Our canine companions have been working closely by our sides for over 20,000 years.
Domestication of their species is what has allowed for such a strong bond and friendship to develop between humans and dogs, making them man’s best friend.
So, it’s no surprise that our four legged friends have become dependent on us for many things and vice versa!
It raises the question, why exactly do dogs like to be around their owners so much?
The answer is really an easy one. It’s in their genes.
By Allison Salonko.
Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.
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We’ve Trained Dogs To Be This Way
Dogs have worked with humans for thousands of years. Hundreds of breeds were designed for specific purposes such as herding, hunting and working.
Some were just meant to be foot warmers.
Nonetheless, dogs have been by our sides. In exchange for shelter and food, they would protect us and our livestock, warn us of predators and help us hunt for food.
This inherent duty to work with us in exchange for things they want has led them to build a functioning relationship that has lasted thousands of years.
That’s right. Your dog loves to be around you, well… because it’s what they were bred to do.
They have learned that you feed them, give them love and provide them with a cozy place to live.
Who wouldn’t love that?
Dogs Crave A Leader
Dogs are pack animals.
They always have a leader in the group.
With domestication, the owner is that “leader” of the pack.
It is an important aspect of their respect for their owners.
Without that ‘you are the leader’ pack mentality, you would be often physically and mentallly challenged by your dog, making things a pretty big pain in the butt at home.
A lot of the time the dog respects and loves that primary caregiver quite a bit, but they still may have a more excited reaction to a different member of the household.
Probably whoever hands out the best treats or plays the most with them.
Sometimes It’s Their Breed
While all dogs stem from the same genetic line, it’s easy to say that dogs share similar behaviors as well.
Specific breeds will especially display the same personality traits or behaviors.
For example, herding and working breeds like collies and shepherds tend to be very attentive and sometimes over-attached to their owners.
This is mainly because these dogs are bred to work side-by-side with their owners, listening to commands closely and without issue.
These are traits that are quite prized and bred into their genetic history.
Does Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in dogs is on the rise, especially after the pandemic.
Many dogs will show signs of this potential behavioral problem by panicking when their owner is not around.
Panic can usually manifest in forms of excessive drooling, barking and destruction of the owner’s property.
Dogs that are kept in a crate while their owner is gone will oftentimes traumatize their mouths and teeth on the cage bars in an attempt to break out.
Velcro Dog Vs. Separation Anxiety
I wanted to bring up the difference between a dog that I like to call “a velcro puppy” and a dog with true separation anxiety.
Both of these issues do revolve around the pet not wanting to leave the owners side, except there is a slight difference.
A velcro dog is usually one that just enjoys and prefers to be attached to its owner at the hip.
When a dog has separation anxiety, they will often display much more extreme behaviors.
It is very likely that a pet that is of the ‘velcro’ level of clinginess will eventually develop separation anxiety later on.
It should serve as a wake up call to those that catch it early enough.
If your dog acts like it can’t handle you being gone, you may need to make some changes to their routine and the way you interact with them.
They Could Be Sick Or Trying To Tell You Something
It’s always suspicious if a dog that is normally independent or at least not a stage five clinger suddenly becomes glued to your side.
Oftentimes there is a reason for it.
Like, maybe they are trying to tell you that there is something wrong with a person, place or thing or perhaps they just are not feeling well themselves and want some extra cuddle time.
My dog is afraid of thunderstorms and when one moves through our city, she gets very clingy and wants to be right by my side the whole time.
She is scared and looking for comfort, which I am happy to provide.
Until the storm gets really bad and she wants to climb onto my face at night. It’s not easy to sleep with 70 lbs of dog on your chest.
They’re Probably Bored
No one wants to be bored. And when you’re a dog that’s been alone all day and your owner finally comes home but is busy with chores and whatnot, it can be pretty unfun.
Dogs don’t always have a great attention span, so they can become easily bored and look to you for some kind of entertainment.
Yeah, they’re kind of like children I suppose.
It’s Just Part Of A Routine
Dogs can be creatures of habit. They know where their food is, when they should get it, what time of day you leave and come home, their favorite nap spot etc.
The list can go on.
Many dogs become used to their routines and when something causes them to deviate from it, it can lead to them following you around more than usual.
They are just trying to tell you that it’s dinner time or that it’s when you’re supposed to take your daily walk with them.
Should You Be Concerned If Your Dog Is Being Clingy?
If something just doesn’t seem right, then you are probably onto something.
Your dog will let you know if there is anything going on with them, either mentally or physically.
If you think that there could be a problem with your dog that is causing this change in behavior, then reach out to your veterinarian for an appointment.
Maybe you will catch something early on, all because you understand your dog and their routine.