It’s seven o’clock in the morning: you try to focus your bleary eyes while stumbling towards the bathroom. You almost fall flat on your face because the little doggie you share your house with is following you way too closely. But Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom?
Most cat or dog owners have faced some version or the other of the above scenario. Is this behavior normal, or does it indicate a kind of anxiety and stress? Read on to know more on: Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom?
Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom? Top 10 Reasons
Dogs follow their pet parents into the bathroom because you’re their leader, and they feel the need to protect you while you’re exposed. Sometimes, they’re simply intrigued by the little room you continually lock yourself up in.
Here are eight more reasons that may give you more insight into Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom?
1. Your Dog Loves Socializing
One of the most gratifying reasons to have a dog is that they follow you everywhere. Especially if you’ve had your dog since he was a puppy, he’s likely to see you as a parent or leader. This is known as imprinting: it means that your pooch will follow you everywhere you go.
2. Its The Pack Behavior
Following the basic Darwinian theory, dogs are not solitary creatures. They constantly look for companionship, it is in their genetics. Always being in a pack has taught them that ‘alone time’ is unnatural.
If you’re thinking that it’s awkward to pee in front of your dog, he’s thinking that his company strengthens your bond.
3. Your Dog Is Very Curious
As a pet owner, you might have noticed pups acquainting themselves by sniffing each other’s bottoms. Dogs rely on these smells to examine their fellow creatures. By following you to the bathroom, your pooch is getting to know you better–– by trying to inspect your leavings.
This curiosity may also help explain why dogs take a long time to find a place to poop. Dogs can recognize different animals’ territory by where they choose to relieve themselves. Dogs will sniff around and choose to mark their territory by depositing their own scent where they think is shrewd and safest.
4. Your Dog Wants Protection
If you’re the alpha leader of the pack, your dog is the protector. Most animals feel their most vulnerable and exposed when they’re relieving themselves. Your dog recognizes this, and, having gathered what you do in the bathroom, worries for you.
By following you to the bathroom, they probably believe that they’re standing guard for you in your moment of weakness or exposure. You might have even noticed your pup making eye contact with you from his litter box while he poops.
This time, your pooch is looking to you for protection in his moment of vulnerability.
5. Separation Anxiety
Some dogs become anxious when their pet owners are absent for a long time. Separation anxiety can lead to behavioral problems in dogs, including shadowing. That said, behavioral problem diagnoses are best left to a professional veterinarian or canine psychologist.
It’s probably easing your furry friend’s anxiety and stress to follow you into the bathroom and be close to your scent. A dog’s anxiety is characterized by excessive barking, nose licking, and shadowing.
6. Your Dog Likes Your Company
You are likely your dog’s favorite person. Your pet dog might be following you on your bathroom breaks simply because they’re full of affection for their pack leader. Dogs are pack animals so their instinct is to always prefer being in the company of their pack or pack leader.
If that means following you into the bathroom, your pooch will sit by you while you go to the bathroom.
7. Traits Of Certain Breeds
Some dog breeds tend to shadow their owners more than others. The domesticated animal instinct dictates that they show loyalty and comradeship towards their pet parents. This commitment may manifest as your pooch nonchalantly following you into your bathroom.
The Doberman Pinscher is often described as an overly clingy dog, even earning the title ‘velcro dog’ for their devotion to pet owners. Border Collie is a domesticated dog bred as a cattle dog. These dogs’ instinct is to please their owners in return for their herding services.
Because they’re used to lots of mental and physical stimulation, a lack of activity or playtime can make breeds like Border Collies prone to separation anxiety and behavioral problems. Such dog breeds are more likely to follow you everywhere, even into the bathroom.
8. Your Dog Wants Attention
Many dogs become clingy when they learn that following their pet parents around is behavior that gets them rewarded–– with treats, pets, a puzzle toy, belly rubs, or just your attention.
A dog lover can hardly resist those puppy dog eyes that your furry friend makes when you look at them. Many pet parents inadvertently positively reinforce the following behavior by petting them or verbally praising them.
If following you around has rewarded them in the past, it is a kind of positive reinforcement, and they’re likely to perform this shadowing behavior more often.
9. Your Dog Doesn’t Want To Be Alone
All of us have best friends, without whom you might feel all alone. The same goes for your dear dog. For your furry friend, you are his best friend.
Your dog doesn’t like it when you leave him alone, even for few minutes to use the bathroom. Hence, expect your furry best friend to follow you to the bathroom!
10. Your Dog Is Sniffing All Kinds Of Smell
Coming from a personal experience, my dog loves to sniff around all the shampoo bottles and my conditioners! Maybe he thinks, I can use the same shampoo to bathe him too!
And, to my dismay, he even likes smelling the garbage. But, aren’t dogs always curious about the smell? So, yes, smelling your entire bathroom and all of your products is one of the possible reasons for your dog following you to the bathroom.
Should I Let My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?
You’ll likely have to accept your dog following you to the bathroom, or, at the very least, wait for you at the door while you finish up. Your dog believes he’s providing you protection and companionship. For dogs, it’s a symbiotic relationship: you provide the leadership, they provide the protection.
For younger or traumatized dogs, knowing where their pet parents are can put them at ease. If you like to be left alone in the bathroom, you can easily train the natural instinct out of your pup.
How Can You Stop Your Dog From Following You To The Bathroom?
If you find your dog at your heels before you enter the bathroom, say ‘no’ to him and leave a tasty treat or a beloved toy a few feet from the door. The treat will distract your pooch while you finish up in the bathroom.
By the time you’re out, your dog will have learned that staying out of the bathroom gets him rewarded.
Eventually, the verbal cue ‘no’ will suffice. You can use a clicker to provide the cue and mark the desired behavior. Your dog will stop following you to the bathroom.
Many dog owners find it difficult to train the shadowing behavior out of their pet dog. You can try leash training by commanding your dog to sit and putting him on a leash before you go on a bathroom break and reward him after you’re out.
It’s essential to find what rewards your dog will respond most to so your training is most effective. Verbal praise or affectionate petting works wonderfully with some; others respond best to tasty treats.
Can A Dog Be Too Attached To Its Owner?
A dog can be too attached to its owner. Especially if you’ve had your puppy since he was less than twelve weeks, he’s bound to look up to you as a parent and leader/protector.
While many pet parents condone this behavior, find it endearing, and often encourage it, excessive attachment can actually prove harmful in the long run.
The strong desire to be attached to their owners can lead to a dysfunctional hyper attachment that leaves them extremely stressed, or prone to aggression if they’re feeling possessive. You can learn how to manage your dog’s excessive clinginess here.
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me When I Poop?
When your dog stares at you while you poop, he thinks he’s protecting you. Many animals feel most vulnerable and weak when they are relieving themselves.
Most dogs naturally look up to their pet parent as their leader. Because of this pack mentality and animal instinct, your dog feels the need to stand guard and protect you in your moment of exposure. Prolonged eye contact or staring is your pup’s way of saying “We’re in this together!”
Do Dogs Know When You Are Pooping Or Peeing?
Dogs are highly intuitive creatures who can very likely deduce when you’re pooping or peeing. While there is little research into if dogs really understand what you’re doing in the bathroom, many agree that dogs eventually have a fair interpretation of your time inside the bathroom.
FAQs on Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom?
1. Why Does My Dog Follow Me Around And Not My Husband?
Many pet dogs consciously or unconsciously choose their pack leader. Your dog will follow you around to protect and provide companionship if he looks up to you as the leader.
Lots of dogs also have a ‘favorite human’, and you might be your dog’s favorite. Such dogs are often referred to as ‘velcro dogs’ because of their seemingly permanent attachment to your side.
2. Why Do Dogs Lay In The Bathroom?
Some dogs lay in the bathroom because their owners have been in there and they want to feel close to you or your scent. This behavior, like stealing your spot on the bed, could be a sign of separation anxiety.
It is a dog’s instinct to find a cool, enclosed spot to rest or sleep. They might be lying in the bathroom simply because it’s less noisy there!
Dogs perceive smells in ways very different from us. Perhaps the odors of the bathroom intrigue them and make them want to go sniffing around corners and the bins.
3. Why Do Dogs Like To Sit In Doorways?
If your dog has taken to sitting in the doorway, it may be because of several different reasons, such as:
- Separation anxiety
- Lack of stimulation
- Establishing dominance
If your dog is sitting in the doorway waiting for you to be home after work, the behavior may indicate separation anxiety. The doorway might be the last place he saw before you left, so staying close to that spot relieves his anxiety and communicates that he feels your absence deeply.
So a simple explanation to Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom? is a well-intentioned display of pack mentality and companionship. This behavior may be funny and awkward if you’re relatively new to the experience, but many pet owners gradually become endeared to it and find it gratifying.
That said, you might like your privacy during your bathroom breaks. Many pet parents don’t want to hear the soft tap-tap-tap of their pet dog’s nails on the bathroom tiles and prefer to be left alone at seven o’clock in the morning!