Dogs have a pack mentality and will look to the alpha dog for guidance and support. Nowadays, most pet dogs aren’t living in packs, so they will see one of their owners as ‘the boss.’ This is one reason your dog may follow you around and not your husband, but there are several other reasons, such as separating anxiety.
It may simply mean that you’ve spent more time with your dog or that you’re the one with the treats. This article will answer the question, ‘Why does my dog follow me and not my husband?’
Reasons A Dog Could Follow You and Not Your Husband
1. Separation anxiety
Many dogs are clingy, and separation anxiety is more common in small breeds of dogs such as pugs and chihuahuas. It’s estimated that between fourteen and twenty percent of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. A dog’s anxiety can take many forms and may include digging, chewing, hiding, and following closely at the owner’s heels. Different dog breeds will have different symptoms.
Some dogs like to stay close to their owners but don’t show any other signs of distress or anxiety. They may just be very bonded to you and see you as ‘top dog.’ Sometimes clingy dogs are referred to as Velcro dogs as they like to follow you around. Breeds that are more likely to be clingy include Doberman, golden retrievers, and Greyhounds.
2. Your Personality
Your personality will also have a significant impact on your dog’s behavior. People who are outgoing and active are more likely to have a dog that’s the same way, and that’s less likely to suffer from separation anxiety. If you are generally energetic, friendly, and playful, and your husband is more reserved, your dog will likely follow you around.
3. Family Dynamics
In many families, it’s the husbands that seem more assertive. Perhaps your husband has used this assertiveness to demand respect from your dog or has disciplined the dog and caused fear in the past. Using harsh words or actions towards a puppy could have caused lasting fear and anxiety, which may have made your dog more likely to follow you.
Dogs also notice who gives them the most love and affection. It may be that you are the one who’s home for most of the day, so you tend to your pet’s needs. If you’re the one that usually feeds, grooms, and walks your dog, he’ll likely follow you more than your husband.
4. Your dogs past
Is your dog is a rescue dog that you got from the pound, from a bad home, or found wandering the streets? If so, your pet may remember that you saved or changed his life. Often rescue dogs are clingy and more likely to suffer from separation anxiety, especially if they have been abused or mistreated. Some dogs may be wary of men if they’ve been badly treated by a man in the past.
5. A Lack of Affection
Your dog may follow you around if he’s feeling lonely and isn’t getting enough affection. Sometimes owners are busy and don’t realize the needs of their pets; they don’t realize that their dog isn’t getting enough attention. Reassure your pet that he’s loved by giving him plenty of cuddles or playing a game of fetch.
Rescue dogs that have been previously abused sometimes crave affection and follow their owner around. Sometimes they are unsure how to receive affection and may become aggressive or have other behavioral difficulties.
As you can see, there are many reasons that your dog may be following you and not your husband. Some breeds of dog are more clingy and prone to separation anxiety. If this is becoming a problem, you may like to consult an animal behaviorist, who can suggest ways to calm your dog and train him to be less clingy.
Alternatively, it could be because your dog has bonded with you more. This is likely to be the case if you are your dog’s primary caregiver or if you’ve spent more time with the dog. Or it may be due to your personality, perhaps you seem more fun, and your dog always wants to be with you.
There is a simple solution if you want your dog to follow your husband instead, get him to put some treats in his pocket!
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