What Is A Velcro Dog?Jan 20, 2024
Understanding Velcro Dogs
Have you ever had a dog that never leaves your side, a hairy shadow that follows you everywhere, from the kitchen to the bathroom and back again?
If so, you might have a 'Velcro dog'. This term is inspired by the famous stick-and-peel fastening material, Velcro, and I use it to describe dogs that are super clingy with their owners.
You ever get the feeling your dog doesn’t understand the concept of personal space?
So, why do some dogs act like this? Some breeds are hardwired to be close to their human companions, bred to work alongside humans, like herding or hunting dogs, so sticking close feels natural to them.
On the other hand, there are the lapdogs, breeds raised to be cuddly companions. For them, being close to you isn't just nice; it's what they were born, and often encouraged to do! And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, we all love our dogs. We call it our 'Coorie' time at home.
But it’s not always about breed, sometimes, it's more about personality or experiences. As an example, a rescue dog might become overly attached to their new companion because they're just so grateful to have a loving home.
Or some dogs may stay close because they're anxious or scared in certain situations.
This is where things can get tough and often heartbreaking because while it's lovely to have a dog that loves you so much, it can be hard for them (and you) if they get too stressed when you're not around.
If the behaviour becomes a behavioural issue then it’s important to realise that dealing with a ‘Velcro dog’ will take patience and understanding. Never tell them off for simply loving you too much. We want to gently teach them that it's okay to be on their own sometimes. This can mean slowly getting them used to being alone, short breaks away from you with lots of positive associations. Remember too that exercise and mental stimulation can work wonders as a tired dog is a happy dog. If they're busy and content, they might not feel the need to follow you everywhere.
If you have a Velcro dog, enjoy it, it’s a lovely feeling, but also remember to help them find confidence to be left on their own.
With a bit of training and a lot of understanding, you can have a relationship where your dog feels secure, whether you're there or not.