If your dog is obsessed with you this post will show you why it might be the case and what you can do about it.
So, why is my dog obsessed with me? Possible reasons why your dog is obsessed with you are that it wants attention, exercise or food, it might have separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
There are actually a number of nuances that you can consider when trying to figure out why it is doing it. Once you have a good idea of the cause it will be much easier to get it to stop being obsessed with you.
Why your dog is obsessed with you
Each of the different reasons why it does it will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will mention a number of possible reasons why your dog is obsessed with you and what would make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason why your dog is obsessed with you could be that it is looking for attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it becomes more obsessed with you when you have not given it much attention and if you give it more attention when it is obsessed with you.
Instead of giving it attention, when it gets obsessed with you, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and giving it exercise.
Related: Why does my dog sit on me?
It wants exercise
The reason why it does it might be that it wants exercise or that your dog is getting a lack of exercise. This would be more likely if it is an active breed such as a Husky or German Shepherd and it is not getting much exercise at the moment. It is important that dogs get a lot of physical stimulation so that they can get rid of some of the excess energy that they have and encourage them to sleep when you want them to.
In addition to that, it might be the case that your dog is not getting enough mental stimulation as well.
Generally, it is recommended for a dog to get around an hour of exercise per day. If your dog is not currently getting the amount of exercise that is recommended for its breed then it would help to make sure that it does.
The reason why it gets obsessed with you could be that it is hungry. This would be more likely to be the case if it stops being obsessed with you when it has eaten and it is more obsessed when it has not eaten in a while.
In this case, it would help to make sure that you are feeding it the right foods and that it is getting the right amount of food.
The reason why it does it could be that it gets fearful. This would be more likely if it does it when there are things happening that might cause it to be fearful. Examples could be, fireworks, someone being around that it doesn’t like or if someone mistreated it recently.
Something to consider is that most dog breeds were bred to work alongside their owners. With that being the case, if you have given it a lot of training then it will naturally look to you for direction and this could be why it seems to be obsessed with you.
It might be the case that your dog 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 nervous. This would be more likely to be the reason if your dog starts to get nervous when you are about to leave. Dogs are social animals as well as pack animals. They were also bred to be around us on a daily basis, so it is not unusual for them to display abnormal behavior when they are not around us.
Symptoms of separation anxiety and include destructive behavior when they are alone, crying or peeing when you are leaving or peeing while you are away.
Reinforcing the behavior
It will often be the case that dogs are obsessed with their owners because their owners have inadvertently reinforced the behavior. This could be why your dog is obsessed with you. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things that it wants, when it gets obsessed with you, such as toys, treats or attention.
It could also be the case that your dog has been obsessing over you due to illness, injury or other health issues causing your dog to feel vulnerable without you. This would be more likely if your dog has been behaving unusually in other ways as well such as by doing things such as limping, sleeping a lot more/less than usual, or vomiting a lot. If it does seem like this may be the cause, the best option would be to take your dog to a vet.
Velcro dog syndrome
A velcro dog is one that wants to be around their owners at all times. It would be more likely that your dog is a velcro dog if your dog does things such as follow you from room to room. It is also common for velcro dogs to be a one-person dog which would be more likely if your dog has only been following you around in particular.
A velcro dog is not the same as a dog with separation anxiety since velcro dogs should not become significantly distressed when they are not with their owners.
You are your dog’s favorite person
It is not uncommon for dogs to have a favorite person or to become imprinted on you. If your dog has been following you around in particular and tends to come and sit with you the most, it may be the case that your dog has taken a liking to you in particular and has a particularly strong bond with you. Common reasons why this will happen include if you are the one that plays with it the most, gives it exercise, or feeds it the most.
Your dog is just being affectionate
It may also be the case that your dog is just being affectionate to you. This would be more likely if your dog also wants things such as cuddles or to be petted when it is being clingy. It would also be more likely if your dog does not behave unusually in other ways.
Related: Why does my dog lay its head on me?
Things to consider
Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog is obsessed with you. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.
When your dog became obsessed with you
It would help to consider the timing of when your dog first became obsessed with you since the clingy behavior may have something to do with the timing.
Things that could have happened at around the same time that it became obsessed with you could include:
- You rewarded it one time when it was obsessed with you
- You moved homes
- Someone mistreated it
When your dog is more obsessed with you
It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes more obsessed with you since that could also give you some clues as to why it does it.
Times that it does it could include:
- When you haven’t fed it for a while
- When a certain person is around
- When you would normally walk it
- When you would normally give it more attention
The age of your dog
Senior dogs and older dogs can start to display obsessive behavior as a result of things such as becoming weaker, pain, needing to pee more often, doggy dementia or cognitive decline. It would help to consider if your dog has been displaying other strange behaviors and it may be worthwhile for you to consult with your local veterinarian.
Puppies and young dogs are likely to be clingy due to separation anxiety. Also, it is an instinctive behavior in puppies to follow family members around in order to feel safer.
How to get your dog to stop being obsessed with you
There are a number of things that you can do about your dog being obsessed with you. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.
Train it to listen to your command
If you have not already given your dog a lot of training then it would help to do so. By training it to listen to your command it will make it easier to get your dog to behave the way that you want it to.
To use this to get it to be less obsessed with you, it would help to train it to lay down somewhere and to stay. That way you will be able to tell it lay down when it starts getting obsessed with you.
I have written about how you can train your dog to learn the “down” command here.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, your dog may not be getting enough exercise. If your dog is not currently getting much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does. You can give it exercise by walking it, playing fetch with it or getting a dog walker to do it for you.
If it is getting exercise then it might be the case that it is not getting enough physical exercise. In this case, you could try wearing it out even more by playing fetch with it which would be especially helpful if it is an active breed.
Make sure its diet is right
It would help to make sure that it is eating the right foods. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog.
Give it distractions
You could also try giving it things to be distracted with. Things that you could give it would include toys, interactive toys, a tennis ball, a chew toy, puzzles for dogs or bones.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to be obsessed with you by giving it things that it wants when it gets obsessed with you.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it gets obsessed with you and to train it to behave the way that you want it to using positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your dog with treats such as peanut butter when they display behavioral signs that you desire from them. Additionally, it is important to reward good behavior in general from dogs so as to encourage more of the behavior.
Give your dog a lot of attention when possible
It may be the case that your dog has been being clingy due to not getting enough attention. This would be especially likely if it has been happening more since not getting much attention. It would help to give your dog attention when possible by doing things such as playing games with your dog or giving your dog exercise or training.
When done well, crate training can give dogs a special place where they can go and feel safe. This could potentially help to give you and your dog a break when needed. Alternatively, it could help to at least give your dog a dog bed where your dog can go and feel comfortable.
If your dog has been displaying other negative signs such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or has been displaying significant obsession issues, it would likely be best to take your dog to a local veterinarian for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert help tailored towards your particular dog.
Signs your dog is obsessed with you
It might not actually be the case that your dog is obsessed with you. It may actually be the case that your dog simply has been being clingy due to something else.
The following signs hint at your dog actually being obsessed with you
- Your dog shows signs of anxiety when you are leaving even when your dog has been fed and given exercise.
- Your dog follows you from room to room even after getting food and exercise
- Your dog displays negative body language when you are leaving
- Your dog always has to be with you
- Your dog pees or is destructive when they are not with you
- Barking when you are leaving (this can also be a sign of hunger or wanting something else)
Why is my dog suddenly obsessed with me?
It may be the case that your dog is suddenly obsessed with you due to a change in its routine and it would help to consider what else changed when your dog first started being clingy. Likely causes are a change in its diet, a change in its daily schedule, a change when you go to bed, a change in the amount of exercise being given or introducing a new pet.
However, it may also be due to things such as medical issues, pain or injury.
Why is my puppy obsessed with me?
It is not uncommon for puppies to be obsessed with their owners. The reason for this is that it is difficult for puppies when they are introduced to a new environment and they are away from their mothers and siblings. They will often follow their new owners around because it makes them feel safer.
However, it could also be the case that your puppy has been being obsessed with you due to things such as needing to pee, hunger or wanting to play.
Can dogs become obsessed with their owners?
Yes, dogs can become obsessed with their owners. However, there are a multitude of possible reasons why a dog may show obsessive tendencies. It is important to consider all of the other possible causes and to rule each of them out before concluding that your dog is simply obsessed with you. If you find that your dog is too obsessive, it would help to consider seeking the guidance of a local dog behaviorist in your area.