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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23841
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Hi, I was curious as to why my dog follows me everywhere.

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I was curious as to why my dog follows me everywhere. I don't know if it is more of a needy thing or a protective thing, or something else.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Hi - Frankly, I think that's awfully sweet behavior. The good reasons for such "sticky" behavior are that you have an exceptionally social dog - social behavior is learned by 9 weeks of age and you may have done an exceptional job socializing her early on - and protective behavior as you've mentioned. This can be problematic as Jadon ages. These dogs may become overly protective - to the point that they can be dangerous to other family members or visitors. You might be seeing signs of this now. If not, there's nothing to be done at this time. The "bad" reason for such behavior is separation anxiety. This can be a distressing behavior with serious consequences for the owner as well as the pet. Dogs with this disorder exhibit exaggerated signs of anxiety when they don't have access to family members. This problem usually occurs when the owner is away from home, but may occur when the owner is home but the pet's access to the owner is blocked or the dog can't get the owner's attention. Highly social species such as dogs exhibit attachment behaviors that serve to maintain social contact and bonds between adult individuals. In the situations where an individual loses contact with the group, the resultant anxiety can trigger behaviors that will attract other members of the family (vocalizations), behaviors that help remove barriers (digging, chewing) or ones that facilitate the restoration of contact (increased activity) with other members. The underlying issue involves hyperattachment to one or more family members. The onset of problems often coincides with changes in the amount of time that the owner spends with the pet. Treatment for separation anxiety involves developing independence for the dog by adjusting the relationship with the owner and promoting calmness when the owner is gone. This is done by managing the environment, teaching the owner alternative ways of interacting with the pet, using behavior modification and, for severe or refractory cases, prescribing medications. Once again there is certainly no reason to pursue behavioral modification at this time. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. Thank you for requesting my help.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've only had her for about 6 weeks. She was a rescue from the animal shelter. You helped me before with her, as she also had parvo when I adopted her. So far, she has been a dream! I was just curious as to why she was following me so.

I don't think its separation, because I can count on 1 hand the number of times she has barked while in her crate, which she is in when we are asleep. or at work. When my husband gets up before me, he'll let her outside to use the bathroom and then she'll come back in and come to the bedroom and will lie on the floor beside the bed (she isn't allowed in the bed) until I wake up. She never tries to wake me, just patiently waits (and sleeps).

She doesn't get upset at all when I leave the house. If I do shut a door to keep her out, she doesn't get upset, she'll normally just lay near the door and wait for me.

So, I have taken it as a compliment, so to speak, but just wasn't sure why she followed me to the extent that she does.

I agree with you. As I mentioned, her socialization can be a positive attribute of hers. Most owners would be thrilled with such a pet. Can this become a problem? Sure. Her relationship with you will change as she ages and emotionally matures. For now, enjoy the attention. if anything changes that you're not comfortable with, let me know. It's nice to talk to you again and know that she turned out to be a dream!
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your help! I enjoy her company and glad she enjoys mine as well! ( ;
It's my pleasure. Thank you once again.