Why Is My Dog So Clingy?

If you are a dog owner, you might start questioning why your dog is always following you and why it never leaves your side. You might not understand why your dog’s attention is always focused instead of everything else.

To answer your question, that is what veterinarians call the velcro dog, and every dog owner needs to know what that means and if they should be worried about their “velcro dogs.” 

Are dogs being clingy? Know why

What are Velcro Dogs?

If your dog is always following you around, seeking your attention, never leaving your side, and is always clingy, you may have a velcro dog since clingy dogs are referred to as velcro dogs, being named after the velcro, which is a fitting name since your dog is very much attached to you. Even though clingy behavior can be nice sometimes, it can be frustrating when your dog doesn’t leave you alone. 

Factors That Affect Clingy Behaviour In Dogs

Multiple factors affect clingy behavior in dogs. The reasons can be learned dog behavior, their age if they are mentally affected, or if they are abandoned or abused by their previous owner.

Clingy behavior in dogs can stem from various factors, and it can be easily identified and rectified by the right preventive measures. To a dog owner’s surprise, even a dog’s breed can decide how clingy a dog can be. 

Health issues

When your dog is feeling vulnerable physically and mentally, they start feeling more secure if they are around you more often. According to research, clinginess can be found commonly in senior dogs who are going through loss of hearing or vision.

When your dog’s world is becoming more and more confusing and blurry, they will start staying near you often as a source of closeness and comfort. 


Whenever your furry friend is exposed to unfamiliar surroundings and if there is a change of routine, they will start feeling anxious, and at times like this, they will be clingy around you, which is their way of seeking stability.

Dogs can pick up their owner’s emotions easily, and hence whenever you are anxious or stressed, they will also start feeling the same way, but they will follow you, hoping for a solution. 

Why Is My Dog So Clingy?

Common Reasons Why Some Dogs Can Be Very Clingy

  • There are a variety of reasons why your dog can be clingy all the time. 
  • Clinginess in dogs is a learned behavior, and dogs learn this behavior from humans and by the way they interact with them. 
  • When your dog is physically or mentally ill, they become more clingy to get reassurance and comfort.
  • Dogs become clingy when they are anxious or stressed. 
  • The breed of the dog also determines if your dog is very clingy. 
  • Separation anxiety is one of the core reasons why your dog might be clingy.
  • Other reasons include lack of socialization, lack of stimulation, and lack of exercise.

Bad Habits

Some dogs learn clinginess or pick up the behavior from somewhere, and it will simply be a bad habit that they need to unlearn sooner or after. Because when some dogs are treated with kisses and cuddles for their clinginess, why would they want to change that? Dogs can also become very clingy if they are not properly socialized and if you start taking them everywhere. 


This can be commonly found in young, impressionable puppies since they are always eager to learn, and their curiosity gets them easily. When they want to learn something from you, they will start following you around, even if you get up to get a glass of water. They make sure they don’t miss out on any potential fun. 

Type Of Breed

In simple words, some dogs are clingier than others because of their breed. For example, labradors are particularly clingy. While some dogs are born clingy, some are trained to be clingy, like working dogs, which must be very dependent on their owner for various reasons. Other clingy breeds of dogs include Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas and much more. 

Help Them Desensitize

There are reasons to believe that dogs associate with different behaviors in different ways. For instance, if they see you putting on your shoes and grabbing your keys, according to them, it means that you are leaving them alone. You can try desensitizing these actions to make sure the reaction from your dog is normal. For that, try doing the action without the appropriate consequence in the end. 

Reasons Why Your Velcro Dog Won’t Leave Your Side

  • The primary reason, according to many veterinarians, why a dog is very clingy is because their owners encourage them to be so. 
  • When a dog owner constantly keeps giving the dog treats and praises every time the dog approaches, it could make the dog take that as a signal and approach you more. 
  • The more a dog owner awards the dog with treats and attention, the more clingy it will become. 
  • Letting the dog sleep on your bed with you can also increase dependency, and this will make them want to be near you all the time.
  • Since past traumas can be a very probable reason for the dog to become a Velcro dog, rescue dogs are more prone to become clingy than the other normally adopted dogs.
  • Older dogs also can become clingy when they start losing their sight and hearing as days pass by, and since they are bored, they tend to follow you around.
  • Hence, dogs can be born clingy, but some are encouraged to be clingy. 

Increasing Excercise

When you increase the amount of exercise, you provide your dog, it will tire them so that they will not have enough energy to follow you around everywhere. If you cannot offer your dog walks, you can always try investing in a toy, which will help them stay distracted. But, it is important to supervise your dog while they are playing with any kind of toy.

Increasing Simulation

There are many ways to increase mental stimulation in dogs. Interactive toys are a great option to keep dogs mentally stimulated, and this will also help in encouraging independence. Mental simulation can be done by teaching your dog tricks like rolling over and bowing, and you can even set up an obstacle course, which will make them use their head to have fun. 

Methods To Make Your Dog Become Less Clingy

  • Try increasing exercise for your dog since physical activity can help dogs become tired, and they won’t have the energy to follow you around after. 
  • Just like a dog needs physical exercises, make sure that you simulate their mind and provide them with mental exercises. There are interactive toys that can simulate and encourage your dog. 
  • Providing your dog with a special space will help them focus on something else other than you. 
  • Train your dog to go to the special space when they are following you around, and you can award them when they obey you.
  • You can also try desensitizing your dog to your movements. Some dogs are associated with certain movements, and you can try normalizing these events. 
  • There are certain ways to help clingy senior dogs and puppies since they have to be handled with more care than other adult dogs. 
  • You can always talk to your vet and make sure you address any underlying issues in your dog.

Providing Them With A Safe Space

Every dog needs a safe space to which he can retreat, and for many dogs, their crate can be a safe space, but sometimes, some dog owners strive forward to create that safe space for their dog. It is also helpful to make sure your dog has a separate space in your house. You can try setting up a bed for your dog, with all his favorite dog toys piled up, which will keep them entertained. 

Do Velcro Dogs Pose As A Safety Risk?

When you have a dog that constantly keeps following you everywhere, including the bedroom and the bathroom, there is a high probability that it could be a tripping hazard for the owner, and the dog could be at risk of injury. They are also the ones who have a greater chance of experiencing separation anxiety if they are constantly left alone by their pet parents. 


Dogs can become velcro dogs clingy for multiple reasons. Even the tiniest factor can make a great change, ranging from their breed to changes in their surroundings. Once you know the reason for your dog’s clinginess, you can try to take action for it, and you can try helping them overcome their clinginess. It is always advised to take advice from a vet in these cases. 


What is meant by a velcro dog?

An overly clingy dog is generally described as a velcro dog. If you have a dog that never leaves your side, is constantly clingy, and follows you wherever you go, then you have a velcro dog.

What are the breeds that commonly become Velcro dogs?

There are certain breeds of dogs that are born clingy. Some of the breeds include German Shepard, Doberman Pinscher, Maltese, Pug, Italian Greyhound, Great Dane, Dachshund, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, and many others. 

Is Velcro dog behavior similar to separation anxiety?

While many people think they are the same, there is a slight difference between a velcro dog and a dog with separation anxiety. While a velcro dog will always want to be by their owner’s side, a dog with separation anxiety will start panicking and experience emotional distress whenever their owner is moving away from them. 

What makes your dog a Velcro dog?

Many factors determine whether your dog is a velcro dog or not, and some of the factors that influence the fact include the display of affection, ownership, stress, anxiety, breed, attention, security, dominance, and much more. 

How can I make my dog less clingy?

Dogs thrive well in firm environments with consistent boundaries, and hence it is important to lead them to the right path. If you are the owner of a Velcro dog that doesn’t have separation anxiety, then there are many ways to train them and reduce their clinginess by reinforcing rules. 

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