For quite some time I have thought that my Rottweiler was obsessed with me and my partner too… and you know what?
Sometimes we just worry too much and what we may perceive as a supposed obsession turns out to be nothing more than harmless affection.
That being said, once the fine line between affection and obsession is crossed, you will usually notice serious behavior problems.
While some articles discuss the superficial reasons for your dog’s obsession, I’ll try to shed more light on the scientific side (all the studies are linked below) and how you can avoid these behavioral issues.
You might be tempted to put off training your dog so that he really enjoys being alone once in a while, but that will come at a price sooner or later.
Serious behavior problems are not only uncomfortable for your dog, but can also cost you a lot of money to get rid of.
In addition, obsession problems seriously affect your social life and that of your dog.
Let’s go over what it means when your dog is obsessed with you, how you can spot the specific signs, and how to get rid of the root cause.
What does it mean when your dog is obsessed with you?
Your dog is obsessed with you due to lack of exercise or food, behavioral issues like separation anxiety, external changes (new house, pregnancy, period), or just positive reinforcement if you have a velcro dog.
Of course, your first point should be to check that your dog has the correct amount of food, an overall healthy diet, as well as a feeding schedule.
Just because you’re feeding your dog doesn’t necessarily mean the diet is balanced.
Personally, I eat a raw diet. Food can also be the reason why your dog becomes clingier at certain times.
My Rottweiler waits for his food in the morning and sometimes at night, and that’s when the intense, stalking stares can start.
Lack of exercise is also a common problem, so be sure to exercise your dog properly. Boredom can make your dog obsessed with you because he has nothing else to do.
Tired dogs are good dogs, remember that.
The exercise also extends to our next problem, which is separation anxiety.
I have a comprehensive, easy-to-follow separation anxiety guide if you’re afraid your dog might suffer from this.
Address this problem as soon as possible, as it can lead to destructive behavior in the future (we’ll discuss other signs your dog might display below).
Another very likely possibility is simple positive reinforcement.
If your dog is obsessed with you because of positive reinforcement, that just means that you have rewarded him in the past for being around and following you around.
A healthy bond where your dog wants to be with you is totally fine, and in fact, we want to implant this in our dogs’ minds when we train them off leash.
However, once your dog can no longer be alone or experiences any of the signs below, you need to take action.
Last but not least, there are a couple of surprising reasons for your dog’s obsession, especially if the behavior change occurred suddenly.
Why is my dog so obsessed with me all of a sudden?
If your dog suddenly becomes obsessed with you, it’s likely due to external changes, such as a move, pregnancy, or menstruation, or changes in the home, such as a sick pet or family member, or a new pet.
Yes, all these reasons can be the main cause of your dog suddenly acting clingy and never leaving your side.
However, it is important to be aware of medical issues and to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian if you are unsure of an unexpected behavior change.
So let’s take a look at all the possible causes.
Moving house can be very stressful for some dogs and it is definitely possible that your dog will try to bond more with you in a completely new environment.
Why should your dog be obsessed with you because of the pregnancy or the period?
While science hasn’t yet figured out everything about a dog’s sense of smell (for example, how it detects certain diseases), it’s clear that dogs smell these changes.
The same as being in an unfamiliar environment.
Your dog may be obsessed with you because he recently lost his furry best friend or because someone recently left or was added to your household.
If you brought home a rescue dog, your dog will most likely claim the number one spot and slowly have to get used to the new situation.
Keep in mind that the same is true in reverse: rescue dogs often go through various stages of fear.
Signs that my dog is obsessed with me
Signs that your dog is obsessed with you include never leaving your side, generally being alert where you’re going, and often barking, whining, or destructive behavior when you’re gone for a short period of time.
If you’ve noticed a recent change in your dog’s behavior, that’s a sign that something has changed that has caused your dog to be obsessed with you.
However, not every kind of affection is necessarily an obsession.
My Rottweiler follows me around every room in the house, is always relatively close when out and about, and yet has absolutely no problem with separation anxiety.
If your dog stays close to you all the time, but can actually stay alone without any problems or stress, then this is a good sign.
There’s a term for people who are prone to being clingy: Velcro dogs.
Dog breeds definitely have these predispositions and how you raise them as puppies can determine whether their independence will increase or decrease.
How can I stop my dog from being so obsessed with me?
In order for your dog to stop being so obsessed with you, it is essential to make him enjoy his time alone through positive reinforcement, avoid following you everywhere and not reward clingy behavior.
Separation anxiety is a big element when it comes to a dog’s obsession with people, as many of them have trouble being left alone.
Exercise your dog before you leave, make sure he gets a potty break and isn’t hungry, and provide him with toys and you’re off to a good start.
Over time, you want to increase the time you spend alone, but you only take small steps.
A couple of seconds, a minute, five minutes, ten minutes, and so on.
Never set your dog up for failure.
While you want to encourage them to enjoy their time, it’s equally important not to reward clingy behavior.
Rewarding obsessive behavior means letting them follow you around, running right up to them because they whine when you leave them alone, or allowing them to be on your lap or in your face all the time.
Why is my dog obsessed with my hands?
Dogs are often obsessed with their hands or face as these are the main points of interaction and their hands provide food, play, pets and can be recognized as the equivalent of dogs paws.
My Rottweiler is definitely in human hands.
While some dogs will jump up and generally try to lick your face, I always thought it was interesting that my dog prefers hands so strongly.
She will literally go after your hands if you pet her, asking for more.
A good way to resolve this is to simply move your hands away and reward your dog for calm behavior.
Don’t make it a game of tag and don’t reward your dog for licking your hands if you don’t want to encourage that behavior in the future.
My friend’s dog is obsessed with me
If your friend’s dog is obsessed with you, it could be because you play with him, give off positive vibes, or maybe he loves your smell.
Yes, dogs learn by association.
Anytime you’re at your friend’s house and you interact with the dog, talk to him in a happy voice or if the owner is genuinely happy to see you, that can create a positive association.
The dog will remember that you are there equals a fun time.
Sometimes it’s quite simple and the dog just likes you to play with him or they just love your smell.
Having pets of your own can practically act like a dog magnet.
My dog is obsessed with being petted
If your dog is obsessed with being petted, that’s a sign of a strong bond and we should all dedicate time each day just to our dogs.
If you think the need to be petted is a bit excessive, try redirecting him to games, mind games, or whatever else you have on hand.
However, as long as it’s not neurotic behavior, being obsessed with pets shouldn’t hurt anyone.
If your dog is boisterous around strangers and has a strong need for pets, you can try to tone down that excitement through training and plenty of exercise.
Some dogs even growl when petted and that’s not necessarily a bad sign either.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for veterinary care and is not intended to be. I am not a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any signs of illness, call your vet.
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