It can be annoying to have a clingy best friend following you everywhere: the bathroom, underfoot, even the smallest trips across the room. The pooches who do this are known as velcro dogs because they stick to your side.
Many dogs need more daily physical and mental stimulation especially young puppies. If they have the energy to burn and no fun activities to funnel it into, they may follow you around.
Our canine companions may not seem like traditional pack animals, but dogs have been domesticated over centuries to accompany humans. If your dog gets a treat, cuddle, or affectionate stroke every time theyre with you, theyre more likely to follow you around. You are rewarding your dog every time you give them a treat, cuddle, or compliment.
These breed traits can include natural protective instincts, herding tendencies, or just a need for companionship. Herding breeds like Australian shepherds, border collies, and shelties dont have sheep to chase down so theyll keep an eye on the whole family. Guardian breeds like german shepherds and great pyrenees will protect their herd.
Shelter and rescue dogs may show Velcro behavior because of their previous life experiences. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it could be whats causing your pooch to follow you to the porcelain throne. Young puppies from birth to 6 months can imprint on their owners and treat them as they would their mother.
Young puppies learn about themselves and the world around them by exploring and observing their environment. This is part of why proper socialization and training are important at a young age. Older dogs with vision or hearing loss may become clingy because they must depend on their humans more.
If you suspect that your dogs clinginess is caused by blindness, inability to see, deafness, or another health concern, talk to your veterinarian.
Why is my dog so clingy to me all of a sudden?
Clingy due to separation anxiety. … Your dog can be clingy all of a sudden due to separation anxiety. You can understand too; if you have left them and they are worried, they might then want to be attached to your side at all times to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Why is my dog so attached to me?
If your dog follows you around from room to room chances are they’re a velcro dog. Also referred to as being clingy, velcro dogs simply have a desire to be close to their owners. Certain breeds (such as lap dogs) are more likely to be velcro dogs because they’ve been bred to be more dependent.
What is the most clingy dog breed?
#1 Vizsla. Known as the ultimate Velcro dog, this Hungarian breed is literally attached to their owner, and is happiest when right by your side. ….#2 Labrador Retriever. ….#4 Maltese. ….#5 Golden Retriever. ….#6 German Shepherd. ….#7 Pug. ….#8 Shetland Sheepdog. ….#9 Italian Greyhound.
Why won't my dog leave my side all of a sudden?
Separation Anxiety Can Cause Your Dog to Not Leave Your Side. Some dogs even try to prevent you from leaving. Dogs with separation anxiety will sometimes start barking, pacing or exhibiting other distressing behaviors after a short time after being left alone.
– 11 reasons why your dog is so clingy all of a sudden#1: Your dog has separation anxiety#2: Your dog is ill#3: They are aging#4: They have abandonment problems#5: You moved out of the house#6: You have a new furry friend#7: Theres a stranger in the house#8: Theres a change in your daily routine#9: Your dog is in heat#10: Your dog is about to deliver her puppies#11: Boredom makes them clingy
Their anxiousness during your absence might be due to traumatic experiences and illnesses. Your old dog is suddenly clingy because theyre undergoing functional changes.
Aging dogs slowly suffer from losing their senses over time. Scientiests found other strange behaviors dogs display when they have anxiety: Compared to dogs with separation anxiety, they never get anxious when you leave.
But dogs with separation anxiety get anxious the moment you set your foot outside. If you pay no attention to velcro dogs, it can escalate to separation anxiety. Note: It may take a long time to train a velcro dog.
Dont expect that itll be an quick solution. This research provided treatment for dogs with separation anxiety. In fact, this study found that clinginess is often associated with musculoskeletal pains.
When dogs are sick, they seek attention and comfort. Note: Take clinginess as a sign to have your dog checked by a vet. Senior dogs first lose their hearing senses, according to this article .
This research found that healthy senior dogs are also vulnerable to functional changes. Clingy senior dogs prefer to stick with their owners to guide them. As previously said, dogs health worsens once they reach their peak age.
With that in mind, make sure to visit the vet for regular checkups. Dogs with trauma often end up in shelters and adoption centers. Such dogs fear that if you leave the house, itll be permanent.
Researchers found that dogs with no separation trauma are passive when you get home. Findings found that during the initial screening of shelter dogs, many were aggressive. If youve noticed that your shelter dog is showing aggressiveness, seek a vet immediately.
Make them trust you by playing games that revolve around distances. Note: Medicate your dogs abandonment issues immediately. Moving to places where your dog is unfamiliar with, prompts clinginess.
Spread some of their favorite toys to help your dog perceive the place as theirs. Having a new animal in the house will stimulate a dogs territorial side. Though some dogs are more welcoming, others might cause trouble due to arising jealousy.
In this study , researchers discovered that dogs are more attached to children. When youre out, make sure the two pets are in separate rooms to avoid fights. Note: Also, if your dog accidentally harms the pet, dont use force.
Nurturing a dog alone can lead to issues, especially if there are no outdoor activities. Rising conflicts like aggressive behavior toward strangers do happen. In the same report, dogs display threatening stances when a stranger pets them.
Additionally, this report found that dogs eat differently in the presence of a stranger. Better yet, allow your dog to sniff and familiarize your friends scent. Note: Watch out for warning signs like a low growl.
Be it a family member, a friend, or the dog lady across the street. Note: Having someone to do your daily routine with your dog isnt always efficient. If your female dog suddenly becomes clingy, check if shes in heat.
This report shows that dogs in the estrus cycle experience hormonal change. They will also experience physical pains, making them dead-set in seeking comfort. Approaches male dogs High levels of alertness.
Researchers discovered that a pregnant dog is emotionally sensitive. Handle it by canceling your schedule and stay with her until she gives birth. Studies show that your dogs attachment with you relies on your strong bond.
When I was growing up, we had a female dog who suddenly turned extra clingy; it was like an overnight change. What follows are my recollections of the change in behavior, and additional research Ive done into why dogs can become so attached all of a sudden.
Around this time in his life, he suddenly turned into the most clingy and needy dog you can imagine he would not leave my side, would cry outside the bathroom door, and insisted on sleeping in my room with me. Why my dog was suddenly clingy was due to his old age and a further diagnosis of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which is very similar to how humans will experience dementia or Alzheimers disease.
All of this advice about your clingy dog is based on personal experiences, my own research, and talking with vets. If your dog suddenly becomes more attached to you, and the behavior chance is accompanied by other symptoms (e.g., sickness) please talk with your vet. The effect of separation anxiety can manifest itself in lots of ways, one of which will be your dog being clingy all of a sudden.
Your dog can be clingy all of a sudden due to separation anxiety.You can understand too; if you have left them and they are worried, they might then want to be attached to your side at all times to make sure it doesnt happen again. Dont make a big fuss of your dog when you return home to reduce any over-excitement practice a calm routine at all times. Similarly, dont make a big deal about leaving the house perhaps just try short absences at first.
Burn off any excess energy the dog has before you leave the home, meaning regular exercise and play. When change happens, it can mess with your dogs emotions, meaning they might suddenly become clingy to you for protection. Changes can include aspects such as you getting a new dog or pet, perhaps a baby was born and comes into the home, or you have undergone a house move.
Your dog will become nervous and clingy, possibly even hiding behind your legs as you talk to the stranger and perceived threat. You might want to look for toys that can stimulate, like the Amazon dog puzzle game I mentioned consider having a Furbo like below too for when you are out The bottom line is you need to get them stimulated to stop the sudden clingy behavior due to boredom.
Boredom is one of the easier problems on this list to fix when it comes to a dogs sudden clinginess. And now to the main reason again why my own dog was being extra clingy all of a sudden; Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS). In fact, our dog suddenly getting clingy was the first suspicion we had that he might have a problem, similar to dementia and we were right after going to the vet.
I didnt honestly mind him wanting to be extra cling and attached to me all of a sudden as he got progressively worse. When dogs are ill, some can get extra clingy and want to be attached to your side suddenly. With this in mind, if your dog is attached to you all of a sudden, it could be worth having a vets check-up to see if there are any underlying illnesses that arent obvious to the eye.
This reason for a suddenly extra clingy dog is for the females only and happens when they start to go into heat their time of the month / leading up to the menstruation period. Ive also put together some additional guides which are somewhat related to the issue of sudden attachment, which offer more insight see below.
Have you ever heard the term Velcro-dog? It means exactly how it sounds a dog that clings to you like Velcro. Its where your dog is never more than a few inches from your side (often touching you), following you from room to room, standing up when you stand up, always under foot, constantly looking to you for direction Whats our next move, Mom? A clingy dog is not to be confused with a dog who has separation anxiety, even though both terms are often used interchangeably. Separation Anxiety is a true dysfunctional attachment disorder that may require professional help. Dogs with separation anxiety will panic when their owner is away from him. Velcro dogs would not necessarily panic in your absence, but may be seriously apprehensive. Ideally, your dog should be interested in where you are, but relaxed and self-sufficient when youre not in the room.
I see a lot of dogs come to Holiday Barn Pet Resorts for the first time with confidence and assuredness, able to calmly separate from their Mom or Dad in the lobby and happily seize the new adventure. I coddled him, I let him sleep with me from day-one, I praised him constantly and never passed him without showing him some type of affection.
If you fear you are the cause of your dogs insecurity and over-dependency on you, there are steps you can take to help him to be more self-assured, without breaking the precious bond between the two of you. If youre not constantly reaching down to pet his head, talking to him, giving him things, he should eventually lose interest and begin to wander off. Let our camp staff know what youre doing and know that they will be there to reassure him, encourage him, and make sure he has an enjoyable time despite your absence.
Your awareness of the potential problems with being clingy is a great first step in helping your dog overcome his insecurities. For a little levity on the subject, check this out this great article from BarkPost about velcro dogs.
1: Boredom or need for mental stimulation
Many dogs need more daily physical and mental stimulation — especially young puppies. If they have the energy to burn and no fun activities to funnel it into, they may follow you around. They’re looking for something to do, even if that’s causing trouble.
Our canine companions may not seem like traditional pack animals, but dogs have been domesticated over centuries to accompany humans. Dogs are not designed to be alone. Humans are a dog’s best friend. Dogs are pack animals — and humans are their pack.
3: Lack of confidence and/or anxiety
Some dogs are scared to be alone. Though this can be a sign of separation anxiety, it could just be that your dog is nervous. Some dogs may become clingy during scary situations, like storms or fireworks.This also applies to human anxiety: dogs can become clingy if they sense their human’s stress or anxiety. This is why they make such good emotional support animals.
4: Positive reinforcement
If your dog gets a treat, cuddle, or affectionate stroke every time they’re with you, they’re more likely to follow you around. You are rewarding your dog every time you give them a treat, cuddle, or compliment. By rewarding your dog, even unknowingly, you’re telling your dog that their clingy behavior is okay.
5: Breed traits
Some breeds are more likely to follow humans because of their natural instincts. These breed traits can include natural protective instincts, herding tendencies, or just a need for companionship.Herding breeds like Australian shepherds, border collies, and shelties don’t have sheep to chase down — so they’ll keep an eye on the whole family.Guardian breeds like german shepherds and great pyrenees will protect their herd. Loyal working dogs like doberman pinschers and boxers have been bred to work with humans, and will stay close because they are dependent on them.Small breeds like Shih Tzus make perfect lap dogs because they have been bred to be companions for dog owners.
6: Separation anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety panic when you’re not with them. While clinginess can escalate to separation anxiety, not all clingy dogs have separation anxiety.
7: Emotional trauma
Shelter and rescue dogs may show Velcro behavior because of their previous life experiences. They may carry a lingering fear of abandonment with them.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it could be what’s causing your pooch to follow you to the porcelain throne. Dogs are curious creatures. They want to know what their pack members are up to. It’s possible you’re going to get treats or take part in a fun activity. Your four-legged family member isn’t taking a chance of missing out.
Young puppies from birth to 6 months can imprint on their owners and treat them as they would their mother. This imprinting process involves them accepting humans and other animals.Puppies have a lot of learning to do: they have to learn how to act and communicate as a dog. Young puppies learn about themselves and the world around them by exploring and observing their environment. If they get constant attention as they develop, they become afraid of being alone, which can lead to anxiety. This is part of why proper socialization and training are important at a young age.
Older dogs with vision or hearing loss may become clingy because they must depend on their humans more. This increased dependence is because their world is suddenly unfamiliar and scary to them.
#2: Your dog is ill
This research provided treatment for dogs with separation anxiety.According to it, to deal with your dog’s separation anxiety, you should:Most importantly, know what your dog really needs. They could be showing other signs of mental and physical conditions.
How to manage?
There’s nothing you could really do, except seeking professional help. Never diagnose it by yourself.You should also be aware of your dog’s past medical records. In this way, you’ll know what medical treatment they’ll need.
#3: They are aging
Your dog ages and so is their health. Senior dogs first lose their hearing senses, according to this article. Then, they will slowly lose their eye-sight, too.When this happens, dogs become anxious. Without enough energy to bark and play with you, they’ll cling onto you instead.But what if your dog is aging healthily?This research found that healthy senior dogs are also vulnerable to functional changes. They will also undergo cognitive dysfunction.Clingy senior dogs prefer to stick with their owners to guide them. Without their hearing and sighting senses, they won’t know where to go.
How to manage?
As previously said, dogs’ health worsens once they reach their peak age. With that in mind, make sure to visit the vet for regular checkups.In the meantime, continue to be their guide. Specifically, if they ever experience losing one of their senses.
How to manage?
Dogs with trauma often end up in shelters and adoption centers. Adopting them often doesn’t come with a glimpse of their history.This happens when their past owners left them alone to fend for themselves. These dogs get more clingy, especially if they eventually warmed up to their new owners.Such dogs fear that if you leave the house, it’ll be permanent.Researchers found that dogs with no separation trauma are passive when you get home. But dogs with a previous case of isolation are more active.Some common symptoms are:Some dogs, however, don’t do any of these. They resort to violence instead of showing these signs.Findings found that during the initial screening of shelter dogs, many were aggressive.43 dog shelters participated in the experiment. 16 dogs showed aggressiveness. 11 of them were fearful and the rest displayed excitement.
#5: You moved out of the house
Dogs love to have their own place in the house. That’s why an unexpected shift in location can cause them to panic.Moving to places where your dog is unfamiliar with, prompts clinginess. Since they only know you, they’ll tend to follow you around.You may even find them wanting to sleep in the same room as you.
How to manage?
Without a familiar safe space to go to, your dog will come t you.Spend some time and go together around the house. Spread some of their favorite toys to help your dog perceive the place as theirs.Soon, you’ll find them roaming around the house. This will allows them search for the perfect area where they can be more comfortable.
#6: You have a new furry friend
Having a new animal in the house will stimulate a dog’s territorial side. In short, their clinginess is a sign of jealousy.Research says dogs become jealous when they have to share you with another pet. Besides, they could also direct their aggressiveness to the new pet.They may also show excessive affection toward you. Such as frequent rubbing and whining. Your dog knows that having new furry friends means divided attention.This is the same when you introduce a newborn. Though some dogs are more welcoming, others might cause trouble due to arising jealousy.Sometimes, owners who had a dog before having a baby, experienced dog clinginess.
#7: There’s a stranger in the house
In this study, researchers discovered that dogs are more attached to children. Allow your dogs and infant to warm up to each other. Soon, they’ll be inseparable.When introducing a new animal, study their behaviors first. Here’s how you can introduce a new pet.Do not leave them alone together until they’ve warmed up to each other and you’ve monitored them. Look for warning signs like low growls, when they play. Sometimes, it can lead to fights.
How to manage?
If your dog gets vicious, take them to another room. Ensure that they’ll have what they need in the room like water and food.But the wisest solution is to put up dog gates, like a baby gate. In that way, they’ll be able to see you. In return, they’ll get less anxious and stressed.Also, if a visit from a stranger is not that important, have it outside.Better yet, allow your dog to sniff and familiarize your friend’s scent. If you would like your dog to associate your friend with good things, give your dog treats as soon as your friend walks in.
How to manage?
A walk in the park might seem like a small event to you. To them, it’s a way of living. It won’t hurt to take some time and spend time with your dog.If you really don’t have that much time, have someone do it. But make sure the person is trustworthy and can handle dogs.
How to manage?
If your female dog suddenly becomes clingy, check if she’s in heat.This report shows that dogs in the estrus cycle experience hormonal change. This leads to behavioral changes.During this time, your dog will not leave your side. They will also experience physical pains, making them dead-set in seeking comfort.To know if your dog is in heat, look out for symptoms like:
How to manage?
Like humans, they will also need emotional support. Handle it by canceling your schedule and stay with her until she gives birth.But if you really can’t really clear your schedule, take her to the vet. Particularly if you live alone.
#11: Boredom makes them clingy
Studies show that your dog’s attachment with you relies on your strong bond. You used to play fetch with them when they were puppies, but something changed.So sometimes, you may unknowingly encourage their clinginess. You may have neglected them for too long that they become clingy.When you haven’t been playing with them, they’ll cling to you instead. They need you to stimulate their mind by directing their actions.
How you know it’s separation anxiety
Dogs will often develop separation anxiety when left at home as your work or perhaps if left in kennels when you go away. The effect of separation anxiety can manifest itself in lots of ways, one of which will be your dog being clingy all of a sudden.You can understand too; if you have left them and they are worried, they might then want to be attached to your side at all times to make sure it doesn’t happen again.However, separation anxiety and clingy behavior aren’t always the same as explained on the PetMD.com website.Having said that, a dog that is suddenly clingy to you, could be exhibiting separation anxiety as it is a symptom.
3. Clingy due to a stranger danger
Some dogs will get attached to you all of a sudden, the moment a strange person comes into your house, or meeting an unfamiliar person when on a walk.Your dog will become nervous and clingy, possibly even hiding behind your legs as you talk to the stranger and perceived threat.
5. Clingy due to dementia
Bored dogs will want your company more. It stands to reason too, if they are not stimulated by their environment, they will be looking for you to constantly provide it.For example, my dog I mentioned at the beginning of this article, would come and cuddle into me when he was bored.You might want to look for toys that can stimulate, like theThe bottom line is you need to get them stimulated to stop the sudden clingy behavior due to boredom. You could take their mind of things with a brisk walk outdoors or a ball game.Boredom is one of the easier problems on this list to fix when it comes to a dog’s sudden clinginess. Here are some more ideas you can try to keep boredom at bay.
6. Clingy due to illness
I am not a vet but do remember what we had to do with our dog when this happened. The points below helped him to cope better and actually reduced some of the clingy behavior.
9. Clingy due to human pregnancy
Following on from that, sometimes owners report clingy dogs when they are pregnant themselves. It’s said that dogs can detect hormonal changes in their owners, and can become more protective and clingier.Strange, but appears to be true.