If you have a “Velcro dog” – one that never wants to leave your side – you might want to consider professional training before his behaviors become any more established than they already are.
Although this behavior can seem sweet and endearing at first, it can quickly elevate to a neurotic behavioral nightmare.
Should you be concerned if your pet is overly clingy? And, if so, when should you reach out to a dog training professional for assistance?
Why Dogs Develop “Velcro” Behaviors
The reasons a dog becomes clingy can vary greatly. Breed traits automatically cause some types of dogs to be clingy by nature. Your actions can also encourage the Velcro phenomenon, if you habitually keep your pet with you at all times or provide reinforcement for the behavior.
Sometizes, however, during a dog’s fear imprint period, they can have a frightening experience that leads to an unusually strong, sometimes unhealthy, level of bonding with their human. This can also happen if your pet was not appropriately socialized with other dogs and people.
Why Clingy Dog Behaviors Can Be a Problem
The first concern if your pet becomes ultra-clingy is that something might be wrong. Start by visiting your veterinarian to rule out any physical cause of this behavior. Assuming Fido is healthy, it’s time to consider the possibility of a behavioral issue.
Even if you don’t object to your clingy pet, consider what happens if you want to go on vacation. Even leaving for work each day could cause your pet to experience separation anxiety. This, in turn, can lead to barking and destructive behaviors, potentially even causing your pet to harm himself as well as chewing your shoes, your furniture, your walls, etc.
Of course, not all Velcro dogs are (or become) problematic. If you can leave your pet alone without incident – for the day, the weekend or an extended vacation – the only reason to seek the assistance of a professional trainer is if this tendency causes problems for your household.
How Dog Training Can Help
The first step in addressing a cling pet is to determine the reason for it. The next step is to take action to reshape the dog’s behavior, especially if unwanted behaviors or separation anxiety are becoming a problem.
A professional dog trainer can work with you to determine the potential causes for this issue. Depending on what the problem might be, your trainer can recommend the best approach to overcoming your challenges.
One of the most effective ways to deal with a Velcro dog is to send Fido to dog training boot camp. This intensive program allows the trainer to work with your dog without distraction. After boot camp, your trainer will provide follow up and reinforcement, to help you continue to work on your pet’s behavioral challenges.
In Salt Lake City, Innovative K9 Academy offers dog training boot camps, puppy school, and a variety of group and individual training options. Contact us today to discuss your overly clingy Velcro dog.