, it can be a sign of clear affection when dogs follow their owners every step of the way. As is well known, the four-legged friends are loving and loyal animals that build a strong bond with their humans. Accordingly, they prefer to stay close to their owners and are happy about every little gesture of attention. Often they only want a small token of love, such as a petting or play session.
So don't be annoyed if your dog becomes your shadow again and leaves you no privacy even in the quiet place: Dogs themselves are not embarrassed when they leave a pile in public. Conversely, the four-legged friends find nothing strange about watching their owners go to the toilet - for them it is the most normal thing in the world.
An anxiety disorder can also be behind it
Overly affectionate dogs find it difficult to take their eyes off their owners for even a second. The reason for this may also be an anxiety disorder. Owners should pay particular attention to the behavior of their four-legged friend. Is your dog yawning without showing any other signs of fatigue? Does he lick the air even when he's not standing in front of the food bowl? All of these symptoms may indicate a serious anxiety disorder.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Dogs are social animals and quickly feel lonely when left alone. They follow their owners to feel safe and find your presence comforting. If your four-legged friend shows signs of a mental disorder, consult a veterinarian immediately. Dogs should learn to do without their owner, at least for a short time. Thanks to a professional examination and treatment, your furry companion can get better very quickly.
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How to prevent your dog from following you everywhere
But dogs also need clear rules to learn new behaviors. Basic commands such as "sit", "down" and "stay" teach your four-legged friends to stay in place and no longer run after you. Proceed with caution: Your little darling may not be used to being alone for a long time and will therefore need a while to cope with the unfamiliar situation. Stay calm and composed if your furry friend reacts upset: even adult dogs can learn new rules. It is best to combine the command with a clear hand signal, as dogs respond better to body language than to words.