Do You Have A Velcro Dog?
You may have a Velcro dog if your dog follows you from room to room and never lets you out of sight. Some people attribute this to separation anxiety but that isn’t always the cause. There are simply some dogs who want to be with you all the time. You may have a dog who has never been abused, never been allowed to be lonely, and who is normally quite confident. And, yet, it still prefers to be with you more than anything else in the world.
Some breeds and kinds of dogs have a disposition that makes them more inclined to desire human companionship. In general, sporting breeds, toy breeds and some others want to be with people as much as possible. These dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to have a close relationship with humans. They are very attuned to pleasing people and like to anticipate what you will do next.
Other breeds and kinds of dogs can be more independent. Hounds and terriers, for instance, may prefer to work on their own. These dogs are just as intelligent but they often don’t feel the need to be at your side every moment.
These are only generalizations, of course. Individual dogs may vary greatly.
If you do have a “Velcro” dog you’re the only one who can say whether you like it or not. Some people like to have a dog that wants to be with them all the time. Other people prefer a dog that is more independent.
If your dog stays by your side all the time because of separation anxiety or because the dog has been abused in the past, then there are ways of helping the dog but it will take time.
Separation anxiety can be helped by gradually showing your dog that you will return each time you leave the house. You can reduce your dog’s anxiety by leaving the house on practice trips and returning immediately. Keep your emotions calm and relaxed. Don’t be excited or emotional when leaving or returning. Make sure that your dog has plenty of toys and other things to keep her occupied while you’re gone.
If your dog stays with you constantly because she has been abused at some point it will take time and patience to reassure it. Abused dogs do recover emotionally and can become wonderful pets but it takes time for them to put the past behind them. If you think that your dog’s emotional baggage is causing it more problems in the present than it can cope with, or if it is displaying behavior problems, talk to your vet. He may be able to make some good suggestions. If it has serious behavior problems you may need to talk to a good trainer to get help.
If your dog is a Velcro dog because it is shy and lacks confidence you can increase its confidence by doing some extra socialization. Go places with your dog. Take it out so the two of you can meet other people and dogs. Go to pet supply stores, dog parks, parks, and other places where dogs are welcome. With a little work your dog should start to come out of its shell and you will see the confidence increase. As it gains confidence it will probably leave your side a little more.
If you simply have a Velcro dog who loves to be near you and do things with you, that can be a wonderful thing if you have the kind of personality that likes a dog like that. Velcro dogs can be very sensitive and responsive. They generally learn fast because they want to please you. You will probably be the center of your dog’s world and that’s not such a bad thing.
Until next time……