Some pet owners call it “Velcro syndrome.” It’s that thing where your dog becomes your shadow, following you everywhere around your apartment or townhouse. It can be flattering, but it can also border on annoying. Like when your dog is always underfoot and causes you to trip. Or when you need a little alone time, but they decide to spend it whining on the other side of the door. In some cases, it’s a sign of separation anxiety, which is a serious but treatable issue. Here are some common reasons why our dogs follow us and when their following should be concerning.
Your Dog Loves You
Dogs, like wolves, are pack animals. When we bring them into our home, we become a pack. Being near you is just part of their social behavior. It’s also one they’re rewarded for. When dogs are with the members of their pack, the hormone Oxytocin is released. Also, known as the “love hormone,” it gives that warm feeling of being with someone you care for.
If your dog follows you when you’re doing things in your apartment, but doesn’t when you’re just sitting on the couch, it’s often just a desire to not miss out any anything interesting. You represent the gateway to everything that’s awesome. Whether it’s food, walks, car rides, or treats, if you’re moving around and doing things, your dog doesn’t want to miss out on any possible fun.
Your Dog is Bored
Dogs also follow us because we do things that are interesting to them, especially cooking and eating. If they’re nearby, we often pet them, talk to them, or give them treats. All of which are more interesting than a nap in the corner. If you feel your dog follows you too much, one reason could be that they’re just bored. Try giving your dog more exercise and play time.
Your Dog is Trying to Tell You Something
If your dog is following you but also pacing back and forth or whining, try following them. They may be trying to tell you they need something. That could be food, water, a chance to go out and go to the bathroom, or some exercise.
Your Dog is Scared or Anxious
If your dog habitually follows you around and also whines, barks, howls, or shows other signs of distress when separated from you, it could be separation anxiety. The key symptom is not that your dog follows you, but their response to being separated. If you suspect that’s the case, talk to your veterinarian about it. They may recommend working with a trainer or using medication.
At Erie Station Village we love pets and think they can add to our quality of life. That’s why we’re a pet-friendly place. If you’re thinking of getting a dog or cat, please contact the leasing office for information about our pet policy. We do have restrictions on the number and size of pets you can have.