My dog always follows me no matter where I go. He seems to miss me more than my husband and will appear so sad when I am gone.
My husband says it’s because he wants to be with me, and he misses me. Do you think that is the case?
This blog post explains it all.
Your dog is more clingy to you than your husband for various reasons, such as he sees you as his Alpha, he misses you so much, he associates you with positive experience, you are a good match for his personality, he forms a closer bond with you during his socialization stage or simply because he prefers females.
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He Sees You As His Alpha
Some dogs are just naturally more affectionate and social, and if your husband is not spending enough time with him, he may not have developed any trust and bond with him.
This is why your dog will turn his love and affection to you as you are the one who feeds, takes care of and loves him the most.
He sees you as his Alpha because you have assumed the role of a pack leader, which is to take care of the pack members.
When your dog sees that you are always there for him, he will feel that you are trustworthy and that he can rely on you for everything he needs in life.
He will feel safe and comfortable whenever he is around you, which is the reason why he is more clingy to you than your husband.
What your husband needs to do is to spend more quality time with him to earn his trust.
He will need to build a strong bond with him by playing games with him, taking him out for a walk daily and enjoying the outdoors together.
When your husband starts to spend more time with him, your dog will see that he is always there for him and that he loves him unconditionally.
He will feel that your husband is trustworthy and that he can depend on him for all his needs. This will make him accept your husband as his Alpha.
He Misses You So Much
Just like we will have someone that we love and hope to be with for every moment, this applies to your dog as well.
If you used to be the one that takes care of your dog’s daily needs, and he finds that you are no longer with him during the day, it is inevitable that he will be clingy on you the moment that he sees you back home.
Considering that an hour of your time is equivalent to 7 hours of your dog’s time, if you are out for work during the day, your dog will feel that you have been missing for 56 hours!
This is why he will be so excited and keep jumping on you when you step into the house. This is a sign that your dog misses you!
And you will expect him to follow you around for the rest of the day as he is afraid that you will be out of sight again.
Usually, this behavior is related to separation anxiety and is not normal.
If he is really clingy to you, you can use the following tips to help him get over his separation anxiety:
1. Try to create a schedule for him to be alone when you are at home. This will make him get used to your absence and give him the chance to play with the toys that you had prepared for him.
2. Look for him once the “absence” period is over and reward him for being calm and obedient. This will make him learn that you are not going to ditch him and will be back looking for him. This will greatly help to ease his anxiety.
3. Prepare a personal secure place that he can comfortably retreat to when he is feeling anxiety. Having a crate that is loaded with his favorite toys will keep him busy and distract his attention.
He Associate You With His “Positive Experience”
If you are the one that has been giving your dog’s praise and treats for things that he has done, he is going to associate you with a positive experience.
That is, he will think that when he sees you, GOOD things will happen!
This will make him love “attaching” to you and doing things to please you.
He would see you as someone who will reward him for good deeds.
In fact, he could be so attached to you that he wouldn’t let you out of his sight for a moment.
You can certainly re-trained him to make him learn that YOU are the one who makes the rules and decides when, where, and how he will be rewarded.
Make him learn that the act of following you will not earn him any rewards. It is essential to set clear rules for your dog in your house and make him adhere to them.
It may take some time, but eventually, your dog will get the idea!
He Simply Prefers Female to Male
Dogs have a strong preference for the scent of adult females. This is why you will often see a dog sniffing around your female friends in the park. They are trying to get a whiff of her scent.
They are naturally attracted to the smell of a female and prefer the smaller size and soft voices of women.
A man’s bigger built, deep voice, and facial hair may intimidate the dog.
That explains why your dog prefers you rather than your husband.
You Are a Good Match for His Personality and Energy Level
In the same way that we will have someone that we like and dislike, your dog will also have someone that he can get along with.
This is what he’s looking for in a human companion. It could be someone who is very calm or energetic, upbeat and friendly.
He will match his own energy level and personality with the person he prefers.
So it’s likely that your dog favors your personality more than your husband’s temperament and that makes him clingy to you.
Having said that, there are certain dog breeds that tend to bond with a single person, meaning that their favorite person will likely be the only person they want to be with.
Breeds such as Cairn Terrier, Basenji and Greyhound have a strong tendency to bond with one person and if your dog belongs to these breeds, that might be the reason why he prefers you over your husband.
Close Bond He Had Grown With You During His Socialization Phase
When a dog is learning to socialize in his first six months, it forms the closest bonds with whoever takes care of him.
His brain is particularly receptive during this phase, and his early social interactions will influence him to form a close bond with his caregiver.
It’s for this reason that if you are the primary person taking care of him during his socialization phase, it is inevitable that he will grow to love you and wants to be with you for every moment of his life.
You’re going to be the first person he sees every day, and he’ll develop a special attachment towards you.
He’s going to want to follow you everywhere, as he will depend on you to protect him from any danger he may face and meet all of his needs.
How to Become Your Dog’s Favorite
Since dogs are very social animals, it is extremely important to spend adequate time together with your dog to build up his trust and develop a bond with him.
So if you want your husband to be your dog’s favorite, he will need to “invest” time to foster the bond with him.
Here is how:
1. Create a schedule of daily activities that your dog will enjoy and be sure that your husband gets involved in those activities.
2. Spend time playing with your dog, not just in the house but also outside. Bring him out for a walk daily, as that will help to build a bond with him.
3. Go for interactive games such as tug of war and playing fetch, as that will also help to develop a bond with your dog.
4. Be patient and do not expect your dog to change his behavior overnight. If you are unable to spend enough time with your dog, make sure to take him out for an evening walk at least.
5. Get your husband to take care of his needs (foods, shelter and play) so that he will see him as his caregiver.
6. Be positive and consistent. Always reward your dog whenever he does something good or when he behaves well. This will help to build up his confidence and it will also make him more receptive to you.
7. Do not yell at your dog or scream at him if he does not perform as you wish him to. Positive reinforcement should be your method of training and socializing your dog.
When your dog feels the affection and love that your husband is giving him, he will want to be around him all the time.