Have your dog whining for attention, it seems cute sometimes but not always. Some dog owners may have experienced a phase where their pet pups follow them around all day and everywhere. Though this is considered an act of loyalty and love, some people tend to get frustrated if their canine gets clingy to the core. Even it is an act of love, one must know that it might be because of certain underlying issues. Therefore, it is crucial to understand their behaviors and help them accordingly. Let’s know the reasons why is my dog so clingy and tips to handle it.
What is a Velcro Dog?
Ever wonder my dog is acting weird and restless? When a pet pup stays extremely close to its parent(s), it shows some abnormal signs of distress whenever they separate. We can say that the dog is acting clingy, a perfectly healthy, independent dog is not troubled by a short period of separation. Whereas Velcro dogs tend to bark or whine, sometimes even start behaving aggressively because of the distance and stress.
What Causes Velcro Dog Syndrome?
#1 Parent’s Behavior Towards their Pups
Many kinds of research state that there are many reasons for a dog to start behaving clingy. Even if the pet’s clinginess is cute for their parents, one must know that there’s a reason behind it. It may be an act of showing their love, a behavior they learned or mostly because of any underlying medical issues. It may be a wise decision to get an opinion from their vet.
Clinginess is considered a learned behavior in some contexts. If the pet parents stop giving their dogs a pat or a treat or even praise, they are teaching their dogs that following them will eventually lead to some rewards. Pets may learn that staying with their parents will lead to good prizes, especially attention they love. Giving constant attention to pups; will not only make them dependent but also will create fear of being alone. As a result, they will never leave their parents.
#2 Illness or Aging
A pet may seek the protection of their human companions if they feel ill or uncomfortable. Pups may get scared or confused and may seek the help of their parents by acting clingy. If pet starts behaving clingy all of a sudden with no understandable motive, it may be a good time to visit the vet and get an opinion.
Clinginess because of aging, unlike disorders, is a sign of weakness. Loss of vision or hearing may make them feel weak, so they may choose to stay with their humans to get comfortable.
Boredom and lack of proper mental stimulation may lead to Velcro dog syndrome in pets. A dull, monotonous life will make the dog clingy as it pushes them to the edge. They will crave attention, cuddles and look for opportunities to be closer to their human companion. Boredom intensifies the clinginess.
#4 Separation Anxiety
It is one of the signs of clingy behavior in your pet. If the dog panics when their parents leave them, they may have anxiety problems. Separation anxiety is often considered a common problem in pooches, which is also one of the best solutions for a sudden clinginess of pups. It manifests in various ways according to the dog types and personalities. It is a way for the dogs to show that they are afraid of leaving their parent(s).
Separation Anxiety Vs. Velcro Dog Syndrome
Most of the time, people tend to get confused between Velcro dogs and dogs with separation anxiety. Both similar experience problems: not wanting to be away from their human companions. Velcro dogs desire to be close to their human companions, while pets with separation anxiety get panicked when away from their parent(s). But it is necessary to observe and understand the subtle differences they show in their behavior.
One must understand that there is a fine line between Velcro dogs and those pets suffering from separation anxiety, which is the anxiety itself. Separation anxiety is particular to dogs that panic and get anxious in absence of their owners, whereas these dog panting and shaking and clingy when their parents are home. Pups exhibiting separation anxiety are also considered Velcro dogs, but one cannot say that all Velcro dogs suffer from separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs Symptoms
One must understand that the sudden clinginess of their pets may be a symptoms of separation anxiety.
- Canines get anxious when their parent(s) are getting to leave
- Excessive panting and drooling, pacing around
- Loud barking, howling, and destructive chewing
- Attempts to escape
Velcro Dog Syndrome Symptoms
- Follows their parent(s) everywhere
- Constant need to be close to them
- Anticipate the immediate movements of their parents
- Always keeping an eye on their humans
How to Help Your Dog Be Less Clingy?
As a pet parent, you can teach clingy dogs to become more independent without separation anxiety. Here is some of tips about how to stop being clingy all time, let’s get into it.
#1 Concentrate on Physical Exercise
Physical activity will tire the dog to the extent that they will lose interest in following their parents around. When the pet is overtired, he will concentrate on relaxing or napping. According to their age and health history, one must consult with a veterinarian for appropriate exercises.
One can take their pups out for extra walks or invest in fascinating toys with which the dogs can spend their day. One can also try taking them to animal behavior experts and sign them up for some obedience classes to help the dog become less dependent. A tired pooch will, in turn, become an excellent dog.
#2 Provide More Mental Stimulation
A velcro dog breeds is more likely to become a clingy since they don’t have anything better to do. It’s a known fact that pups love playing. Therefore, one must add more mentally stimulating, meaningful plays and activities in their dog’s routine. Research shows that increased brain activity pushes the dog to get tired. It is much similar to physical activity. Interactive toys will help our clingy friends as they encourage independent play. One can also try basic obedience training, play hide and seek, tug of war, or anything the dog will love.
#3 Commands And Treats
One can try teaching their dogs a basic requirements and make them less dependent. For example, if they follow their parents everywhere, one can work on their commands and get them to stay at a distance. Once they get used to these commands and distance, one can gradually increase distance and eventually stay at a distance. Pet parents must make sure they praise and pet their dogs well if they behave properly. They are more likely to repeat following the commands because of the attention and delicious dog treats.
#4 Try Creating a Special Place
One can try setting up a place just for their pup with his bed and favorite toys, a place to relax instead of following around constantly. one can also train them to go to their special den and shower them with rewards once they start following the commands. It is a must to create a den for him, a place where he will feel safe and secure.
#5 Desensitizing the dog to one’s movements
Dogs are known for their keen observation. They try to associate their human behaviours with different rewards. Therefore, one must try to break the routine and follow regular daily activities without normal consequences. For instance, if one patted dog every time they grabbed their keys to go out, they could try to grab a keys and remain inside. Practice getting up from time to time without going out somewhere to let them know that they don’t have to worry. Eventually, they will understand that the movements of their humans don’t assure them any attention. It makes the dog get used to the normal routines of their humans and become less dependent.
It’s no lie when one says Velcro dogs make good companions. So, if the pet parents do not want to change their behaviours, it is more than fine. But if one gets frustrated, all they need to do is be patient and help their pets. Clingy or not clingy, the dogs will always need their human companions to be next to them and cuddle since they love them a lot.