Me and my shadow

My clients have often commented about their dogs following them. Some just tell me about the constant following, some laugh about how clingy their dogs are and some complain. "This constant following is driving me crazy." You are not alone with your shadow, this is a common and normal behavior.

If you are ike many canine guardians you have a constant shadow or two, maybe even a whole pile of shadows following you around your home on a daily basis. I have three, two constant and one occasionally. Dogs follow, its what they do and it is a good thing that they follow. Yes some dogs can have following problems which can lead to separation anxiety but for the most it is a normal pack behavior.

Where you go, your pack goes. To watch this very normal canine behavior just turn on a documentary on wolf behavior. The pack leader will lead the pack to a nice resting spot, once the leader chooses a nice comfy spot and lays down the rest of the pack does the same. Then as the pack leader rises, stretches and yawns so does the rest of the pack right on cue. Waiting patiently the pack watches the leader for the next move.

Following is a pack activity and most dogs do it. Some dogs are very independent and just sort of keep their eye on you. And then at the other end of the spectrum are the dogs that need to touch you constantly, hmmmmmm not mentioning any breeds.............goldens. And again we humans can turn a normal following behavior into an issue if we constantly dish out non stop attention for this following behavior.

Following in the home should be just that and not an attention seeking or receiving behavior. Of course you can dish out attention for following outside of the home, that is a great behavior that we definitely want to reward but don't go overboard. You want your dog to be confident and well adjusted knowing that they can venture away a short distance and you'll still be there. A dog that is panic stricken by a split second separation is very difficult to live or deal with.

So when your dog follows you around think of yourself as the leader of the pack.

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