Let’s be real:
It’s kinda weird when your dog follows you and not your husband.
I mean, why does your dog do this?
Here you’ll find out the truth. You’ll learn:
- Scientific reasons why your dog is following you like a stalker 😉
- 3 tips if you want to stop your dog from following you everywhere.
- 13 surprising reasons why your dog follows you and not your husband (this will help you understand your dog’s behavior).
- And more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog follow me and not my husband?
- 13 reasons why your dog follows you and not your husband
- #1: Perceives you as the leader
- #2: Has a stronger bond with you
- #3: You’re the primary caretaker
- #4: Dogs pick one favorite person
- #5: Imprinting – the dog perceives you as their Mum
- #6: Positive reinforcement
- #7: Your dog perceives your husband as a stranger
- #8: Is afraid of your husband
- When my long-haired Chihuahua mix Lissa was still a puppy, she and her brother were dumped on the street…
- #9: Breed-specific behavior
- #10: Companionship
- #11: Patrolling together (protecting the territory)
- #12: Separation anxiety
- #13: Velcro dog
- 3 tips if you want to stop your dog from following you everywhere
Why does my dog follow me and not my husband?
Some of the most common reasons why your dog follows you and not your husband include: perceiving you as their parent, leader, or having stronger positive associations with you. Other reasons could be connected to the breed characteristics, separation anxiety, velcro dog syndrome, or instinct.
Keep reading to fully understand why your dog is following you but not your husband.
13 reasons why your dog follows you and not your husband
#1: Perceives you as the leader
One thing you should know about dogs is that they have a strong pack mentality.
So, if you’re the one laying down the law at home, chances are your dog will be your follower. Metaphorically and literally that is.
#2: Has a stronger bond with you
Don’t let your husband be discouraged if that’s the case though.
Dogs are loving creatures by nature. A domesticated dog who’s being taken care of well will find room in their heart for more than one family member.
But in order to bond strongly with more than one person, the dog must spend a similar amount of time with the other family members as well.
#3: You’re the primary caretaker
This applies to the person spending the most time with the dog, be it feeding, walking, training, or indulging in play.
The more time you spend with your dog, the more they get to know you and vice versa. That’s also how trust is built over time.
#4: Dogs pick one favorite person
If you’re the one that’s looking your dog in the eye and giving cuddles on-demand, plus you drop a treat or two every now and then, guess who your dog would pick as their favorite?
Most likely it’ll be you. But your dog’s choice might not necessarily be influenced by that.
So, how does a dog choose their favorite person exactly?
The main reasons why a dog could choose you as their favorite is because your energy level and personality come closer to theirs.
That should shed some light on why your dog might be more interested in staying by your side even though your husband puts a lot of effort into their relationship.
You might also like: Why Does My Dog Only Hump Me? 15 Surprising Reasons
#5: Imprinting – the dog perceives you as their Mum
Imprinting is a process that happens when the puppy is between 3 and 12 weeks old.
During this period, a puppy could come to view another animal or a human that’s close to them as their parent.
So, yeah – ‘dog Mum’ could not only be the term you give yourself when it comes to taking care of your dog. Your dog could actually be classifying you as one without you even realizing it.
If you’re not convinced by now, maybe you’d be interested to know that this statement is backed up by science. Namely – dogs who are attached to their owner, show similar cognitive abilities to these of small children.
#6: Positive reinforcement
Science shows that positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to train your dog.
So it won’t come as a surprise that this can be a reason why your dog only follows you.
Still confused? Ok. Sorry. My bad. I’m going too fast.
What I mean by this is that you can reinforce this behavior by praising your dog. Your husband on the other hand might ignore your dog most of the time.
This is how you could be positively reinforcing your dog’s following behavior.
#7: Your dog perceives your husband as a stranger
You perceive your husband as one of the most trusted people in your life. But does your dog feel the same way about him?
Most probably not. And what’s more, your dog could perceive your spouse as someone who’s not part of the ‘pack’.
Hence the dog won’t be following him as they’re following you.
When can this happen?
This is a typical scenario when you and your husband started living together not so long ago. So, maybe the dog needs more time to adjust and get used to that person.
It’ll surely help to show your dog when it sees a friendly loving attitude towards your husband.
#8: Is afraid of your husband
Now this is unpleasant, yet a possible reason.
Have you been the one ‘pushing’ to get a dog? Maybe your man doesn’t feel quite the same way about dogs as you do…
And let me tell you this – dogs are good at picking up humans’ emotions. So, your dog might be sensing that and feel uneasy at the presence of your husband.
I can give you a typical example of such a situation…
When my long-haired Chihuahua mix Lissa was still a puppy, she and her brother were dumped on the street…
A kind lady had saved both of the pups by opening her lovely home for them.
Her husband didn’t want them there though, so the lady had to search for adopters…
That’s where I and my boyfriend came in.
Before we took Lissa in we were told she’s a shy dog… That couldn’t have been more further away from the truth…
As soon as she walked in through our door, she started exploring the apartment and after spending 3 minutes in our home, her tail was pointing up 😉
My guess is she didn’t feel wanted at the previous home so she was being careful.
But back to you and your husband…
Is your husband strict? Maybe he speaks in a serious tone to the dog and doesn’t show them as much affection as you do. In the end, your dog could ‘respect’ him to the point to which they’re actually afraid of him.
#9: Breed-specific behavior
Truth is some dog breeds are more likely to follow you than others. This applies mostly to herding breeds which have to work closely with their humans to get the job done.
Don’t forget that we and our dogs are social animals. That’s why consciously and subconsciously we look for some company.
This would explain your dog’s preference to tag along with you rather than staying by themselves in their room.
#11: Patrolling together (protecting the territory)
Whether we’re talking about protecting you or the home, your dog is bound to keep an eye on what’s going on. That’s why going around the house together makes sense to your doggo.
That has to do with their instinct. As a pack animal, your dog feels deep inside that it wouldn’t be smart to split up and ‘patrol’ on their own.
So, that could be an explanation of why they do it with you.
#12: Separation anxiety
This condition is one that could be present in your dog and develop over time if not treated.
You can recognize your dog suffers from it if they:
- Get scared while you’re away.
- Try to escape by chewing, digging, or scratching.
- Bark for hours on end when you leave them alone.
To sum it up – if you see the horror in your dog’s eyes right before you leave, this could be an indication of them experiencing separation anxiety.
Don’t be quick to panic. Maybe they’re just not used to staying home alone yet. Give them time.
But do bear in mind that they might be following you so they can make sure you won’t leave them.
#13: Velcro dog
A velcro dog goes with their owner, as fish goes with chips. Or as peanut butter and jelly, or a horse and carriage, or… Enough – you get the point.
If your dog is such one, you can expect them to be with you at all times. In the bathroom, in the bedroom and elsewhere – no privacy.
You shouldn’t confuse a velcro dog with one that has separation anxiety though.
The slight difference between the two is that a velcro dog doesn’t go bananas while you’re away from home. But they do want to be with you all of the time when you’re present.
3 tips if you want to stop your dog from following you everywhere
#1: Do not reinforce the behavior
It could be tempting to pet your dog while they’re walking beside you or behind you. But it’s not the right approach if you want them to follow you less.
Petting them, or starting to scratch their belly as soon as they lie down on their back in front of you are activities that could wait.
Better do that at certain times of the day. Otherwise, you might make your dog too spoiled or too needy for your attention. And most importantly – for their own good.
You don’t want that.
#2: Let your dog spend quality time with your husband
Bonding with your husband takes time (could be months on end before it happens). And puppies are well-known for having a short attention span:
#3: Ignore the dog
It’s very simple, yet highly effective if you are consistent in executing it.
And don’t worry – the dog won’t feel hurt by this. You can still be affectionate towards them, just not always on-demand.
Chances are you will only make your dog more independent. So, in fact, you’ll be doing them a favor. It might not seem like that at first but wait for it.
BONUS tip: Keep your dog busy
Give them something to work on and stimulate their brain and physical activity.
By ensuring your dog has toys such as food puzzles (a great example is a Stuffed Kong), you’re teaching your dog it’s okay for them to be on their own.
You can also buy a toy you can stick to the ground and your dog can pull. This would be a great substitute for your participation in tug of war (where you hold one end of the toy and your dog the other).