If your dog has been watching you take a bath, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.
Common reasons why dogs watch their owners take a bath are separation anxiety, protectiveness, learning that the behavior is rewarded or nature.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Reasons why your dog watches you take a bath
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety and it does not want to have to wait in another room while you are taking a bath. This would be more likely if it shows signs of becoming anxious when you are leaving it alone such as pacing or crying.
The cause could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it tends to be overly protective when other people or animals are around you. It would also be more likely if it tends does not show any signs of being anxious and it doesn’t seem to be waiting for something from you.
The cause might also be that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it watches you take a bath, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Dogs evolved as pack animals so it is natural that they will want to be around other members of their pack. The reason why your dog watches you take a bath could be that it naturally wants to be around you so that it feels like it is part of the pack and more protected. This would be more likely if it also tends to follow you to other places after already being fed and exercised.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always watch you take a bath, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since an event might have caused it to start. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded or something causing it to start being anxious when alone such as if you got a new pet.
What is different when it does it
If it does not always watch you taking a bath, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it does not do it when it has already been fed or given exercise, it might be the case that it does it when it is waiting for those things.
The body language it shows
It would also help to consider the body language it shows when it watches you. If it shows positive body language signs such as having its tongue out, wagging its tail and being relaxed, it would be more likely that it is doing it more due to affection or excitement.
Whereas, if it shows signs of being anxious, such as pacing, or crying, it would be more likely that it is doing it because it has some separation anxiety or it does not understand what you are doing.
What to do about it
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it watches you in the bath.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
It would also help to try to limit reasons why it might be anxious. Some things to do would include, ensuring that it gets fed, exercised and that it can go out to pee before leaving it for a while.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging the behaviors that you want to see by rewarding them and discouraging unwanted behaviors by not rewarding them. To use it to get your dog to stop watching you in the bath, you could make it seem like you are going to the shower and reward it when it does not follow you.
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