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Is your dog super needy and clingy?
Can be pretty annoying, huh?
I’m talking from experience here. My Mini Poodle Baloo seems to be attached to my feet sometimes. There’s nothing he loves more than sleeping on my lap. And quite frankly, I enjoy that too =)
However, you don’t want to be constantly tripping over your pup because you can let you out of sight, right?
So, I’ve found a few ways that helped me a lot with Baloo. Now, we can enjoy our snuggle time without him being in my face 24/7.
Here’s the short version: If your dog is super needy or clingy it could either be a breed characteristic or he could be bored, stressed, anxious or sick. Another common reason is a change in routine. Having a set routine and making sure he’s getting enough exercise will help your dog be less needy.
Now, let’s dive in!
Why Is My Dog So Needy?
Does it feel like your dog is constantly begging you for attention? If you’re wondering why your dog is so needy all the time, there are a few reasons why that may be.
Here are some of them, as well as some ways to help your dog be a little less clingy and needy.
Some Breeds Are More Needy and Clingy than Others
Dogs were bred to be companions for us humans! Although in the past we have bred dogs to work in many capacities, like guard dogs or helpers on farms, today dogs are primarily companions.
If you find yourself tripping over your dog constantly because he’s always underfoot, he might just be a breed that’s more prone to being clingy! Many breeds have been bred to instinctively crave more attention from their humans than others.
Wondering if that’s the case with your dog? Here is a list of the clingiest breeds! From my own personal experience, I can assure you that Poodles would definitely have to be added to that list…
Ah yes, the culprit of many behavioral problems in dogs—boredom!
If your dog is bored, he’ll probably try asking you for something to do. Unfortunately, dogs don’t speak—at least, not the same way humans do. So instead of telling you they’re bored, he might start acting needier or clingier as a way to get you to give him attention.
Think about what your dog’s day looks like. Do you make sure he’s getting a lot of physical and mental activity, even while you’re away at work? Or does your dog sit around all day with nothing to do?
If the second scenario sounds right, he’s probably needy because he’s bored!
In this case I highly recommend you get my free guide for a calm dog where you learn the three must know things for an even-tempered and relaxed dog!
Stress or Anxiety
One of the amazing things about having a dog is that they trust us so much. Dogs rely on us as their owners for many things. The bond between you and your dog is something difficult to replicate.
That’s why, if your dog is feeling stressed out or anxious, the first thing he’ll do is turn to you!
If your dog suddenly seems needy, it’s likely that something is stressing him out. You should ask yourself if he’s had any sudden changes in his life recently. That could trigger feelings of anxiety in him, and make him act needier with you.
He’s Ill or Not Feeling Well
Just like if your dog is feeling stressed or anxious, if your dog is feeling physically sick he’ll probably start acting needier.
Dogs are a lot like kids that way! If you’ve ever had or been around a sick child, you know that they are clingier and needier than when they feel healthy. The same is true for your dog!
If your dog is acting needy and there have been no major changes to his environment, and he’s getting enough exercise, you might want to bring him to your vet. This is especially true if he’s showing other symptoms of being sick.
What to Do When Your Dog Is Needy
So you know the reasons why your dog is needy, but what are you supposed to do about it?
If your dog is super needy, here are some things you can try to help him.
Don’t Give in to Barking or Whining
As hard as it is, if you want to teach your dog to be less needy, it’s important to ignore his attempts at getting your attention.
The problem with giving in when your dog barks or whines, is that it unintentionally teaches your dog that that’s how he gets you to interact with him more! Even if you’re just telling him, “No,” he’s still getting attention from you. And attention is his goal!
The best thing to do if your dog starts barking or whining for your attention is to turn around and, if you can, walk away. Only give your dog attention if he’s quiet.
As long as you’re consistent, over time your dog will learn that barking and whining isn’t the way to get you to give him what he wants.
Have a Set Schedule
Dogs operate best when they have a schedule. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it helps keep dogs from getting stressed or anxious.
As you can imagine, this is helpful if your dog’s neediness stems from being stressed out. Having predictability in his life will help your dog stay relaxed and happy. It also means that he won’t be pestering you for attention, because he knows when to expect his playtime, walks, and meals!
It may take some trial and error to figure out the right schedule for you and your pup. You’ll find an example routine in my free guide for a calm dog. Make sure to download it now to get started right away!
Provide Enough Physical and Mental Stimulation
The best way to stave off your dog’s boredom is by giving him more things to do!
If your dog needs physical exercise, try taking him for more walks, hikes, or arrange for a doggy playdate. You could also consider signing your dog up for dog sports. These are super fun activities for both you and your dog, and will make your bond even stronger.
But remember—it’s not just physical stimulation that your dog needs! He needs to work his brain too. There are lots of great ways you can get your dog the mental stimulation he needs, whether you’re home or not! Here is a list of 10 brain games for dogs to play at home.
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!
Give Him Something to Lick or Chew
One of the best ways to keep your dog busy is by giving him something to do with his mouth.
In a lot of ways, dogs experience the world through the mouths. In fact, one of your dog’s first experiences was probably his mother licking him to warm him up, clean him, and get him to start breathing!
If your dog is bored but you don’t have time to pay much attention to him at that moment, giving him something to lick or chew is a great solution.
A great way to stay prepared for moments like these is by filling a Kong toy with treats and/or peanut butter, and keeping it in the freezer.
Not only will you be prepared for your dog’s boredom whenever you need to be, the frozen treat will last him longer than an un-frozen treat!
Okay, so now you know the most common reasons why your dog might be so needy. And you know what to do to help him get a little less clingy and “in your face”.
Now let’s look at a few more related questions before we wrap this up.
Why Is My Dog So Needy All of a Sudden?
If your dog was never needy before but suddenly seems attached to your hip, there are a few reasons why.
As I mentioned earlier, one possibility could be that he’s sick or feeling unwell. Pay attention to any other signs that your dog might be ill or injured.
If your dog has had a big change in his environment, that could trigger neediness too. The death of a family member or pet, moving to a new location, or any major changes in his life could lead to feelings of depression and neediness.
Whatever the reason, your dog being suddenly needy is a sign something is wrong. Remember, you know your dog best! If he seems unwell or depressed, you might want to bring him to the vet. That way you can rule out any medical issue.
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 Clingy at Night?
If you find your dog more clingy at night than during the day, there are some reasons why that may be.
For older dogs, clinginess might be a sign of canine dementia. If that’s the case, a visit to your vet will give you a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Sometimes dogs that struggle with anxiety get clingy at night. Think about it like this: when you’re stressed or anxious, you probably find it hard to sleep! The same is true for your dog. If he’s anxious, he might be clingier because he’s having trouble sleeping.
If you’re crating your dog at night, he might be clingier with you because he’s not quite as well crate trained as you thought. He might acting clingy because he’s nervous about going into his crate!
If you think that’s the case, here is how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps!
Needy Dog Vs. Separation Anxiety
While needy dogs can be annoying, it’s important to distinguish between a needy dog and one with separation anxiety.
Dogs that are needy tend to want nothing more than your attention. It’s easy to leave them at home.
Separation anxiety, on the other hand, is a much more serious problem that can be destructive and sometimes even dangerous for you and your dog. If you’re not sure whether your dog has separation anxiety or is just needy, here are 9 signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.
It might be cute at first that your dog wants your attention all the time. But it can very quickly become annoying! Tripping over your pup constantly is no fun.
If your dog is needy, the first thing to do is figure out why he’s needy. That way you can determine the best way to help him! Once you find the reason and you introduce more physical and mental stimulation, give him a routine, and make sure he isn’t sick.
In time, you’ll find you have a much more comfortable and happy dog!
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.