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It’s cute that your dog follows you around everywhere—at least, maybe at first! But when your dog seems to be completely obsessed with you and being where you are, it feels pretty strange. You might be worried about the behavior!
It’s normal for your dog to show you affection. But sometimes that affection can cross a line and become obsession.
And trust me, I’m speaking from experience. My Mini Poodle Baloo was attached to my hip during his first year. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without him crying…
If you’re wondering why your dog is so obsessed with you, we’ll go over everything you need to know in this article. First, you’ll learn 5 reasons why your dog is obsessed with you.
Next, you’ll get some tips and tricks to deal with this overly clingy behavior. And lastly, we’ll go over some related questions.
5 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Obsessed with You
Let’s get started with the 5 most common reasons why your dog might be obsessed with you.
Boredom can cause a lot of behavioral problems in dogs. For some dogs, being bored makes them act out and chew up your house. For other dogs, boredom might make them bark or howl all the time. And for some dogs, it can make them super obsessed and clingy with their owners.
If your dog is acting super obsessed with you, ask yourself this: How much stimulation am I giving my dog every day?
Dogs need different levels of exercise depending on their breed. They also require mental stimulation to keep from getting bored.
Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!
2. He Wants Something
Dogs are pretty smart. Your dog knows that you’re the one who can get him want he wants. And if there’s something he really wants, he might try to get it from you by acting totally obsessed.
It could be that he wants food, or maybe just to play with you. Whatever he wants, it can be annoying when he tries to get it by becoming a Velcro dog!
3. He’s Been Rewarded for His Behavior
A lot of the time, something that starts off small in our dogs can get worse because we accidentally encourage it.
There’s a type of training called “positive reinforcement,” which basically means we reward behavior we want and ignore behavior we don’t. But sometimes we unintentionally positively reinforce behavior, just by acknowledging it.
For example, if your dog wants attention, acts obsessed with you, and you give him that attention, that positively reinforces that behavior. Even if you’re telling him to stop it, you’re still giving him what he wants—attention!
4. Breed Characteristics
For thousands of years, humans have bred certain dogs to have certain characteristics. And yes, some dogs have been bred to naturally be clingier with their owners than others!
For instance, Golden Retrievers tend to get very attached to their owners. This attachment can start to border on obsession. So while it’s completely possible to help your dog get over his obsession, you should consider his breed. Some breeds just tend to become more obsessed with their owners than other breeds!
From my own personal experience I can tell you that Poodles also belong to the extra clingy group. My Mini Poodle Baloo has calmed down a lot over the years but he still loves to follow me around to see what I’m doing and get some attention.
Unfortunately, he’s so cute that I sometimes just can’t resist to cuddle him when he’s following me…
5. Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can become very severe in dogs, and make it difficult for both you and your pup to go about your daily lives. If your dog has separation anxiety, he might become really obsessed with you. His symptoms are more likely to act up when he notices your “leaving cues.”
Worried your dog might have separation anxiety but not sure whether it’s true? Here are 9 signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.
How to Deal with Overly Clingy Behavior
Okay, so you know why your dog is acting so clingy and obsessed with you. But it’s still driving you nuts, so what do you do?
Here are a few ways you can help your dog get over his behavior.
Provide Enough Mental and Physical Stimulation
If your dog is acting this way because he’s bored, the best thing you can do is keep him from getting bored! This might mean taking him for more or longer walks, or spending more time playing with him. Dog sports like agility and disc are great ways to keep your dog active physically.
You also want to make sure you’re working your dog’s mind! Not sure where to start? Here are 10 brain games for dogs to play at home.
Have a Clear Routine
Sometimes, dogs act clingy and obsessed because there’s a lot of uncertainty in their lives. If you don’t have a routine for your dog, he might get stressed because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen and when.
Having a routine for your dog is a great way to keep both you and your dog sane. Your dog will know when it’s time to eat, when it’s time to play, and when it’s just time to rest. Once you implement your routine, you’ll be surprised at the change in your dog’s behavior!
Make sure to also download my free guide for a calm dog where you’ll get an example routine, along with the top tips that got Baloo from being hyper 24/7 to being a calm and relaxed cutie.
Count in Some Cuddle and Bonding Time
If your dog acts obsessed with you, it could be because he doesn’t feel that he’s getting enough time to bond with you! So what’s the best way to rectify this? Well, it’s to make sure you’re giving him enough snuggles and love, of course!
It’s really important that you make the time to bond with your dog. It strengthens your connection, and releases a feel-good hormone in both your brains called oxytocin.
Having a healthy amount of cuddle and bonding time with your dog will also help to reduce his clinginess and obsession with you. It also just feels good to spend time with your dog!
For Separation Anxiety: Use a Crate
Separation anxiety can be a real struggle for you and your dog. It can make you feel guilty for just leaving the house, and it can set your dog off in a panic.
The important thing to remember is that your dog’s separation anxiety isn’t your fault! And the other thing to remind yourself is that with time, patience, and consistency, you can help your dog overcome his problems.
One of the best ways to help a dog with separation anxiety is by using a crate. Crate training can be a longer and slower process for dogs with separation anxiety, but it’s entirely worth it. Here are some tips on how to crate train a dog with separation anxiety to get you started.
If your dog has separation anxiety, depending on the severity you may need some extra help. Talk to your vet, or arrange to work with a canine behavioralist that specializes in separation anxiety and positive reinforcement to help you out.
Why Is My Dog So Obsessed with Me All of a Sudden?
In case this behavior came on quite suddenly, you’re probably wondering “why is my dog so clingy?” There are a few reasons why your dog might be acting this way.
If your dog has had any major changes in his life recently, that can trigger clinginess. Dogs thrive with routine and certainty. When that certainty is taken away, it can really stress them out! Your dog might then start acting really clingy because you’re the constant in his life, and he knows you’ll keep him safe.
So what can you do? If it’s just a matter of a change in his routine, keep working at it and your dog will get used to it eventually. If you don’t have any routine at all, set up a schedule!
It could also be because your dog is sick or injured. In that case, he’ll probably show other signs like limping or crying. If you think your dog is ill, you should bring him to your vet to get checked out.
Speaking of vet: have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!
Why Is My Dog So Obsessed with Being Petted?
Dogs love being petted because it feels good. It also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
But what’s the difference between normal enjoyment of being petted, and an obsession? If your dog won’t leave you alone until you’re petting him, it could be that you’ve encouraged the behavior.
Giving in to your dog demanding to be petted reinforces the idea in him that he can get what he wants by acting clingy and obsessed. It’s important to pet your dog when it’s appropriate, and not to give in to his unwanted behavior!
Why Is My Dog So Obsessed with Food?
If you’ve ever heard the term “food-motivated” in regards to dogs before, it means that some dogs are particularly enthusiastic about food. But sometimes this enthusiasm can cross a line into obsession.
Dogs that come from shelters or rescues may have had experience with difficulty getting food in the past. This can lead to an obsession with food.
It could also be a sign that your dog is sick. If your dog shows food obsession along with symptoms like chronic diarrhea, weight loss even though he’s eating a lot, or dehydration, those are all signs you should take your dog to the vet.
One of the primary reasons people get dogs these days is for companionship.
But there’s a difference between an affectionate four-legged family member, and a Velcro dog.
Having a dog totally obsessed with you sounds cute in theory, but it can actually cause a lot of problems for both of you. If your dog is especially clingy, the first step is trying to figure where the behavior is coming from. Once you do that, you can use the above tips to help your dog get over his obsession, and let you go back to your life!
P.s.: Don’t forget to check out Braintraining4dogs if you want to take your dog training game to the next level. It offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.