If your dog keeps trying to be close to you, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog try to get close to me? Possible reasons why your dog is trying to be close to you are that it wants attention, it is bored, you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior, it is fearful of something or that it is just being affectionate.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog tries to get close to you. Once you have a good idea of the cause it will become a lot easier to get it to stop doing it.
Why your dog tries to get close to you
Each of the different reasons that your dog tries to get close to you will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your dog might be trying to get close to you and what would make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason that it gets close to you could be that it is trying to get you to give it attention. This would be more likely if it does it when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
If you don’t want your dog to do it then it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention, when it does it, by leaving the room temporarily if necessary.
Related: Why does my dog get in my face?
Another common reason that dogs will get close to you is that they are being affectionate. When it’s getting close to you it’s letting you know that it trusts you and that you are a part of its tribe. This type of behavior is normal and will often happen when you try to pet it.
Another common reason that dogs do it is that they are excited. When dogs get excited it’s common for them to express their excitement by getting close to people, jumping up and getting in their faces. They do it because they want to greet you at the face and because their mother would feed them from the face as puppies and they would jump up.
Related: Why does my dog growl at nothing?
The reason that it does it might be because it is bored. This would be more likely if it does it when it has not gotten much exercise. If your dog has not been getting the recommended amount of exercise for its breed then it would help to make sure that it does.
A lack of training
If you have not given your dog much training then it will not know how it is meant to behave and it will behave the way that it wants to. The way that it wants to behave is unlikely to be the way that you want it to.
If you have not given it much training then it would help to do so by starting out with the basics and building up from there.
The reason that it gets close to you could be that something is causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it when something might be causing it to be scared such as someone being around that it does not like or that there is thunder and lightning.
It’s trying to get you to do something
The reason that it does it could be that it is trying to get you to give it something that it wants. This would be more likely if it gets close to you when you would normally walk it, feed it or give it attention.
You have been reinforcing the behavior
It could also be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to get close to you. This would be more likely if you tend to give it what it wants when it does it. Things that it might want could include attention, toys or treats.
Things to consider
Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog tries to get close to you. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.
When your dog first started getting close to you
It would help to consider when your dog first started getting close to you. If it didn’t always do it then it could be the case that there was an event that triggered it to start doing it.
Things that might have happened when it started doing it could include:
- You rewarded it one time when it did it
- Someone mistreated it
- You stopped giving it as much attention
If it has always done it then it would be more likely that it does it because it is excited, that it is being affectionate or that it hasn’t been trained not to.
When your dog gets close to you
It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it.
If you notice that it only does it when you come home then it would be more likely that it is trying to show that it is excited to see you. Whereas, if it does it when you would normally feed it then it might be trying to remind you to feed it.
How to get your dog to stop getting close to you
There are a number of things that you can do about your dog getting close to 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.
Don’t reward it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to get close to you. Instead of giving it things that it wants, when it gets close to you, it would help to avoid rewarding it, to train it not to using the tips below and to reward it when it is well behaved.
Use positive reinforcement training
You can train it not to get close to you by making it sit and stay when it gets excited.
To do this do as follows:
- Get some treats that your dog likes
- Get it to sit. If you haven’t taught your dog how to sit yet then you can do this by luring the treat above its head until it sits naturally
- Tell it to stay and then wait for half a second then give it a treat. The idea is to reward it for staying sat and keeping its attention on you so you want to reward it before it has a chance to fail.
- Do the same as above but each time increase the duration that you get it to stay.
- When your dog is able to stay for over 15 seconds start to introduce distractions such as the squeaking of a toy. Start out with minor distractions such as simply showing it the toy and then build up to harder ones such as rolling the toy in front of it.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
When training your dog it is important to be consistent. It is unlikely that you will be able to completely stop the behavior with just one training session. But, if you train it consistently, you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks and months.
Give it exercise
It could be the case that your dog does it because it is bored and understimulated. If your dog is not getting much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does get exercise. If it is getting exercise but it is known for being an active breed then it could be that you need to wear it out even more by doing things such as getting it to play fetch.