Dogs are notorious for their unconditional love and loyalty, but they do have one demand: you. As any dog owner knows, a dog is always set on having your undivided attention.
Dogs like nothing better than to please their favorite person by sitting, rolling over, giving a paw, or doing any other trick they’ve been taught. The more we respond with praise and affection, the happier our dogs are – and the more they’ll try hard to please us in return.
Just think about it: if your dog were an employee rather than a pet, they’d qualify for the company’s best health plan and retirement benefits! Of course, you may think that this is no more than your due since you provide food and shelter for them, but there’s actually more to it than that.
While some reasons why dogs are obsessed with us may be obvious, there are others that you might not have considered.
Here’s The Short Answer To Why Your Dog Is So Obsessed With You:
The most apparent reason why your dog is obsessed with you is that they want your companionship. They look to you as their ultimate comfort, security, safety, and stability. They have no one else to depend on but you for this.
However, this is not the only reason why your dog is obsessed with you. Nor is it the only reason why they want to be around you all of the time. There are other reasons not as well known that could be playing a part in this too.
9 Common Reasons Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Their Owners
Here are those reasons in a bit more detail.
1. They Need a Companion
Companionship is probably the first reason that comes to mind when you think about why your dog is obsessed with you. But it’s not just because they want to keep you company, although this might be part of the reason.
Dogs are social animals, and having a companion or pack is essential to their well-being. It’s really an instinct that has been bred into them over many generations. They need other dogs to keep them company, help them feel secure and confident, and hunt for food.
Over the course of domestication, what used to be a pack of dogs is now replaced with human families for them to depend on. They count on you to provide what they were once able to get from other dogs, which is why they are obsessed with being around you all of the time.
You are that person for them, which is why they may seem obsessed with you. They need your approval because it gives them a sense of belonging to your pack. This might be the very reason why so many dogs follow their owners around all over the house or accompany you on errands even if they have no interest in what you are doing.
2. It’s Breed Characteristics
Some dog breeds are more likely than others to be obsessed with their owners. The famous name for this is “Velcro dogs” because these breeds seem to stick to their owners like Velcro.
There are a few different explanations for this: one is that because these breeds have been intentionally bred to work and be around humans for generations, they instinctively need to be constantly near humans.
Another explanation says that dogs who have been abandoned or dumped at shelters and then adopted out tend to be extra clingy with their owners because of their history.
Regardless of the reason, some examples of Velcro dog breeds include:
- French Bulldogs
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Saint Bernard
- Terrier dog breeds.
3. They Miss You a Lot
The term separation anxiety is often used to describe dogs who are so attached to their owners that they seem to miss them when they are gone.
It is not uncommon for dogs with separation anxiety to be anxious until their owner returns home, and some of these dogs can develop obsessive-compulsive behaviors like spinning in circles or following their owner around constantly out of the fear of being left alone.
Dogs whose separation anxiety has gotten severe enough to be labeled a disorder by experts might even urinate and defecate in the house or destroy their things while their owner is away.
4. You Have Inadvertently Reinforced The Behavior
You may not realize it, but some of your dog’s behavior around you could be because you and other people in the family have unintentionally reinforced it.
In the case of dogs who follow their owners everywhere they go, this behavior is reinforced every time their owner acknowledges them by rewarding them with attention or affection.
The attention reinforces the behavior, which makes it stronger and more likely to continue happening in the future.
5. They Want Something
Some dogs are really smart, and they will do whatever it takes to get you to give them what they want.
For example, if your dog has learned that the fastest way to get a treat is to follow you around the house and nudge your legs, then that is what they will do because it works!
The next time your dog follows you around, pay attention to what you usually do when they do that. Do they stop after they get a treat? Do they stop after you feed them? Or do they stop only when you give them attention in the form of petting or playing?
If so, then they might be following you around simply because they want something from you.
This may seem almost similar to the previous reason, but the difference is that there seems some sort of added incentive to the behavior. It is not only because you are reinforcing the behavior, but it is also because they get something out of it in addition to positive attention and affection.
6. They Have Pent-Up Energy
Every dog needs a certain amount of exercise daily in order to stay happy, healthy, and well-behaved.
Some dogs are perfectly content with the chance to romp around in the backyard for a while, but others may need more than that to get their energy out, especially if they are a high-energy breed or a very large dog.
Without enough exercise, they may resort to other ways to have fun or expend their energy, and one of those ways that dogs sometimes do is follow their owners everywhere.
7. They Have an Illness
Just like humans, dogs can get clingy when they are sick.
Whether it is just a common cold or something more serious, illness can make dogs feel under the weather physically and emotionally.
If your dog has never been a Velcro dog before and all of a sudden they are following you around more, it is a good idea to have him checked out by the veterinarian just in case, they have developed some sort of illness.
8. You’re Pregnant
According to a study, dogs are smart enough to recognize when a pregnancy is about to occur and adjust their behavior accordingly.
When they notice the growing belly, some dogs may start showing more affection and attention toward their owners, making them look as though they are obsessed with their owners.
They may think that it is their duty to protect the owner from harm while she’s pregnant.
9. They’re Afraid of Something
Canines also get afraid of things.
Whether it is loud noises or extremely bright lights, dogs can be startled for a moment and become fixated on the thing that scared them.
Therefore, if your dog is usually not so clingy and all of a sudden they start following you around more than usual, it is possible that they are just afraid of something – either something in the house or outside – and they want to be by your side because you make them feel safe.
How Will I Know if My Dog’s Obsession Has Gone Too Far?
A healthy amount of attachment is normal, but if your dog follows you around the house all day and keeps you from doing anything else (or keeps you up at night), it may be time to look into it a little further, especially if this behavior is new.
How To Get Your Dog To Stop Being Obsessed With You?
Here are a few things that you can do to stop your dog from being so obsessed with you.
1. Treat Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
As mentioned above, separation anxiety is one of the key culprits behind a dog’s clinginess and obsession with their owners.
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divert their attention from your absence by leaving them with an interactive toy or leaving a radio or TV playing for them so that something else that they can focus on
However, in the case of severe separation anxiety, leaving toys alone may not be enough. You will then need to start desensitizing and counterconditioning your dog to being alone by practicing leaving them for gradually longer periods of time while you’re still around.
2. Find and Address The Source of Your Dog’s Stress
There are several things that can cause stress in your dog.
This could be a set of circumstances that is causing them to feel anxious or worried, such as the presence of other dogs nearby when they’re on their daily walks, or it could be a lack of routine in the household.
Whichever the case, you’ll need to identify what’s causing your dog stress and then take steps to reduce that stress.
It may be as simple as moving your dog to another room or making sure you have a clear routine that they are able to follow.
3. Build Your Dog’s Confidence
Building dog confidence is also one of the ways to help timid dogs feel more comfortable and secure.
Building confidence in dogs can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves and, therefore, how they act around other people or animals.
The good news is that there are many ways to build a dog’s confidence, including positive reinforcement, socialization, and training. What I mostly do is training.
It can be as simple as having at least five minutes training sessions every single day.
It could be “sit,” it can be “stay,” you can do any other command, but the most important thing is to make the training session fun and positive for your dog. Then, as your dog is able to do more and more commands, they will gain a sense of accomplishment and build their confidence.
4. Provide Enough Mental and Physical Stimulation
If your dog doesn’t receive enough mental and physical stimulation throughout the day, they can become stressed, and that can lead to a whole host of unwanted behaviors such as barking, chewing on furniture or shoes, getting into the trash – all of which is behavior that they try and use to take their minds off the boredom.
You want to avoid this by finding activities your dog enjoys and providing them with plenty of enrichment on a daily basis.
5. Meet Your Dog’s Basic Needs
Finally, if your dog doesn’t receive the right care and attention or has any kind of physical needs that aren’t being met (such as a need for food and water), they will try and get those needs met by whatever means necessary, including the most obvious one which is to follow you around constantly and demand your attention.
To avoid this, make sure that you are meeting your dog’s basic needs on a daily basis and be aware of any changes in their behavior.
1. Why Won’t My Dog Leave Me Alone?
Similar to why dogs are obsessed with their owners, the most likely reason they won’t leave you alone is that they might be suffering from separation anxiety.
2. Why Won’t My Dog Sleep With Me?
It may be that your dog is not sleeping with you because your bedroom is no longer comfortable or safe for them. For example, your room might become too hot or too cold for your dog.
3. Why Does My Dog Want To Sleep With Me All of a Sudden?
If your dog wants to sleep with you all of a sudden, it may be because they may seek comfort or to feel safe because of a recent change in the household. For example, a new person living in your home or another pet being introduced into the house.