If you are lucky enough to own a rottweiler, then you’ve probably noticed an amusing, interesting phenomenon: the dog likes to follow you everywhere.
If you get up from the couch and head into the kitchen, the rottweiler will be hot on your heels. Go out for a drive, and, if, given the opportunity, the dog will come right to the car door.
Take a shower, and you’ll find your pup sitting outside the door waiting for you. Have you ever wondered why rottweilers engage in this behavior?
Why does my rottweiler follow me everywhere?
The truth is that it comes down to a mixture of typical canine behavior and the excessively social nature of rottweilers themselves.
The tendency to follow an owner around the house is not unique to rottweilers. Many breeds have been reported to engage in similar behavior.
Their reasons for doing this come from their genetic hard-wiring, as they act in ways they’ve adopted over generations to help them survive and thrive.
As the folks over at the American Kennel Club explain, dogs are pack animals by nature. In the absence of a group of canine cohorts, the people in their lives often become the leaders of the pack.
But while this pack mentality explains the clingy phenomenon in general terms, there is a lot more to it. According to PetMD, there are four main reasons why a dog trails its owners, all relating to its need to feel a valued part of the pack.
Imprinting, or the process by which a young animal comes to see a human as its “parent,” is often a reason for the following behavior.
Dogs are far from the only animals that do this, and the phenomenon has been observed in other species, from geese to turkeys.
In the case of canines, it usually happens between three and twelve weeks of age, meaning it is especially likely to take place if you get your dog while it is still quite young. That imprinting has occurred suggests that the dog has a great deal of trust in its owner.
Reinforcement is another reason your dog may follow you around. If you are the one to give the dog food and positive attention, then it associates you with what it most enjoys in this world.
Dogs are no dummies, and if they know you’re the source of a good thing, they know the sensible thing is to stick by your side.
In a less transactional sense, simple, touching companionship may also be compelling your dog to stick by your side.
Since their domestication, dogs have evolved to be naturally inclined toward seeking human companionship. It is not for nothing dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend.” This is no empty phrase, but an accurate representation of the way dogs relate to their owners.
Dogs feel a genuine bond to the people in their lives and want to spend as much time with them as possible.
The website for the Canidae pet food company suggests other reasons dogs may never leave their owners’ sides. One is simple curiosity.
Like human toddlers, dogs have a natural desire to see what is going on around them. This makes them follow you every which way, just to see what that two-legged buddy of theirs is up to.
Dogs are also keenly aware of when their owner is about to leave. They can pick up on little cues that suggest the norms of an owner’s daily schedule.
As you pack your briefcase or get your jacket from the closet, you might notice your dog sticking even closer than usual.
This is because they sense your impending departure and want as much companionship as possible for as long as they can get it.
Petspruce.com gives some expert information from a veterinarian who explains why dogs may suddenly start following their owners more than they had previously. One reason could be that the dog is stressed.
As carefree as a dog’s life might seem, canine stress is a very real phenomenon. Anything from abuse to noticeable tension in the household can cause a dog to feel uneasy.
When this happens, their first instinct may be to stick closer than ever to the human who promises them love and protection.
A break in routine can also cause a dog to get clingy. Even more so than humans, canines are creatures of habit.
If you have been taking your dog for a walk every afternoon and suddenly give it up, the dog is likely to become nervous and agitated. This, in turn, makes them more dependent on the affection of their owner.
Dogs often become clingier as they age. Their weakening faculties make them feel vulnerable, which drives them to seek protection at their owner’s side.
This is a perfectly understandable reaction. Wouldn’t you look for a protector if you were going deaf, lame, and blind
PetMD emphasizes that certain breeds tend to follow their owners around more than others. If a type of dog has been bred for centuries for human companionship, this, in turn, makes them more likely to be clingy.
It will come as no surprise to rottweiler owners that their breed of choice is known to be especially social. That is why your rotty sticks to you like a shadow.
The Rottweiler HQ website explains the history of the breed, and it is easy to understand why they have developed to be such loyal companions.
Rottweilers are the descendants of Roman drover dogs, which had a natural knack for herding and protecting livestock.
Their loyal and protective nature made them a favorite guard dog, especially for butchers who sought protection from thieves while traveling with their products.
One particular strand of drover dog was common among the butchers in the German town of Rottweil, from which the rottweiler got its name.
This history as a guard dog explains rottweilers’ modern-day temperament. They are fiercely loyal and protective and seek steadfast companionship with the humans in their “pack.”
This is what makes them such good guard dogs and police dogs to this day. It is also what makes them such a great household pet and accounts for that habit of following you around the home.
Rottweilers are also an exuberant breed that demands plenty of exercise. This means they are especially likely to get ancy if you break a normal walking routine, and they may hound you by walking a step behind your every movement.
This means you might want to consider returning to the old routine the dog was comfortable with.
In most cases, your rottweiler’s attachment is not a problem. It is often a good thing. Your dog uses all that time at your side to learn more about your personality and tendencies, thereby strengthening your relationship.
As veterinarian Oscar E. Chavez explains on PetMD, dogs have adapted to be even better than our closest relatives the primates at understanding human behavior.
When your dog observes your every move, it learns what to expect from you and how to read your mood, making it more comfortable in your presence.
This means that your rottweiler’s obsessive stalking is not a bad habit, but a useful mechanism that will ultimately bring you together.
Your rotty’s constant presence might have a positive impact on your life, as well. Research has shown that interaction with dogs is a consistent stress-reliever and mood booster. As a dog owner, you can surely see why.
Nothing brings you out of a rut like the loving look in your rottweiler’s eyes, and it is hard to feel lonely when your closest companion is a constant presence at your side.
There are times, of course, when your rottweiler’s “velcro dog” behavior becomes too much. If a dog refuses to take its eyes off its owner for even a single second, this could suggest that the dog has become overly dependent on a single person.
This can have harmful effects on the dog’s psychological well being, and the owner should seek to modify the behavior.
The easiest way to train a dog out of its separation anxiety is by socializing it with different people so that it expands its horizons and comes to feel comfortable with other people.
You can also try distracting your rottweiler with an interactive toy or the television, or leaving it alone for increasingly-long amounts of time until it learns to deal with a bit of separation. But remember, this is only for extreme cases. Usually, the regular following is not a problem.
With this explanation of rottweilers’ clingy tendencies, you have only scratched the surface of all there is to know about this beautiful breed.
Check out this YouTube video from Animal Planet for additional information on rottweilers. From there, you can learn more and more until you are truly a rottweiler expert, allowing you to understand the behavior of your trusty friend and companion.