If your dog has suddenly started being very affectionate 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 about them.

So, why is my dog suddenly overly affectionate? Possible reasons why your dog is suddenly overly affectionate are illness or injury, separation anxiety, encouraging the behavior by rewarding it or something causing it to be fearful suddenly.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason.

Reasons why your dog is suddenly overly affectionate

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Injury or illness

An injury or illness might have caused it to suddenly start behaving differently. This would be more likely if your dog has started showing other signs of having an illness or injury such as crying, limping or vomiting a lot.

Separation anxiety

Another reason might be that something has been causing it to have separation anxiety. This would be more likely if you have suddenly started leaving it alone for longer periods than usual and if it has started showing signs of being anxious when you leave it alone.

You started treating it differently

Another possible cause could be that you have started treating it differently and it has resulted in your dog behaving differently. This would be more likely if you have started giving it more attention than usual but it could also be because you have been giving it less attention and it is trying to get extra attention from you.

Encouraging the behavior

Another possible cause is that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as treats, toys or extra attention, when it is very affectionate, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Something causing it to be fearful

The cause could also be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since something happened such as if you got another pet, you moved homes or someone was aggressive towards it.

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 dog first started being overly affectionate

It would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it since there could have been an event that caused it to start. Causes could include it getting an injury or illness, moving homes, an owner leaving home or another change in its daily routine.

What is different when your dog is not overly affectionate

If your dog has been doing it more at a certain time, it would help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it more at around the same time that you normally leave home, it would be more likely that it has been doing it due to separation anxiety. Whereas, if it does it more at around the same time that you would normally give it exercise, the cause might be that it wants exercise.

Body language signs that it shows

It would also help to consider other body language signs that it shows. If it shows signs of being excited such as by wagging its tail and licking, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded. Whereas, if it shows signs of being anxious such as by crying, making itself appear smaller or hiding its tail, it would be more likely to be due to something causing it to be anxious or fearful.

What to do about your dog suddenly being overly affectionate

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Take it to a vet

If you’re not sure why your dog has been doing it or it has been showing signs of being ill or injured, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of it being due to disease, illness or injury.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded. It would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

It would help to limit potential reasons why it might become anxious. Ways to do so could include feeding it, exercising it and letting it pee before leaving it and ensuring that the room it stays in is not too hot, bright or noisy.

Give it sufficient exercise

If it is healthy, it would help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Ensure that it is getting the right diet

It would also help to ensure that it is eating the right amount of calories and that it has been eating foods that it should be eating.

Why is my dog more affectionate than usual?

Possible causes of your dog being more affectionate than usual are that something has been causing it to be anxious, you have been rewarding the behavior, or because you have been treating it differently. It would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started being more affectionate and what is different when it is not.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.