If your dog won’t let you out of its sight, 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 each of them.
So, why won’t my dog let me out of its sight? Common reasons why your dog won’t let you out of its sight are separation anxiety, being hungry, boredom, fearfulness, wanting something from you or naturally wanting to be around other members of its pack.
There are actually multiple possible causes and your dog might be doing it due to a combination of reasons. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog won’t let you out of its sight
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.
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 your dog starts showing signs of being anxious when you are leaving by doing things such as pace or cry.
The cause could also be that it is hungry and following you around because it is waiting to get fed. This would be more likely if your dog tends to follow you more when you have not fed it yet and if it does it less after getting fed. It would help to ensure that it has been eating the right amount of calories and that it has been eating things that it should be.
Another possible cause is that it is bored and waiting to get exercise. This would be more likely if it does it more before getting exercise and it does it less after getting exercise. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Another possible cause is that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if your dog tends not to let you out of its sight at a time when it is likely to be more fearful such as when a certain person or animal is around or when there are noises outside.
It wants something from you
Another possible cause is that it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you are holding things such as food.
Dogs were bred to work alongside humans. Due to this, it is to be expected that your dog will look to you for direction and that it will cause it to follow you around at times. This is why it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns what you expect from it.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to follow you around by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it follows you everywhere it might have learned to do it more in order to get those rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it follows you.
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 it first started doing it
If your dog did let you out of its sight in the past, it would help to consider what else happened when it first stopped letting you go out of its sight. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because something caused it to start being anxious or there was a sudden change in its daily routine.
What is different when your dog does let you out of its sight
If your dog does let you out of its sight sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does let you out of its sight. For example, if it lets you out of its sight when it has been fed, it might not be letting you out of its sight when it is hungry.
What to do about your dog not letting you out of its sight
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does not.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
It would also help to try to limit possible reasons why it might become anxious when you are leaving. Things to do would include ensuring that it can pee, eat and get exercise before being left alone and ensuring the room it stays in is not too hot or noisy.
Give it exercise
It would also help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed. This should help to get it to relax when you are not around and to get it to stop following you because it wants exercise.
Ensure it is getting the right diet
It would also help to ensure that it is able to eat the right amount of calories for its age and breed and that it is not eating things that it should not be. This should help to reduce how much it follows you for hunger.
Redirect its focus
Another option would be to redirect its attention onto something else when it seems like it is about to start following you. By doing this you should be able to get it out of the habit of constantly following you. Things that you could redirect its attention onto would be laying down somewhere or playing with a toy.
Try ignoring it
If it seems like it might be following you around in order to get attention it would also help to give it attention throughout the day by walking it, playing with it and training it but to avoid rewarding it with attention when it follows you.
If you can’t figure out why it has been following you or you cannot get it to stop then another option would be to get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist in your area. By doing so you should be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular dog and to see how to get it to stop.