If you’ve had your Pug for a while, you may have noticed that they follow you to the bathroom, bedroom, and etc. In fact, they never leave your side. Today, we’re going to take a look at “why do Pugs follow you everywhere” and what causes this behavior.
Why Do Pugs Follow You Everywhere?
Pugs are one of the breeds that are referred to as “velcro dogs”. This breed loves their humans so much, that they want to be around their people all the time. It’s NOT unusual for this breed to bond to one person.
Dogs by nature are social creatures and they were made to live in packs.
This behavior can be cute, but it can also get annoying, especially, when you start tripping over them. In fact, this behavior can be dangerous for elderly people and has resulted in emergency room visits on several occasions.
Regardless of how you feel about this shadow-like behavior, you should have a complete understanding of why your pup does this and when you should start worrying about it.
Here are some of the common reasons that dogs cling to you and follow you around everywhere.
10 Reasons Your Pug Follows You Everywhere
Pugs are predisposed to follow their owners around more than other breeds. This breed originated in China and was bred to be companion dogs for the wealthy.
It’s a DNA imprint in their genes to follow their people around everywhere.
This small breed loves and craves human attention and was originally bred to be a lap dog. They thrive on human companionship and will be much happier when they can be around you.
Dogs are social creatures and are strongly motivated in our presence than when they are left all alone.
Motivated By Food
All dogs including Pugs are highly motivated by food, and they know that you feed them. You may notice that your Pug follows you everywhere when it’s time for them to eat.
My Pug used to follow me everywhere every evening when she knew that it was time to eat. I was always amazed at how she knew it was time to eat, even though she couldn’t tell time.
Some dogs will follow you around if they see you eating something. Their hope is that you will drop something and they will be able to lick it up off the floor.
Pugs are prone to separation anxiety when people leave them alone. The worst thing you can do when you leave your Pug is to make a big deal about leaving them alone.
Instead, just follow your normal routine and when you leave, don’t make a big deal about leaving the house, or when you return.
Doing so will just cause your Pug to become more stressed every time they see you leave.
I know that it’s exciting to see your dog get upset when you leave and get excited when you return. However, this behavior can eventually turn into canine separation anxiety.
Maybe you have taken your Pug for a walk every day for the past month. Through this daily training, you’ve bonded with your dog and it has created a positive association with your pooch.
They may be following you because they know that you both have spent quality time together at that time, and they are wondering when you’re going to do it again.
Imprinting happens with many different animal species, including puppies. When a puppy imprints on a human, it is because they trust that person to feed, bathe, and take care of them.
They completely trust that individual and will follow them around because they consider them their parents. This imprinting behavior usually occurs on puppies between the ages of 3 to 12 weeks old but can last throughout their lifetime.
Some Pug owners do not give their dog enough daily physical and mental exercise. If your dog is bored, they may follow you around hoping that they will get some attention from you.
If you haven’t walked or played with your Pug in a while, you can try giving them a chew toy to see if he’s bored. If she plays with it, there’s a good chance that she was bored.
Like children, dogs are curious about everything, especially, when they are young. It’s not unusual for a Pug to follow you around when you’re doing something they’ve never seen you do before.
I still remember the day that I was putting my new stand up Ikea desk and Mindy followed me everywhere and wanted to sniff everything.
She used to do this all the time whenever we brought groceries home and started unpacking them.
Pugs are a part of the family and don’t want to miss out on anything exciting.
If you notice that your Pug is suddenly glued to your side and it’s not normal behavior, there’s a good chance that they need something. Maybe they need to go outside and potty, or may not feel well.
Many dogs will stick like glue to their owners if they are not feeling well or need help with something.
You should try taking your Pug outside to see if she needs to go potty.
You’re Encouraging The Behavior
Maybe you think it’s cute whenever your Pug follows you everywhere, so you stop and give them attention by petting them or encouraging the behavior.
They will continue this behavior because they have realized that whenever they follow you, they get rewarded.
Instead, you should try giving them a toy to play with in another room, so your four-legged friend can learn how to be independent as well.
Does Following You Around Benefit Your Pug?
You may have asked yourself, does your dog actually get anything out of following you around the house? According to Mary Burch, Ph.D., a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, “The animal/human bond works both ways.”
When a dog follows their owner around, they are reinforced with food, companionship, petting, and fun activities.
It also gives your dog the opportunity to understand your body language, voice tone, and gestures. You may have noticed your Pug staring at your every movement while they are laying on their bed.
They are silently watching you see if they can understand what you’re saying or if you’re trying to communicate with them.
This helps them pick up on clues and they’ll learn how to anticipate when you’re going to take them for a drive, walk around the block, or if you’re leaving the house.
Does It Benefit You In Any Way?
Yes, it does, it makes us feel loved and less lonely. Having your pooch by your side makes you feel wanted and helps improve your overall mood.
Dogs provide unconditional love and can make you feel great when you’re feeling sad, or just having an overall bad day.
Several studies have shown that interactions such as petting a dog for 15 minutes can help lower blood pressure. Canines have been known to help reduce anxiety, and improve the overall health of people.
There’s nothing wrong with having your dog follow you around, as long as it doesn’t become unhealthy for either of you.
Of course, troubling behaviors will look different for everyone, but here are some signs that it is time to start changing your dog’s behavior.
How To Tell When This Behavior Has Become Unhealthy
As I mentioned it is completely normal for Pugs to follow their favorite person around everywhere. Most pet owners won’t have to worry.
However, there’s a huge difference between a dog who loves being around you and one that is struggling with separation anxiety. Clingy dogs love being around you, but dogs with separation anxiety feel anxious when you’re gone.
Dogs that suffer from anxiety may spend the day barking, howling, whining, destructive behavior, and even trying to escape whenever they are left alone.
If your Pug struggles with anxiety, you may want to consider leaving a TV or calming music on whenever you leave the house. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to hire a dog trainer.
How To Stop Your Dog From Following You Everywhere
Are you looking for some ways to add some space between you and your dog? Here are some tips that may help you out:
Exercise: Spend more time playing, walking and exerting your dog’s energy. A dog that is too tired won’t follow you around, as they would rather spend time sleeping on their bed.
Toys: Leave an interactive toy to divert your dog’s attention while you do things around the house.
Less Attention: Pugs crave attention and the best way to get them to stop following you is to give them less attention. It may seem insensitive and cruel, but only give them attention when they are NOT stuck to you like glue.
Note: You have a velcro dog, and it is going to take a while to break your dog’s habit, especially, if you’ve encouraged the behavior in the past.
However, with consistent training, your Pug will learn how to become more independent.
Final Word On My Pug Follows Me Everywhere
As I mentioned, Pugs are velcro dogs and they are wired to follow their owners around, especially, once they bond with you.
Make sure you give your Pug plenty of daily exercise and start rewarding them for independent behaviors, so they can learn how to become more independent.
This will make your adorable Pug more independent but will still want to cuddle and sit on your lap when you call them.
Trust me, you’ll both be happier when your dog has an independent streak and you’re no longer tripping over them when you turn around!
References And Further Reading
PubMed – Ross HE, Young L.J. – Oxytocin And The Neural Mechanisms Regulating Social Cognition And Affiliate Behavior
ProQuest – Luptak, Jane E; Nuzzo, Nancy A. – The Effects Of Small Dogs On Vital Signs In Elderly Women: A Pilot Study