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A Velcro dog or a dog that is too clingy can be quite a handful to deal with. Dogs like this don’t like to leave their owner’s side at all and might get restless when a separation is forced. While this type of clingy behavior is difficult for the owner to deal with, there are reasons why dogs behave this way.By understanding your dog better and figuring out the reason the dog is so clingy you can help change the behavior. Here are five tips to help you understand clingy behavior better and the best way to deal with it:
- The breed: Certain dogs are clingy by nature because of their breed. Small dogs like Pomeranians and lap dogs feel more secure when close to their owners and tend to get clingy. Breeds like German Shepherds and Australian cattle dogs also become clingy because of their selective breeding to work closely with their owners.
- Sick or old dogs: When dogs become sick or old they become clingier. Sick dogs who are in pain or don’t feel good feel comforted when close to their owners. Similarly, as dogs get older and start losing their hearing and sight they need to be around someone familiar.
- Stressed dogs: Dogs who have recently been through a traumatic experience like the loss of a family member or shifting homes become more clingy because their sense of security has been shaken. These dogs no longer feel safe in their environment so stick close to their owner to help calm their nerves.
- Separation anxiety: Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety are clingy by nature. Separation anxiety is a more extreme form of clinginess and is characterized by certain behaviors when the dog is separated from their owner. These behaviors include crying and howling when left alone, chewing of furniture and other household objects, urinating or passing motions in the house, and extreme restlessness with pacing and panting.
- Dealing with a Velcro dog: The first thing that needs to be done is to identify what triggers the dog’s clinginess. Once you know the cause you can find ways to change the behaviors. Dogs who are clingy by breed can be trained to not be so clingy by desensitizing them to certain triggers like you leaving the room or putting on your shoes to go out. By repeating these triggers without the actual outcome of you leaving will help the dog to stop reacting to them.Sick dogs should return back to their usual non-clingy selves once they are back in good health. Old dogs, however, will probably need you around more often than before.Dogs that are stressed or suffer from separation anxiety will most likely need professional help. Consult your vet for recommendations of a good animal psychologist who can help.