Why Does My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?

We can always trust our furry best friends to have our backs. But when this becomes too literal and you find yourself adopting a four-legged shadow, having your pooch constantly following you and peering in at your private business can get on the annoying side. This can make pawrents ponder the question: why does my dog follow me to the bathroom? We might have to attend to our dog’s doggy do when we’re out walking, but do they have to do the same to us? Today we’ll unravel the reasons why your dog might be following you to the bathroom, and provide you with some tips to reduce this unnerving behaviour.

Why Does My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?

Here are our 7 top reasons for why your dog is following you incessantly, including observing you do your business in the loo. 

  1. They Love You

The most obvious answer to “why does my dog follow me to the bathroom?”, is pure love. There’s a reason why dogs are known as man’s best friend. Dogs make strong connections with their human pawrents particularly if they are adopted as a puppy. 

Young puppies can imprint on their owners in the same way that they would on their canine mother. Imprinting unlocks a series of instinctual behaviours in a young pup to help with their survival. This includes following their mother, which allows them to learn survival skills from them and maintain their safety. If your pup has imprinted on you, you will always be seen as their mother and they are much more likely to continue to carry these instinctual behaviours with them into adult life. 

  1. They Get Separation Anxiety

Research by the RSPCA has identified that 85% of British dogs may be struggling with some form of anxiety. Anxiety related to being left alone is known as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is very different to your dog simply loving endless time spent with you. If your dog is truly anxious they will show signs of fear when left alone such as shaking, barking, whining, weeing in the house, chewing furniture, hiding, and restlessness. Therefore if you find that your dog is forever following you and displaying other signs of stress, they may be struggling with separation anxiety. 

  1. They’re a Velcro Dog

Some dogs are naturally more clingy than others. These are known as velcro dogs and simply love hooman attention. Velcro dogs are different to those with separation anxiety. If you have a pooch that clings to your hip but doesn’t stress out when you’re not at home, you likely have yourself a velcro dog. Toy breeds are generally more likely to be velcro dogs however any breed can express this trait. 

  1. They’re Curious About What Happens Behind Closed Doors

Another obvious answer for “why does my dog follow me to the bathroom?”, is that they’re curious. Dogs are highly intelligent and naturally inquisitive. When we use the loo we’re probably shutting the door behind us, so the bathroom may be a big toilet-filled mystery to our pooches. Therefore following us there to see what happens behind closed doors will be naturally intriguing for them.

  1. They’re Used To Positive Reinforcement

As their pawrent you are their gateway to all things tasty, comforting, and exciting. When we’re around our pups we can’t help but cuddle them, treat them with tasty dog treats, or take them for fun adventures to the park. Therefore when you’re at home they will want to keep tabs on you to make sure they’re not missing out on anything fun. 

  1. They’re Bored

Dogs thrive on mental stimulation to keep their large brains active. Therefore if they’re bored they’ll be on the hunt for something interesting to do. Following you may be more interesting than simply laying on the sofa, particularly if this might result in frisbee playtime or a head massage. 

  1. You’re Part Of The Pack

Dogs are pack animals and they often see their pawrents as their alpha. In the wild, following members of their pack was a way to strengthen social bonds and maintain their safety. This behaviour now extends to you and your furmily as a part of your domesticated doggy’s pack. If your dog is afraid they will also look to their alpha for protection, so you may experience more following at scary periods like fireworks season or New Year's Eve. 

Tips for How to Stop Your Dog From Following You To The Bathroom

Now that we know some of the answers to “why does my dog follow me to the bathroom?”, let's explore a few tips on how to stop this from happening.

  • Keep your dog stimulated to prevent boredom. Try longer walks or keep them occupied with games and puzzles at home.
  • Give them positive reinforcement for time spent by themselves away from the bathroom. This means throwing them a healthy dog treat or giving them lots of cuddles when they’re away from the loo.
  • Close the door behind you. If you have an open door to the bathroom and they come in, it may be hard to resist a quick pat on the head which will reinforce this behaviour.
  • Baby gates can be used to stop your dog from going into areas of the house that you want them to avoid.
  • Early command training is a must, such as knowing how to respond to the command “stay” or “go to your bed”. This way you can direct them to leave you be, as you head off to do your business. 
  • Try a dog calming treat to reduce your pup from getting stressed when you leave them. This is particularly helpful for pups with mild forms of separation anxiety. 

Have You Tried Scrumbles Calming Dog Treats?

If your pup is getting a bit stressed when they’re not glued to your hip, why not try our Nibbles Dog Calming Treats?! 

Scrumbles Calming treats

Made with naturally calming turkey, chamomile and lemon balm, they’re a perfect treat for anxious pooches.

We love treating our resident velcro dog Molly with these treats before we leave for the office each day to keep her zen whilst she spends some alone time at home. They’re lip-smackingly delicious too so are great for positive reinforcement when training velcro dogs to stay away whilst you’re on the loo. 

We also add the powerful prebiotic slippery elm bark to our Nibbles to improve doggy digestion and pretty poops, making them the perfect guilt-free treat for sensitive pups.

If this sounds like something your pooch needs, head on over to our wide collection of dog food and treats and explore all of the pawfect options we have for your pet. 

Whilst you're here, why not read:

1. Can Dogs Drink tea?

2. Can Cats eat sweetcorn?

3. Russian Blue Breed Guide 

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