I recently adopted a German shepherd dog from my neighbor who was travelling to Northern America for heart surgery.
The last couple of days, my German shepherd dog has been following me everywhere. That’s not even the worst part. It’s crazy to see him follow me to the restroom. This got me curious, below is research I did to understand this behavior.
Why Does My German Shepherd Follow Me Everywhere?
Your German shepherd follows you everywhere because he wants to keep you safe, is anxious, emotionally attached to you, or is a Velcro dog. German shepherds picks one favorite person in the family and gets attached to them. Your German shepherd is clingy because he wants to be loyal as he safeguards you.
There is no cause for alarm because your German shepherd is following you everywhere. You only need to ascertain why he is following you, just in case there could be other health concerns.
Why Does My German Shepherd Follow Me Everywhere?
You’re His Caregiver
German shepherds begin to learn at the age of one month. It’s at this time he learns who lives with him. It can be other puppies in the litter or the mother.
If you spend more time socializing with him at this stage, your puppy considers you to be his mother. It’s called imprinting.
Imprinting happens because your pup has learned more from you than his biological mother. It could be a proper use of a potty, eating, and exercising.
During the training session or the socializing time, a strong bond begins. It makes your German shepherd wants to follow you everywhere.
German shepherds hate being disregarded. Especially if you own other pets and he notices you’re giving more attention to the other pets, he will do everything to seek your attention.
Sometimes he might be getting bored for being inactive for so long. Remember; naturally, German shepherds are active breeds. If therefore, they’ve been inactive, they’ll seek your attention to the demand for sessions of exercise.
He is a Velcro Dog
A Velcro German shepherd dog is one that never wants to part with his owner. He’ll follow the owner everywhere regardless of distance.
Such a dog is trained to lie on his owner’s laps. Also, if you always work with your dog by your side, he is likely to become a Velcro dog. Also, a Velcro German shepherd dog hardly wants to sleep in a separate room. He wants to stay close to you and sleep by your side.
A German shepherd that is anxious when left alone may follow you everywhere. While separation anxiety is not difficult to handle, it can break your heart.
Unfortunately, it’s reported that more than 14 percent of dogs, including German shepherd, have mild to serious separation anxiety complications.
While it’s easy to confuse a Velcro German shepherd dog with an anxious one, there is a clear cut that clearly sets an anxious dog apart:
- Scratching anything he can get hold of
- Following you everywhere
- Extreme barking
- Excretion or urination
He Loves You
German shepherds have a special love for their owners or people who make their life better. They rarely want to part with such persons.
If therefore, your German shepherd is following you everywhere, it means you’re the person he loves most! Congrats!
He wants your companionship, hence follows you everywhere.
What To Do If your German Shepherd Follows You Everywhere
It’s clear that you’re uneasy because your German shepherd is following you everywhere. What should you do as you figure out how to stop the habit?
If this is something he is doing all the time, it has become a habit. A habit is a disease, right? It might, therefore, need time before he can fully stop it. While you offer the right training to stop the habit, be patient with him.
Don’t be Harsh
Punishing him every time he follows you only ruins your cordial relationship. Besides, he might become anxious and lose trust in you. Consequently, he ceases being loyal and often disobeys your commands.
So, be friendly while training him to stop following you everywhere.
It’s normal for a German shepherd to follow you everywhere. So, whenever you notice he is behind you or by your side everywhere you go, fret not.
Calmly use a command to send him back home or leash him next time before walking out. Treat him if he obeys your command so that he knows you’re more impressed when he stays home.
Seek Professional Help
Behavioral German shepherd trainers can figure out better than you can why your dog is following you everywhere. Especially if it is an adapted German shepherd whom you’ve no idea how he has been brought up. Or if you’re a first-time German shepherd dog owner.
From their findings, they’ll figure out how to stop the habit and train him not to follow you everywhere.
Avoid Dragging Yourself When Leaving
If you drag around before leaving the house, you’ll grab the attention of your German shepherd dog. Avoid hugging, kissing, and tapping your dog before leaving. That boosts the emotional connection that makes him want to go with you.
You’re better of ignoring him when it’s time to leave.
Keep Him Busy
Sometimes your buddy is just idle with nothing to do. How about you keep him busy by giving him chewy or other pet toys to use to do vigorous exercise?
Exercises distract his attention, and he may never know when you’re leaving. Moreover, once he gets exhausted, he just will sleep.
Make Him Know You’re In Command
Make your GSD know that you’re in command. Therefore, all your orders should be obeyed. Let him understand you mean what you say. Remember also he believes that he is your guardian, hence ensuring you’re safe all through.
Now, let him know you have the potential to protect yourself.
Giving him attention whenever he follows you reinforces the habit. So, ignore him as long as the attention he wants is not necessary.
Act as if you don’t know he is around. Whether he growls or clings to you, just don’t take it seriously.
Why Is My German Shepherd So Clingy?
If you’ve been walking with your dog everywhere because of the attachment you have, he’ll likely get so clingy.
On the other hand, German shepherd dogs love to stay around their owners to protect them. They believe it’s their role. This breed is also loving and friendly. Once they spot the person they so dearly love, they’ll cling tightly to them.
Kissing and tapping them only reinforces the behavior. If you don’t like it that way, setting boundaries through the use of commands could be helpful.
Why Does My German Shepherd Watch Me Everywhere?
He might be anxious that you’ll leave him alone, especially if you have a habit of leaving him for long. He, therefore, wants to keep an eye on you in the hope that you won’t leave him.
If you really can’t go with him, lifting the burden of anxiety off his shoulders would be ideal. So, get him a companion, another German shepherd dog.
Do German Shepherds Have a Favorite Person?
German shepherds will bold and relate well with nearly everyone in the family. Depending on the treatment they get from each member, they’ll bond more with a certain member of the family. Sometimes it’s not even about what they get from those members; it just happens to be their personal preference.
They’ll still be loyal and obedient to the rest of the members. But you’ll often see them wanting to follow their favorite person everywhere.
Don’t be amazed; their favorite person can even be a year-old baby!
What does this mean?
Do German Shepherds Get Attached To One Person?
Definitely, they do! When that happens, they watch over you everywhere. When you leave for work, they get bored or anxious and behave weirdly.
German shepherds bond better with you if you play with them, sleep beside them, treat them, bathe and spend more time with them.
It’s no surprise. Humans behave the same way.
Spending more time socializing with your German shepherd dog wins his heart towards you. As a result, he gets attached to you. Hence, he wants to follow you everywhere. That also means he offers you maximum protection.