Are you unable to cook a meal or use the bathroom without a little pair of eyes staring up at you? Afraid your dog may be stalking you? "Velcro dogs" aka, your sweet, slightly annoying, pup who never leaves you alone, are a common complaint amongst dog owners. While neither is ideal, velcro dogs and dogs suffering from separation anxiety are often mistaken for one another. Separation anxiety is specific to when you leave your dog. A velcro dog exhibits clingy behaviors while you’re home.
Velcro Dog Symptoms:
- Following you from room to room
- Constantly needing or wanting to be next to you
- Keeping an eye on you at all times
- Anticipating when you may be getting up
- Always wanting to be where the action is
Why is My Dog a Velcro Dog?
- Certain breeds have been purposely bred to be a companion. A lot of working, herding, and hound dogs have been bred to work side by side with their humans. They rely on their owners body language and directions for guidance. Many toy breeds were selectively bred to be lap dogs. Some breeds such as German Shepherds and Akitas are commonly known to attach themselves to one person.
- A sudden change in environments such as a move can trigger the behavior. Moving can be stressful on dogs, just like it is for us. If your dog seems extra clingy after a move you can help them relax by sticking to a predictable routine to help them settle in.
- It could be health related. When your dog becomes sick it can be scary and confusing; they may stick to you as a coping mechanism. If your dog exhibits any sudden behavioral changes it may be a sign of an illness.
- We're actually causing it. If we stop every time we see our dog to give him praise, a pat on the head, or a treat he learns that staying close leads to the good stuff. If you don’t mind it that’s great – it’s just important to understand that many times we encourage our dogs behavior without realizing it. Letting your dog sleep in your bed can create a dependence on being close to you. This isn't necessarily a negative, it’s a personal choice as to how you want to raise your pup.
- Boredom. If you suspect your dog is following you around waiting for stimulation, you’ll probably want to look into giving him some more mental activities or a job to do.
If your dog is only exhibiting velcro dog symptoms it’s up to you to decide if you want to modify the behavior. The behavior itself isn’t always bad, and many pet owners find it down right flattering!