As much as we think we may know everything about our pups, we don’t always understand why our pups do some of the things they do. You may wonder why your dog licks the comforter or your carpet or your hands when you come to find out; there’s actual evidence that shows dogs like just about anything for habitual reasons. A behavior you may wonder about is having a second shadow, a four-legged friend who follows you everywhere. Well, we’re here to tell you why.

Traits of the Breed

Particularly dogs that are in the working or herding groups, some have the tendency to attach themselves to their owners. For breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, or Shetland Sheepdogs, they’re bred to work side-by-side with their humans. It’s in their puppy DNA to stay right by your side.

Positive Reinforcement

There’s a pretty good chance that if you have a multiple-person household, your dog will become infatuated with one person in particular. Often it’s the primary caregiver, the one who feeds them, plays with them, or gives them their favorite treats. With your dog knowing that you provide them with positive reinforcement, they’re bound to stay close by your side.

Imprinting

One of the most common reasons your dog follows you is imprinting. Your canine is a pack animal, and as their owner, you’re a part of their pack. Back in the days when mankind domesticated wolves, that relationship between pack members still holds true today. A puppy can imprint on its owner as young as six months old and even learn to read social cues like it would from its birth mother. Ever wonder where the “puppy eyes” come from? Another way for them to convey their emotions to you.

Separation Anxiety

Due to the pandemic, you may have noticed your dog has become more accustomed to you being home more often than not. This new way of living together could create clinginess. With this sudden change in behavior of following you everywhere, this could be a sign of boredom or anxiety. If you’re noticing your dog’s most exciting moments in its day is watching you, it’s time to give your pet some mental stimulation. Try activities like a frozen Kong or a puzzle toy. Alleviate their boredom and decrease their anxiety with simple activities such as these. Don’t forget to make time for a simple ear rub throughout the day or a walk for a mid-day break to create bonding time between the two of you. 

Create a healthy balance. What’s best for your dog is one who loves your attention and being close to you yet fine when you’re not around. By making a few simple changes like leaving toys and treats near their dog bed, having other adults walk your dog to create another bond, and setting some rules are all steps you can take to create a happy and healthy balance for the both of you.