A Velcro dog is a dog that wants to constantly be near their owner and follows its owner wherever they go. Your dog may be following you from room to room but, is this normal?
If your dog follows you and is clingy then they may have the desire to be close to you. Certain breeds of dogs tend to have this trait more than others- mainly dogs that have been bred to work alongside their owners all day.
What can cause Velcro Dog Syndrome?
Have you ever wondered why your dog follows you around and what has caused this? Well here are a few examples of why your dog has become a ‘Velcro dog.’
How we act can affect your dogs since we often spend a lot of time with them. If we stop to pet our dogs every time we walk past or give them cuddles constantly this can cause them to think this has to happen or should happen every time we come into contact with them. A dog can also become dependent on sleeping on the same bed as us-if we allow them.
This makes them dependant on us and almost like a source of comfort and safety at night. This is especially because dogs may feel vulnerable. After all, they are not alert when they are asleep. That’s not to say don’t sleep with your dog (that’s your personal choice) but if they start to get more clingy maybe try and separate a bit so they become more independent.
Aging may make your dog more reliant on you. If they lose their hearing or vision they may feel safer being around you.
Depends on their breed
Working dogs and dogs that spend more time with their owners will most likely begin to show signs of velcro dog syndrome. This could be partly due to the fact they wait on our orders or guidance to get a task done e.g., any sort of retrieving. Labradors, Patterdale Terriers and Vizslas are often the breeds that get attached quite easily.
If your dog becomes bored, they may follow you since they have nothing else to do. After all, you are the owner you make the interesting things happen! Dogs may feel like following you will give them some sort of attention whether that is a pet or a treat. You could avoid this if you tired them out from a walk or buy new toys to keep them entertained on their own. You should try at all costs to avoid being your dog’s main source of entertainment.
Many dogs that become velcro dogs have a form of anxiety. They hate to be left alone or hate their owners being out of sight. However, anxiety is not a choice but a fear. If you want to reduce your dog’s clinginess then you can try to keep a distance during the day, teach your dog to stay, play games that rely on distance, add more physical activity to your dog’s routine, and allow them to play alone away from you. Do not always make yourself available!
Overcoming Velcro Dog Syndrome
You can support your dogs independence and lessen his or her anxiety by building up your time apart incrementally. Start by leaving him or her for just 10-15 minutes popping to the corner shop. Then the next time you can up it to half an hour or an hour. After doing this for some time which could be a period of weeks or months you can then start to leave your dog for up to three hours.
When you leave him or her for this long try to leave some interactive dog toys such as Nina Ottosson dog puzzles to do while you’re gone. This will focus the dogs energy on finding the food rather than missing you. You can also fill a Kong Extreme with tasty dog meat or pate to lick out!
Regarding your velcro dogs need to be constantly by your side, you can cuddle on your terms, but also mix this up with a few ‘in your bed’ commands to let the dog know that sometimes he will need to give you your own space. You can make ‘in your bed’ a positive thing by giving some tasty chews such as denta sticks or pigs ears!
Overall, having a velcro dog is not unhealthy. Your dog may love your company – if it is getting too much or you think your dog may have a form of anxiety then try the techniques above. This may help them gain independence and rely on trust so they can feel more confident alone.