My dog follows me around.. Explination please!

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I solemnly swear- that I am up to- no good
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 8:48am PST 
Hi everyone!

Gunner follows me around. He's not up my butt or anything, he stays at a respectful distance (usually 3-4 feet away from me) if I'm walking in the house. If we are on a walk, he will stay by my left side no matter what, unless I give him the command "Go potty", then he can go sniff and poop and whatever.

When he is off leash, he will go about his business, but will still 'check back with me'.. like at the dog park he will frolick and sniff and play, but will stop and look around for me. After he spots me and looks at me for a minute or so, then he'll go run around.

If I'm in the kitchen, he will stand outside the kitchen and watch me.

If I'm in the bathroom showering, getting ready for work, etc etc he will plop down on his bed in my room and fall asleep, but will jump up and follow me as soon as I leave the room.

He won't bother me when I'm on the computer, he will sleep at my feet. If I'm on the couch, he will 'ask' to be invited up, and it's up to me whether I want him up on the couch with me. If I don't want him near me, he will go to his crate which is about 10 feet infront of the couch/tv and 'sleep'.. but when I get up he will jump up and follow me around.

Gunner is never nagging me to pick him up, or bothers me at all when I'm not paying attention to him.. he's just.. always there.

Now I myself am not bothered by this behavior at all, but everyone (including my husband) will say "He follows you around EVERYWHERE! He's SO attached to you!" etc. etc. I'd also like to add that Gunner does not follow my husband at all, even if I am not at home. He will sleep in his crate the entire time, unless he is called.

I have read that you should NOT let your dog follow you around, as that could lead to seperation anxiety. Gunner will cry when I crate him and leave, but it's only for 2 minutes (I have timed it and have neighbors to verify, bol), and then he stops.

Then I have read that your dog following you around is a positive thing, and he sees you as the alpha. That dogs who are lower ranking in the pack will follow their alpha all the time, as if 'protecting' the alpha.

So whos wrong and whos right? Should I stop this behavior? Like I said, it doesn't bother me at all, I was just curious WHY he does it. Thanks!


Edited by author Thu Jan 31, '08 8:51am PST

Marlowe, CGC

Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 8:59am PST 
It's a rare dog who doesn't do what Gunnar is doing. Look at the thread titled "Way Independent"--it's actually highly unusual to have a dog who doesn't do that, though a few of us have them. We think of our independent dogs as "weird", definitely not the norm.
Roscoe the- Racehound&tr- ade;

Faster than a- speeding- jack-rabbit
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:00am PST 
Wow. I wish my pup did the same thing :] He used to follow me all the time too.. I really don't know how to answer though.
My dog never had seperation anxiety and I don't think yours will either...
Roscoe stopped following me though, he now has decided to follow me mum around-which makes me a bit green eyed xP

Mr.- BoJangles

Behaving doesn't- always work for- me
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:00am PST 
I cant offer any advice, but I am interested in what others may say. I have two that follow me like a shadow. Usually it doesnt bother me too much, but I would love to be able to use the bathroom without an audience! laugh out loud Plus, sometimes I trip over mine, they are all little dogs.
Amazing- Gracie

Proof that God- has a sense of- humor
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:01am PST 
Wow! I never thought about that being a problem. Your husband is probably just jealous. All 3 of my dogs follow me from room to room and either sit on my lap or at my feet. I, personally, love their company. None of them have any seperation anxiety and will follow the command, "go to your pen", when I have to leave the house. They are not allowed to roam freely when we are not at home.

I like wet, fowl- smelling things
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:01am PST 
I certainly don't think it's a bad thing but it also depends on what you want from your dog. For some skills it is a detriment although in general there is really nothing wrong with it

In my experience it's almost always a sign that the dog lacks confidence.

This can be overcome, if you choose to, through games and training. For instance, teaching your dog Air Scenting is a big confidence builder and lots of fun too.

Edited by author Thu Jan 31, '08 9:04am PST

Khola- CDX, CGC

R plus and- paitence what a- shocking idea
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:03am PST 
I think you should take the steak out of your pants pockets.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:12am PST 
From what you're describing, it doesn't sound like you have a problem. I'd keep an eye on the "crying when crated" thing, to make sure it doesn't become a problem, but the fact that he stops fairly quickly once you're out of range doesn't suggest separation anxiety.

Whether your dog following you around is a problem or not depends on WHY and WHAT he's doing. You say Gunner keeps a respectful distance, does not pester, will go off and play with other dogs at the dog park--just checking back with you occasionally. He doesn't make problems for other people when you're not there--just sleeps in his crate unless called.

He sounds like a normal, healthy dog who is very devoted to his Mom/pack leader, but not neurotic or insecure. Enjoy!
Jackie Poo,- NPC

I swear, I- didn't do it
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:14am PST 
Khola, BOL!!!
Josie - CGC

California Girl
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '08 9:31am PST 
I have to agree with everyone.

Even though both of my dogs are fairly independent, they almost always prefer to be in the room I'm in to any other room.

I like that Gunner remains respectful of your personal space, and knows to be invited onto furniture. That's a good sign.
way to go

Khola-- laugh out loud
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