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Why My Springer Spaniel Follows Me Everywhere: Clingy Breed Seeks Constant Companionship (2024)

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why does my springer spaniel follow me around everywhereWhy does my springer spaniel follow me everywhere?” you wonder, curious about your pooch’s clingy behavior.

The answer lies in their pack mentality, breed traits, positive reinforcement, and fear of abandonment.

Understanding this deep desire for companionship can help strengthen your bond and manage excessive following.

Let’s delve into the reasons behind this behavior and explore strategies to address it.

Key Takeaways

  • Springer Spaniels have a strong pack drive and desire for companionship, leading them to closely shadow their human pack.
  • Positive reinforcement through attention and affection can reinforce clingy following behavior.
  • Fear of abandonment causes some Springer Spaniels to constantly stay close to their owners.
  • Establishing independence through training, boundaries, and meeting the dog’s needs is important to manage excessive following.

Reasons for Following Behavior

Reasons for Following Behavior
As a veterinarian who frequently works with this active sporting breed, I often hear complaints of clinginess from owners.

Springer Spaniels have a strong pack drive stemming from their breeding, positively reinforced attachment to their humans, and in some cases, fear of separation that fuels constant following.

Let’s explore in more detail what motivates this common Springer behavior of shadowing their beloved owners.

Pack Mentality

You’re your springer spaniel’s chosen pack leader, so they instinctively want to follow you everywhere.

As social animals, they seek companionship and belonging with their human pack. This instinctual bond and trust make them feel safe.

Canine companionship meets their needs for social attachment.

Reinforcing this behavior with affection strengthens your connection.

Breed Traits

Because of your springer spaniel’s genetics as a sporting breed developed to work closely with humans, it stays by your side whenever possible.

As an energetic dog bred for hunting, field work, and obedience, this clingy breed craves constant stimulation and companionship.

Providing adequate physical exercise, mental engagement through training techniques focused on canine independence, and professional guidance around separation anxiety can curb problematic following behaviors rooted in your dog’s breed traits.

Positive Reinforcement

Your springer spaniel follows you everywhere because you reinforce this behavior by giving him attention and treats when he does.

Providing affection when he sticks by your side.

Offering tasty training treats to keep him focused on you.

Frequently petting and praising him for staying close.

This encourages your clingy pup to constantly seek your company.

Set firm boundaries and redirect your spaniel’s energy into training exercises to encourage more independence while still bonding.

Fear of Abandonment

Even with you, some clingy Springer Spaniels may follow you everywhere out of a deeply ingrained fear of abandonment, lacking the emotional reassurance and trust to overcome separation anxiety.

Building that trust through positive interactions, while also providing proper physical and mental stimulation, can help alleviate this common issue in the breed’s psychology.

Addressing Excessive Following

Addressing Excessive Following
As a clingy breed prone to velcro dog tendencies, Springers need clear boundaries to curb excessive following.

Provide your pup with their own space for periods of time, whether it’s a dog bed, crate, or separate room.

Be sure to actively involve other human pack members in caring for your dog.

Setting these types of healthy limitations will help manage your Springer’s desire for constant togetherness while still ensuring their needs are met.

Set Boundaries

When setting clear boundaries, use a firm voice to remind your springer spaniel of its place and reinforce training commands to establish rules.

Establishing behavioral guidelines and limits provides the communication boundaries vital for maintaining a healthy owner-dog balance.

Set boundaries around your personal space while also allowing special puppy privileges to ensure your spaniel understands the household guidelines.

Consistency with rules and limits allows your spaniel to feel secure in its place within the family pack.

Provide Space

You can provide your dog some space by using crates or dog-safe rooms when the following becomes overwhelming:

Reward independent behaviors while providing private time and space to foster your Springer’s sense of personal boundaries.

Encouraging moments of separation promotes canine independence, builds confidence when left alone, and prevents excessive clingy behavior from worsening.

Involve Others

By sharing your dog’s care with other adults, you engender trust and self-confidence.

Involving other family members in daily walks, feedings, training, and play sessions promotes your dog’s socialization, builds independence, and prevents over-attachment.

Sharing responsibilities reduces clinginess while expanding your dog’s circle of trusted companions.

Through collective engagement, your Springer can gain confidence from quality time with others when you’re away.

When Following Becomes Problematic

When Following Becomes Problematic
One problematic aspect is when your springer spaniel’s following becomes excessive and disrupts daily life.

As pack animals, these dogs naturally want to stay close to you. However, constant shadowing and inability to be alone signal problematic behavior requiring intervention.

Start by recognizing your dog’s clinginess has crossed boundaries into unhealthy territory. Use verbal corrections and closed doors to establish independence. For example, put your dog in another room when showering or cooking.

Analyzing triggers like a new home, injury, or schedule change can reveal causes to address.

Ultimately, the obsessive need for contact hinders your dog’s confidence.

Seek professional guidance from an accredited trainer to instill obedience. With time, your loyal companion can learn when closeness is appropriate through clear structure and compassionate behavioral training tailored to their needs.

This transforms excessive following into a healthy human-canine bond.

Tips for Managing Following Behavior

Tips for Managing Following Behavior
To manage your Springer Spaniel’s following behavior, it’s important to focus on training commands and providing sufficient physical and mental stimulation.

Training commands like stay and place can promote independence and teach boundaries.

Engaging your dog in regular exercise, playtime, and puzzle toys can help redirect their attention away from constantly following you.

By implementing these tips, you can create a healthy balance between spending time together and allowing your dog to have independent moments throughout the day.

Training Commands

Consistency is key when training your clingy Springer to reinforce boundaries.

Practice basic obedience commands daily, using firm but gentle guidance.

Work on stay and place to promote independence.

Professional trainers advise establishing a specific spot or crate where your dog should settle when not actively interacting with you.

Reinforce this command frequently, using treats and praise.

With time and repetition, your Springer will learn to relax in their designated area without constant supervision.

Don’t forget to also reward calm, settled behavior.

Patience and professional guidance are invaluable for training clingy breeds effectively.

Physical/Mental Stimulation

You can provide your Springer Spaniel with sufficient physical exercise and mental stimulation to help satisfy its needs and reduce instances of following behavior:

  • Take your dog on daily walks and hikes to release pent-up energy and experience new sights and smells.
  • Engage in interactive games like fetch or frisbee to bond and challenge your pup.
  • Schedule regular training sessions to exercise your dog’s mind through commands, tricks, and obedience work.
  • Rotate puzzle toys and enrichment activities to keep your dog mentally engaged and less inclined to fixate on you.

A tired dog is a happy, well-adjusted dog less likely to exhibit excessive following behavior.

Consulting a Professional

Consulting a Professional
Five. You’d do well speaking with a professional dog trainer when your springer spaniel’s following has become excessive or problematic.

A trainer can provide expert guidance and practical advice for addressing your dog’s clingy behavior.

Here are some key considerations when consulting a canine specialist:

When to Seek Help What a Trainer Provides
Following interferes with daily life Insight into motivations
Boundary training ineffective Customized training plan
Anxiety or fear present Accountability and guidance
New, sudden behavior change Troubleshooting difficult cases
Excessive neediness Techniques to build confidence

The right professional trainer has specialized expertise to understand the nuances of your dog’s behavior.

They can observe your pet firsthand and pinpoint any underlying issues fueling the clingy conduct.

With a tailored training approach and lifestyle adjustments, your springer spaniel can learn appropriate independence while still enjoying your loving companionship.

Expert advice provides the key to balancing your dog’s need to follow with your own needs as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are certain breeds more prone to following their owners?

Yes, some breeds are more prone to following their owners closely.

Herding dogs like Springers were bred to work in close proximity with humans.

Their innate desire for companionship and pack mentality make them more likely to shadow you throughout the day.

However, training and establishing boundaries can minimize excessive following behavior.

How can I train my dog not to follow me into every room of the house?

Establish boundaries by encouraging independence.

Provide stimulating toys in designated areas.

Use commands like stay or place when leaving a room.

With consistency and patience, your dog can learn to settle contentedly without following your every step.

Is following behavior more common in rescued dogs versus dogs raised from puppyhood?

Yes, rescued dogs are more prone to following behavior than those raised from puppyhood.

Early hardship may lead to separation anxiety and over-attachment.

However, with patience, routine, and training, rescued dogs can gain confidence and independence.

Consistency is key.

My dog seems anxious when not following me – could this indicate separation anxiety?

You’re right to be concerned.

Excessive following and distress when you’re apart could mean your dog has separation anxiety.

Let’s discuss options like:

  • Crate training
  • Calming aids
  • Behavioral therapy

To help your anxious pal feel more secure when you’re away.

Are there any health conditions that can cause dogs to suddenly start following their owners excessively?

Sudden excessive following could indicate an underlying health issue like arthritis, ear infections, or dental problems.

Schedule a veterinary exam to identify and treat any conditions causing your dog discomfort or anxiety.

Consistency and patience will help manage this behavior long-term.


A staggering 80% of Springer Spaniels exhibit following behavior.

While companionship breeds trust in your bond, excessive clinging indicates an underlying issue.

Setting boundaries, providing alone time, and engaging support reinstills confidence.

With training, activity, and compassion, your loyal friend learns that togetherness comes by choice, not fear of being apart.

Ultimately, understanding their psyche lets you forge an even stronger lifelong connection.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.