Dogs are man’s best friend. They can be very affectionate, it’s their way of saying they love you. Sometimes, our canines can be too affectionate. They get clingy. Be aware that what you may think is an emotional dependency may be hiding a more serious problem. Why is your dog so clingy? What can you do about it? Here’s what to do if your dog is clingy.
My dog is clingy: why?
Before taking charge of a clingy dog, it is essential to understand why he is so clingy. By discovering the source of his excessive affection, you’ll know how to mitigate it and get back to a serene daily routine.
A puppy is almost always clingy, and it’s nothing to worry about. Having a clingy young dog is a great indicator. It means that he is becoming attached to his new home and, at the same time, to the people who will be his family. For a puppy, the owners are replacing the mother. They watch over him and, most importantly, they feed him. The puppy’s attachment is normal, it should not be suppressed. On the other hand, when the dog grows up, you must help your dog to become independent. Never ignore your dog, but don’t hesitate to leave him alone for short periods of time so that he gets used to it.
A clingy dog can be a stressed dog. Most often, anxiety is related to fear of separation. Because your pet is overly attached to you, he may develop behavioral problems when his owner is absent or ignores him. The anxious dog is recognizable. Here are the signs that should alert you.
Destruction in your home or garden,
Whining and crying,
Demand for attention.
Anxiety is particularly developed in dogs that have been abandoned. Once adopted, they become attached very quickly and sometimes in an exaggerated manner. In them, the fear of abandonment is exacerbated. You must reassure your dog!
Dogs that don’t go out much are clingy dogs. Indeed, to be in good physical and mental health, a dog must be exercised! Every day, he must be taken out to do his needs but also to run and more generally to have a physical activity. Moreover, you must play with your dog to stimulate and occupy him. A dog that does not exercise will get bored more easily. A dog that is bored is not well balanced. He will either run away, be destructive or be clingy.
Too much space
A dog is a pet. However, in some homes, it may have a more important place. A dog can be a member of the family in its own right, but it should remain a pet. If you pay too much attention to your dog, it may have difficulty detaching from you. Emotional dependency sets in and your dog becomes a glue pot.
How do you deal with a clingy dog?
Now that you have identified the reasons for your dog’s attachment, or have some idea of why, you can try to reduce it. There are several ways to do this.
From a very young age, it is recommended that you teach your dog to go to his basket. This space is his and he should see it as his territory. “To the basket” is an instruction that must be understood and especially applied. Thanks to it, your house becomes calm again and your dog learns to detach himself from you. For your dog to appreciate his basket, it must be :
the right size,
This basket must be out of the way but not isolated. Ideally, it should be in the living room. The basket or the cushion of your dog should not be in full passage. It is also a place to rest. It is wise to place your dog’s toys near the basket, but the bowls should be elsewhere. Remember to reward your dog when he respects the instructions. This way, he’ll want to continue pleasing you. On the other hand, don’t scold him if he refuses to go to the basket. If he sees his space as a prison or punishment, he won’t enjoy spending time there.
Teaching your dog to be alone
Because you are working, your dog will be alone for part of the day. This loneliness is difficult for clingy dogs. In order for them to accept your organization, you must leave them alone from a young age. Here’s how to do it.
While still a puppy, leave the dog in the living room, or the room where he will stay, and isolate yourself elsewhere. Keep your absence short. When you return, praise and reward your young dog.
As the weeks go by, leave the dog alone a little longer. At first, stay in the house, then go out into the garden, get the mail or bread at the local bakery. When you return, praise and reward.
When your dog is good, you should always let him know. It’s also a good idea to establish a routine. For example, when you return, take time to walk your dog and play with him.
Mistakes to avoid
To make your dog less clingy, you need to establish rules and avoid making certain mistakes. When you leave or come back, don’t make it seem like a one-off. Stay calm! Your dog should consider these actions as natural.
It is not recommended to allow your dog in every room of the house. It may be a good idea to ban him from the bedrooms. In addition to establishing territories in the house, your dog will not follow you around.
It is necessary to walk your dog before and after the periods of absence but not only! It would be a shame if your dog associated walking with loneliness. When you have free time, walk your dog! Plus, it’s great for both of your health.
Avoid reducing the dog’s living space too much while you’re away. Of course, you can close the doors to rooms and areas that are off-limits to your dog, but leave the living areas open. He should have access to his bowls, toys and basket.
To make him less clingy when you’re home, try to keep control. You should initiate the interactions and it’s also up to you to stop them. If your dog gets your attention too aggressively, ignore him. Don’t pet him when he’s too upset. Finally, don’t let him follow you around.
If you can’t cope, you can seek advice from your veterinarian. He or she will make sure your dog is healthy and will give you valuable advice. If you have a female dog, be aware that she will be clingy during pregnancy. Reassure her but don’t reject her!