For most dog owners, Velcro dog syndrome isn’t such a big deal. However, if you’re not comfortable with your dog following you around all the time, there are things you can do to reinforce some independence in him. Here are a few techniques you can use to make your Velcro dog less clingy:
Add More Physical Activities And Mental Stimulation To His Routine
A tired dog is a good dog; I’m certain you’ve heard this phrase multiple times before. When you give your dog sufficient physical activity every day, he’s more likely to sleep or relax because he’s exhausted. He may not even realize when you move from room to room.
So, consider adding more physical activities to your pet’s routine if he suffers from Velcro dog syndrome to tire him out. Because mental stimulation is just as good as physical exercises, don’t forget to add more mentally challenging activities to his routine to keep his brain active. Playing games such as nose work, tug of war and hide and seek will enable him to have all the fun while at a distance. With time, this will discourage his clingy behavior, while keeping him busy and happy.
Other mentally stimulating activities include learning new commands and tricks, obedience training as well as playing with chew toys or a Kong toy stuffed with healthy treats.
Train Him To Go To His Special Place Whenever You’re Busy
If you don’t like your dog following you even to the kitchen or bathroom, you can also prepare for him a special place using his mat or bed. That place can be on a certain sofa or corner within the house. Train him to go there whenever you’re up and about. This will take some time, so be a bit patient with him. When he finally goes to his special place willingly, give him something to distract him while there like a stuffed Kong toy or a yummy treat.
Desensitize Him To Your Movements
A Velcro dog reacts every time he sees you getting up because he knows you’re going somewhere. To desensitize him, you first need to identify what triggers him to respond. Watch him closely for a couple of days (or weeks) to find out his triggers. Does he get up to follow you every time you wear your shoes? What about when you put the TV remote on the table or take the car keys? Once you know what triggers him, work on desensitizing him.
To do so is simple; just get up, but don’t go anywhere or do something important. If you repeat this several times, he will eventually stop reacting to every move you make. He may still watch you, but when lying down.
Train Him On The Stay Command
Finally, working on the stay command with your pet can help reduce his Velcro behavior. Start by teaching him to stay at a short distance while you’re in the bathroom or kitchen. Repeat this several times while you’re in different rooms doing different things until he’s able to sit calmly. Be sure to reward him with his favorite treat whenever he obeys the command to let him know that staying is the desired behavior.
I hope these simple tips will help decrease your dog’s behavior of following you around everywhere you go.