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Why does my Golden Retriever follow me?

Why does my Golden Retriever follow me?

If your Golden Retriever follows you around everywhere then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will give you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be following you around and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever follow me around? Possible reasons why it follows you around are that it wants attention, food, a walk, it might have separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.

There are actually many different reasons why it might be doing it and the cause could be due to a combination of different reasons. But, there are some things you can consider which will help you in figuring out the exact cause.

Possible reasons why your Golden Retriever follows you around

The different reasons why your Golden Retriever does it will likely come with some clues.

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.

Attention

The reason why it does it could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.

It would help to give it attention throughout the day by walking it, training it and playing with it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it follows you if you want to get it to stop.

It wants something

It could also be the case that it follows you because it wants something like food or a walk. This would be more likely if it starts following you more at certain times such as when you would normally feed it or walk it.

Separation anxiety

The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it starts following you around more at around the same time you would normally leave home and if it gets anxious when you are about to leave home.

In this case, you could try to reduce how anxious it becomes without you by doing something such as:

  • Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
  • Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
  • Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
  • Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
  • Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Golden Retriever
  • Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer

You can see more tips on how to do this in the video below:

It was bred to work with humans

Another thing to consider is that Golden Retrievers were bred to work alongside humans. Due to this, it is to be expected that your Golden Retriever will look to you for direction and that it will cause it to follow you around at times.

You reinforce the behavior

It might be the case that you have encouraged it to follow you around by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it follows you then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

How to stop your Golden Retriever from following you around

Below are some options you have when getting it to stop following you.

Give it lots of exercise

Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be causing to follow you around. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily. If yours is healthy and it is not getting that much exercise, it would help to make sure that it does.

Try ignoring it

If it seems like it is doing it for attention or to get something from you, one option would be to ignore it and to reward it when it is being well behaved. By doing so, you should be able to teach it that it doesn’t get what it wants when it follows you.

Get help

If you can’t get it to stop doing it or it seems to be doing it due to being overly anxious, one option would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist. By doing so you should be able to see how to train it to stop effectively.

Things to consider

Don’t punish

It is important to avoid punishing it for following you. If you do, it might not know why it is being punished and it could lead to it developing feelings of resentment. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it for following you and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want it to.

It’s not unusual

It might seem weird to you that your Golden Retriever has a habit of following you around everywhere but it’s not unusual for Golden Retrievers to do so.

Be patient

When training your Golden Retriever, it would help to be consistent with the training. It is unlikely that you will be able to achieve big results with just one training session. But, if you stick with it, you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks and months.

When it first started doing it

It would help to consider when your Golden Retriever first started following you since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.

If it started doing it more suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards when it does it, suddenly getting fed at a different time or suddenly getting exercise at different times. It would help to consider what else changed when it first started doing it.

When it does it more

It would also help to consider whether or not there is a certain time that it tends to do it more. If there is then it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it does it more when you would normally feed it then it would be more likely that it does it because it is waiting to get fed.

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