Does your loveable pooch follow you everywhere you go? Back and forth and room to room, never letting you out of their sight for more than just a few moments? If so, it sounds like you have a Velcro Dog.
So, what exactly is a Velcro Dog?
A velcro dog is a dog that wants to be by their owners side at all times. They are very dependent and often develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. The most common breeds to adopt this behavior are those that were developed as companion or lap dogs. German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Italian Greyhounds and Labrador Retrievers are all popular dogs that seem to carry this syndrome and it can easily be passed down into their kin no matter what breed the mating partner.
What are the Indicators of a Velcro Dog?
• Following their owner’s everywhere they go.
• Constantly needing the attention of their owner.
• They keep an eye on their owners at all times.
• Anticipating when you may be getting up, often never getting completely relaxed.
• They don’t want to miss anything.
How to Prevent this Behavior
Does your dog know sit and stay commands? Have your pup stay seated and walk away- as you begin this practice stay within eye sight as not to get your little one get to anxious, but begin to go a little further each time. Continue practicing this every day until you can become out of sight without your pooch getting over excited. You can praise their behavior of staying through positive reinforcement or a treat!
Don’t let them Sleep in your Bed
This can be a tough thing especially since most of us dog owners want our fur babies snuggled up with us. However, this may not be the best thing for a velcro dog as it can heighten their sense of neediness. Start by putting a bed next to yours and having them sleep in their own space. Over time you can move their bed further away from yours.
Doggy Day Care
Doggy Day Care will introduce your pup to new sights, sounds and smells keeping their curiosity heightened while helping them to develop independency. After a few times they will learn that you always come back and their anxiety will lessen.
Get them a Buddy
It’s their primal instinct to be in a pack. So when it’s just one owner the dog feels that they need to be with you at all times. Having another dog or animal or even having another family member or friend staying with you will give them someone else to “cling” to.
Training and socializing your puppy early will ensure that from the very beginning the dog knows boundaries and a sense of indapendency. Be consistent and firm, but loving at all times. Don’t love them less or show them less affection for fear of them becoming a velcro dog as this can lead to boredom or depression, which may in turn develop destructive behaviors.