We’ve all been there.
Rushing to the bathroom to “do our business”, then…
As fast as The Flash, your floofy bundle of joy runs past you and into the bathroom.
This cute weirdo is at it again!
And you keep asking yourself if this is normal.
Should you be worried?
Read on to learn:
- 19 possible reasons why your dogs follow you to the bathroom.
- If you should stop this behavior.
- What this says about your relationship with your pooch
- 3 tips on how to manage your dog following you to the bathroom.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
- Why do dogs follow you to the bathroom?
- 19 reasons why dogs follow you to the bathroom
- #1: Dogs love to socialize
- #2: They’re feeling anxious
- #3: It’s in their genes
- #4: They love receiving attention
- #5: Privacy isn’t their strongest suit
- #6: They want to support you
- #7: They’re trying to show you something
- #8: Hunger is knocking at their tummy
- #9: Scents are appealing to dogs
- #10: Bored, bored, bored!
- #11: They feel insecure
- #12: They’re trying to know you better
- #13: Curiosity got the better of them
- #14: They feel sad when they’re alone
- #15: Showing you love is a must!
- #16: They like sitting and staring at you
- #17: They’re looking for treats
- #18: They could be hurt or not feeling well
- #19: It’s time for their walk
- What, then, should I do? 3 tips:
Why do dogs follow you to the bathroom?
A number of reasons why your dogs follow you to the bathroom include: pack mentality, being protective, anxiety, lack of concept of privacy, and curiosity. Since dogs have always been our companions and it is in their nature to stay close to us.
19 reasons why dogs follow you to the bathroom
Most dogs have high energy and social battery. They like to be around humans and dogs that they trust.
This includes you!
For most of their life, you are there to feed them, play with them, and bathe them.
It’s natural for them to interact with you most of the time in this could include your potty breaks.
Dogs love building connections and playing with others. Socialization stimulates dogs and helps them live healthier and happier life.
So they’d attempt to socialize with you. Even while you’re sitting on your porcelain throne. They just don’t care – they still love you (smelly or not).
#2: They’re feeling anxious
Dogs feel anxious, too!
You can see dogs feeling happy and full of energy most of the time.
But this doesn’t mean they always feel this way!
“How do I know they’re feeling anxious?”
Your dog wants to come into the bathroom, right?
What do you usually hear when you close the bathroom door on your dog?
Whining, scratching, howling, tapping on the door…
These are some signs that your dog is feeling separation anxiety from you. Dogs are loving creatures and want to be around you most of the time.
It’s easier to let your dogs come in.
Although that could be considered a quick fix.
But, if you want your privacy, it’s not good for both of you in the long run.
“What should I do?”
Start by asking your vet.
They can give you tips on how to deal with your pooch’s separation anxiety best. You could also speak to a dog behaviorist.
#3: It’s in their genes
If your baby pooch is a guard dog, then this could be the reason why they love following you around.
“Even to my bathroom?”
Yes, that includes your “me time” in the bathroom.
Guard dogs are naturally inclined to keep you safe from any danger.
While it’d be awesome to think if your dogs have Spidey-sense and can detect danger from afar, they don’t.
So the next best thing they can do is to follow you around.
They want you to be safe from attackers. Be it humans or dogs. And any other form of danger that they see as something that could hurt their hooman.
Some guard dog breeds include:
- Great Dane.
- German Shepherd.
Evidence shows that humans have trained and bred dogs for thousands of years. From hunting to pulling sleds, dogs have always been by our side.
That is why part of their instinct is to stay close to us.
Some dogs even assist their hoomans in their daily activities.
#4: They love receiving attention
Especially if it is the positive kind, attention is very much welcome in your dogs’ life.
Some dog owners try to make their pooch happy before going into the bathroom.
They shower them with love.
Have you done this before?
You know, give them treats.
Or pet them.
Or rub their bellies first before entering the realm of poopies?
If so, then it could be that they associate the bathroom with attention.
That’s because dogs can easily make connections and associations with activities.
It’s not entirely wrong to shower your dogs with love before you go to shower. But there are better ways to keep them out of the bathroom.
You can try training them to do something else while you’re inside.
Once you start to see a change in their behavior, reward them with treats.
It’s a small sacrifice you’ll have to make to enjoy privacy in the bathroom!
#5: Privacy isn’t their strongest suit
You can rely on dogs being loyal and never doubt their love for you.
Dogs possess a lot of wonderful traits. Amongst which is loyalty. It’s probably one of the reasons why you want their company in the first place.
You can play with them, run with them, and train them to help you out in small tasks.
Dogs are awesome, right?
I’m with you on this!
But when it comes to privacy, yeah… they’d just stare at you blankly and probably ask, “you want me… AWAY FROM YOU?! You don’t love me anymore! :(”
It’s not that dogs aren’t intelligent.
They just don’t hold the same values and principles we humans have developed over millions of years.
Just a quick walk in the park and you’ll see dogs sniffing each others’ parts.
Dogs want to constantly be with you because they consider you a part of their family and their pack.
#6: They want to support you
“Go, hooman, go!”
Your dog would be cute wearing a cheerleader’s uniform cheering you on, right?
Oh, who are we kidding, they’d look cute in anything!
But what’s even cuter is that they sometimes want to follow you into the bathroom to support you.
They don’t understand why you have to close the door while you “drop the bomb”.
They want to be there for emotional support.
Your dogs can sense that you going into the bathroom means you are about to do an activity.
Since you are a part of their pack, they want to help out in doing the activity.
If you want them to help you out, you can train them to fetch items you might need in the bathroom like this good boi:
It makes dogs happy when they participate in your activities!
#7: They’re trying to show you something
Dogs get the attention of their hoomans by following them around.
They sometimes try to get your attention when they want to show you something.
Could be anything like someone is at the door, or they found a wounded bird on the porch.
You can test this out by moving out of the bathroom.
Then, go into different parts of your house to see if they still follow you around.
If they do, and you’re not in a hurry to go to the bathroom, let them lead you to where they wanna go.
Who knows, they might lead you to a leprechaun with a pot of gold!
Kidding aside, it might mean that your dog saw something they perceived as a threat.
It could be that they saw a problem that they think only you can solve like reaching for a toy.
#8: Hunger is knocking at their tummy
Babies cry when they’re hungry.
Dogs on the other hand, sometimes follow you around when they think it’s already mealtime.
They remember routine especially if you trained them since they were a pup.
Your dog could be trying to say, “Hey! It’s lunchtime, why are you leaving me out here?”
If this is the case, they could be walking around the house with you waiting for when they would get their reward or their meal.
#9: Scents are appealing to dogs
Yep, probably including your own poop.
“Isn’t that kinda disgusting?”
To humans, yes. But to dogs? Probably not.
Dr. Nappier suggests that dogs’ noses function better than ours.
They have 300 million olfactory receptors – compare that to a human’s 6 million… that’s a lot!
Dr. Nappier also says that dogs can smell up to 100,000 times better than their hoomans.
That’s why they look frantic when someone they know is near. It could be that they can smell their scent from afar and are excited to see them.
Their sense of smell is far more developed than ours. This is why the major tool they use to explore and learn is their nose.
And as you know, the bathroom is a scent haven.
You’ve got soaps, shampoos, disinfectants, bottles of body wash, and so much more!
That’s probably why your dogs are so eager to join you in the magical kingdom of Smellvania!
#10: Bored, bored, bored!
Ever tried to open the fridge, check what’s inside, and not take anything?
Then try to do it 5 more times and still not eat anything from the fridge?
You know you’re not hungry so you don’t eat.
You’re. Just. Bored.
And does happen to your pooch, too!
Research shows that boredom has negative effects on dogs.
This comes from a lack of stimulation. Such as little or no playtime.
Sometimes when they follow you around and into the bathroom, it could be because they don’t have anything else to do.
They are bored and want an activity to do at the moment. When they see you move, they could be anticipating you getting a toy to play with them.
#11: They feel insecure
Another reason for your dog following you around is that they feel insecure.
It’s different when they just want to be around you. Insecure dogs can sometimes show aggressive behavior.
This behavior is more commonly known as “resource guarding”.
Dogs become aggressive in a possessive manner when it comes to things they love. This includes you!
You probably have seen this behavior when you try to take their toys or move their food.
This is seen as a problem in dogs and should be nipped at the bud.
With proper training, this behavior can be altered.
This may occur in any dog breed and must be addressed as early as possible.
Remember to be calm and loving when doing this. Don’t punish your dog.
#12: They’re trying to know you better
“Know me better? In the bathroom?”
Yes. After all, they’re dogs, not humans.
If an acquaintance does this, you should be alarmed – but not when your lovable fur babies do it.
Dogs learn about others through smell. You see this behavior when they’re meeting other dogs.
They sniff each others’ butts.
Since you are viewed as a member of their pack, your dogs will instinctively try to “get to know you”.
While this doesn’t necessarily happen in the bathroom most of the time, it does happen!
They will probably try to sniff you while you’re trying to sit in the toilet.
#13: Curiosity got the better of them
Ever touched wet paint even if there is a sign explicitly saying “DO NOT TOUCH. WET PAINT”?
Happens to the best of us.
And this happens to your dogs, too!
Not the reading and ignoring the clear “wet paint” sign, but rather, giving in to their curiosity.
When you try to keep your dog out of the bathroom when you come in to use it, they get curious sometimes. It’s a reverse psychology kind of thing.
“Could she be hiding a truckload of toys in there?” is probably one of your dogs’ thoughts.
Since going to the bathroom is almost an everyday occurrence, it’s natural for your dogs to be curious as to what happens inside.
They want to be a part of nearly everything you do.
#14: They feel sad when they’re alone
Your dogs develop a bond with you and oftentimes feel lonely when you go out of their sight.
Dr. Inman says any change in a dog’s environment could cause them to feel these negative emotions. You could be playing with them one minute and then be running off to the bathroom the next.
They don’t understand why this is happening and why you have the need to leave them outside the bathroom.
Remember how sad they’d get when you leave for work?
Yep, that’s how they feel.
According to Dr. Siracusa, dogs live in the moment and exhibit behavior according to what they feel at the moment.
This could be why they follow you around.
It saddens them. It could also be their way of showing you that they want to do everything with you and are there for you.
#15: Showing you love is a must!
Sometimes your dog follows you to the bathroom bringing things they’ve seen you carry on the way there.
Ever experienced this?
You’re walking towards the bathroom…
Then, your fur baby walks with you.
Some even bring rolls of toilet paper.
This behavior is perfectly normal and shows how much your dog loves you back!
Dogs no longer hunt for food, unlike their ancestors.
That’s why they bring toys and other things to you.
This is their substitution for prey.
So what happens is they bring these things to you.
They sometimes drop it on your feet to show you the item.
#16: They like sitting and staring at you
Humans show affection towards other people by looking at them in their eyes.
Butterflies in the stomach, much?
But this doesn’t happen in humans alone!
Staring at you is another way your fur babies are showing you love and affection.
According to the AKC, dogs could be staring at their humans because they want to give affection and attention.
They are most likely fascinated by you!
As long as they are not growling or snarling at you, you don’t have to worry.
Aggressive behavior is a big no-no!
Further reading: Why Does My Dog Stand In Front Of Me? (And Stare/Bark)
#17: They’re looking for treats
Fur parents like you are well aware of how much dogs love treats.
Trying to open a bag of chips?
Your dog zooms towards you at the speed of light!
Well, okay, maybe not at the speed of light, but you get my point.
This could also be the reason why your dogs are trying to follow you inside the bathroom!
Your dogs could be thinking you’re hiding treats in the cabinets. And that they even might get rewarded if they follow you into the bathroom.
#18: They could be hurt or not feeling well
Another reason why dogs follow you is that they are not feeling well.
They could also be trying to get your attention.
Try to see if there is anything new to their appearance.
Check their walk or any visible wounds and scratches.
Try remembering their eating habits.
If there is a noticeable change, then that could mean that they’re trying to grab your attention and help them with what they’re feeling.
#19: It’s time for their walk
Much like mealtimes, dogs also remember the usual time you take them out for a walk.
Most dogs are active pets.
They need a certain level of activity for the day.
It helps them live healthier.
Some dogs even pick their gear up when walking around.
They are following their humans in anticipation of their daily required playtime.
What, then, should I do? 3 tips:
It all boils down to preference. Generally speaking, letting your dog walk with you into the bathroom is okay.
As long as there are no clear signs that your pooch is not doing well or is aggressive, you’ve got nothing to worry about!
“But I kinda want my bathroom time to myself.”
There are people who like to go to the bathroom with complete privacy.
You are not alone!
If you want to keep your pooch out of the bathroom while you use it you can do either of the following:
#1: Start ‘em young
No better time to train dogs than now.
As soon as you notice this behavior becoming more apparent, start training them.
One effective training method is to keep them occupied while you’re going to the bathroom.
This way, your dog’s attention is on the activity and not on you.
They will be less likely to follow you around and into the bathroom.
You can also use treats to reinforce the good behavior of staying outside the bathroom.
Give them treats after using the bathroom if they didn’t force themselves in.
“What else can I do?”
Verbal cues help a lot.
Telling them to stay and sit still while you’re going inside could help stop this behavior.
Make sure that you are not hurtful and aggressive when it comes to training them to keep out.
Remember, dogs are instinctively inclined to do this.
Your privacy isn’t a concern of theirs but your safety is.
If they think you’ll be in harm’s way, they’ll go with you – even to hell.
Or in this case, the bathroom.
After you use it.
#2: Spend more time with them
Dogs following you around could be caused by a lack of playtime.
Or the quality of the time you spend together.
Be more attentive and at the moment when you’re playing together.
A study shows that dogs see when their hoomans aren’t attentive.
Dogs will need less attention and affection from you if you shower them with it.
And we both know this isn’t hard to do…
As we love to shower our pooch with love every chance we get!
#3: Let them in
You know the saying, “Can’t beat ‘em? Join ‘em!”?
One thing you can do about your dogs going into the bathroom with you is to just let them in!
As mentioned, there is no real and apparent danger when they are inside with you.
As we all know, dogs would whine and scratch the door so you let them in.
Yep, you can hear the scratches now, too, while you’re reading this, yeah?
If your dog is new to the household, this could be beneficial!
Following you around is a sign that your dog trusts you and is comfortable around you.
Being with you all the time is also a perfect way to bond and build more trust.
As time passes, you may even train them to help you inside the bathroom.