If your Labrador follows you 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 Labrador might be following you around and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Labrador 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.
Your Labrador could be doing it for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
Possible reasons why your Labrador follows you around
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why it might be following you everywhere and what would make them more likely to be the reason.
The cause could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it. But, if you want to get it to stop, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it follows you so that you don’t encourage it to do it more.
It wants something
It could also be the case that it follows you around because it wants something. This would be more likely if it does it more at a certain time such as when you would normally feed it or walk it.
It might also be the case that it does it because it has some separation anxiety. This is where it becomes anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely if it does it more when you are about to leave home and if it becomes anxious when you are leaving 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador
- 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 reason why it does it might be that it is in its nature to do so. Labradors were bred to work alongside humans for hours on a daily basis. So, it is to be expected that yours will want to be around you often.
You reinforce the behavior
The cause could be that you have encouraged it to do it by giving it things that it wants when it follows you. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it does it then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to but to avoid rewarding it for following it.
How to stop your Labrador from following you around
Below are some options you have when getting it to stop following you.
Give it lots of exercise
Labradors are a breed that is meant to get daily exercise. If your Labrador follows you around more when it has not gotten much exercise then it might be doing it because it is waiting to get a walk.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily when they are healthy adults. If yours has not been getting that much it would help to make sure that it does.
Try ignoring it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been doing it because it is looking for extra attention. It would help to give it attention when it is behaving the way you want it to but to avoid rewarding it when it does not unless necessary.
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been doing it or you cannot get it to stop, consider getting help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to see how to train it effectively.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider about your Labrador following you around.
It would help to avoid punishing it since it might not know why it is being punished and it could cause it to become resentful. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.
When training your Labrador, it is important to be patient. It is unlikely that you will be able to get it to behave the exact way you want it to with just one training session. But, you can get much better results if you stick with it over the course of weeks.
When it first started doing it
When trying to figure out why it has been doing it, considering what else happened when it first started following you could help.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a sudden change in its daily schedule such as getting fed at a different time or realizing that it gets rewards when it follows you.
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.