Why Is My Dog So Clingy?

Dogs can become clingy for many reasons.

There are a few possible reasons why your dog might be clinging on to you for dear life.

It could be that they are anxious or stressed, which is causing them to seek comfort from you.

clingy dog

Why do dogs become clingy?

The most common reason why dogs become clingy is because they are feeling stressed out.

This can happen when they’re going through a difficult time at home – maybe their owner has just moved house or gotten married.

The dog may feel nervous about the new changes, and want to stay as close as possible to their human companion.

They may even start acting aggressive towards other family members if they sense any tension in the air.

If this sounds like your dog, then it’s likely best to distract them with something fun and exciting so that they don’t feel left out.

You should also try to make sure that the new changes don’t cause any more stress, by making sure that everything goes smoothly.

Another possibility is that your dog might be feeling neglected.

Perhaps they’ve been used to having plenty of attention all day, but now that you’ve got back into work after a long break, they no longer have anyone to keep them company while you’re away from home.

This makes them feel insecure and lonely, and they may start seeking reassurance from you.

It’s normal for dogs to be clingy around humans, but if they’re becoming increasingly clingy over time, this is an indication that something isn’t right.

A dog who becomes too clingy could be experiencing separation anxiety or another form of behavioral issue.

Read on to find out what these issues are!

Separation anxiety in dogs

It’s important to remember that separation anxiety isn’t just an issue with puppies – it can affect all dogs at any age.

The most common signs of separation anxiety include excessive grooming, pacing around the house, whining, barking, biting and urinating outside of their designated area.

If you notice these symptoms, it will help to get a diagnosis from your vet as soon as possible.

Separation anxiety can often be treated effectively using medication and behavioural training techniques – so don’t put off getting professional advice until it becomes too late.

However, if you think it’s just a case of your pup being overly affectionate, here are some other reasons why your pet may be acting strangely when you leave home.

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1. They’re bored

When you’ve got your own home, you know exactly where everything is and what you need to do to keep yourself happy and entertained.

This means that when you go out, your dog doesn’t have the same freedom to explore the world around them.

They probably miss out on seeing new places and making new friends, so they’ll start looking for ways to fill this void.

They’ll start exploring the neighbourhood, sniffing every single bush and tree, and maybe even find a way to escape!

2. They’re lonely

We all love our pets, but sometimes we forget to give them the attention they deserve.

When you’re at work or busy doing household chores, your dog won’t feel like they’re getting enough attention.

If you spend a lot of time away from home, your dog will definitely try to compensate by becoming hyper-attentive and needy.

This leads to separation anxiety because they’re trying to make up for lost time.

By being more hyper than usual, your dog is trying to tell you how much they want to see you.

3. They’re insecure

Some dogs are naturally shy or timid, which makes them nervous about new situations and people.

They might be fearful of loud noises, unfamiliar smells, strangers or new environments.

If this describes your dog, then they’ll be extra clingy during times when you’re leaving them alone.

4. They’re stressed

The stress of travelling, moving house or having a new family member can cause a dog to become clingy.

Having a new puppy or kitten can also be stressful, especially if they’re not used to living with another animal.

When you’re stressed, you tend to react differently to certain situations.

Your dog might become clingier than normal, so take note of any changes in behaviour that occur when you have a stressful day at work.

5. They’re sick

Your dog might be feeling unwell when you leave them alone at home.

Maybe they’ve been coughing or sneezing, or perhaps they’re suffering from diarrhoea or constipation.

All of these conditions can cause your dog to be clingy because they need more cuddles and attention.

6. They’re bored

If you live in a spacious apartment or big house, your dog might be bored when you’re not around.

They’ll likely start chewing furniture or digging holes in the garden, which is only going to lead to more boredom.

If you’re always working from home, your dog will probably spend their days waiting for you to come back home.

Lack of socialisation

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s not uncommon for young puppies to be shy around people or other dogs, especially if they haven’t been properly socialised into the world yet.

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This could also be due to a lack of confidence, so if your puppy is afraid of new situations, it could be because they have never experienced anything different before – so they don’t know how to react to it.

If this is the case with your dog, then it might be worth trying some training sessions, as long as you are careful not to scare them off completely.

Fear of abandonment

A dog’s instinctive fear of separation is based on the fact that when they were puppies, their mother left them alone in a den in order to find food and water for herself.

As a result, they instinctively associate leaving their owner with danger – if you leave them, then you will risk them getting lost or killed.

This is why it is so important to teach your dog not to chase cars or run off into busy roads.

You should also never leave your dog unattended on a lead outside as this could cause them to get lost or even be hit by a car.

However, sometimes dogs do go missing for no apparent reason.

This is most likely due to an accident or sudden illness. In such circumstances, clinginess may be caused by fear that you have abandoned them.

If you are feeling guilty about your dog going missing, you may need to reassure them that you haven’t forgotten about them.

Even better, take some time out for yourself and spend quality time with your pet instead of rushing around looking for them.

You should always keep your dog safe at all times, but if you feel that your dog is becoming too clingy, try to put them outside for short periods of time every day and see how they react to the fresh air and sunshine.

Lack of exercise

The other common reason for dogs becoming clingy is because they haven’t been given enough exercise.

When you don’t get out and about as much as you used to, it can cause your dog to feel bored.

They will start to look for ways to fill their time with something else so they don’t have to spend all day sitting at home waiting for you to come back.

If this is the case with your dog, then you should make sure you give him some extra attention and playtime every day.

You can also try giving him an extra walk to keep him busy.

clingy dog


It’s not uncommon for dogs to get bored when left alone at home.

They may have been used to spending the day with you in the past, but now you’ve gone back to work and are spending less time with them.

This can cause them to become clingier towards you as a result.

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If you find yourself spending more time with your dog than usual because you’re spending less time at home, it’s worth considering whether this is making them clingier.

If so, make sure you spend some quality time with them during the day to help them relax.

You should also consider whether you need to take them out more often.

You don’t want to overdo it though, as that will only increase their stress levels.

Attention seeking

If your dog is always wanting attention, it may be because of their need to feel loved.
Dogs can be extremely needy when it comes to affection, especially if they have not had much in the way of human interaction.

They will do almost anything to get some attention, so be sure to give them lots of love and affection.
Another thing that can cause dogs to cling to you for attention is boredom.

When you spend time with an animal, especially one that has never been around other animals before, you can end up spending a lot of time just playing with them.

This can lead to a feeling of boredom for the dog, who wants more human contact than what they’re getting at home.
Of course, this isn’t only true for dogs.

Cats can also be bored, and cats often like to sit on laps all day, even though they aren’t allowed to.
Cats are generally very independent creatures, but if they don’t get enough interaction with other animals, they can become clingy as well.

Megan Turner

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