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Why won't my new dog let me out of her sight?

January 17th, 2007, 10:40 AM
Hi! I'm new to the Forum, so this is my first post.

I adopted a 5-year-old rescue dog a week ago. She's a great dog, well-trained (except for submissive urination when I come home from an absence of any length!), and she became immediately attached to me. That's the problem. She won't let me get more than a few feet away from her ever! She "dogs" my steps :) constantly, even if I'm just walking around the kitchen getting dinner ready. Even when eating, she will leave her food and follow me to the other side of the room. She's housebroken, but won't go outside to potty by herself - I have to stand in the yard with her.

I'm really happy with her, but frankly this is driving me nuts!

Any words of wisdom?

Ginny S.

January 17th, 2007, 11:56 AM
She just needs to settle in. She's probably nervous that you're going to disappear like her last owner and she's scoping you out.:)

Dog Dancer
January 17th, 2007, 12:03 PM
I agree with Prin that she probably just needs to settle in and relax a bit. But you want to make certain you don't encourage separation anxiety in her. You might want to consider working with her on a down/stay (gently, don't get angry at her if it doesn't work right away). Give her a mat to sit or lay on in the kitchen and encourage and reward her for laying on it and staying there while you're working in the kitchen. If she gets up to follow you to the other side of the room, gently take her back and reinforce the down/stay. Let her see you while you're working there, but remind her that she doesn't need to be standing beside you. Don't reward her for following your every footstep - just ignore her when she "dogs" you. Reward her when she relaxes and just watches you move around. Just a thought, congratulations on your new furbaby - have patience you will be greatly rewarded in time.

January 17th, 2007, 12:57 PM
I agree it will take time, but whatever you don't do overly scold her for it as she'll become nervous and follow you more. Plus, most dogs do follow their owners. I can't leave a room w/o mine following me unless I tell him to stay (which took time to get him to understand). I used to think something was wrong with my dog too being new to doggies years ago.

January 17th, 2007, 02:41 PM
When i got my dog at almost 5 months for the first week he wouldn't leave my side either and he cried and tried to get in the shower with me the first two days i had him.

He still follows me around but not every single step i take

Just give her a week or so. She may just not feel at "home" yet.

January 17th, 2007, 03:13 PM
She probably won't go outside by herself for the same reason. Poor thing - maybe she was left alone for long periods by the previous owner (who finally decided s/he 'didn't have time' for her'). I like the idea of having her lie down nearby.
Do you have someone checking on her during the day?

January 17th, 2007, 03:54 PM
Do you have someone checking on her during the day?

I'm a writer, so I work at home. The only time Ginger is alone is when I go to the gym or the grocery store. And she behaves herself well while I'm gone - except she pees on the floor when I walk through the door. I'm guessing that, too, is anxiety-related. When she is more secure in our home, hopefully that will stop.

Thanks for all the helpful replies. It makes me feel a little better to know she will eventually get over being a Velcro Dog!

January 17th, 2007, 07:53 PM
It makes me feel a little better to know she will eventually get over being a Velcro Dog!

Don't get your hopes up. I have 2 rescue dogs and they are still velcro (but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way)

January 17th, 2007, 08:48 PM
Rescue dogs tend to be a little more velcro than other dogs especially in the first few weeks. Understand that they are confused. They have been abandoned and then placed in a shelter or foster home and then moved again once adopted. They keep forming attachments only to have them torn apart. Some dogs adapt easily and it takes others longer to feel secure. I have brought fosters into my home who were comfortable within a few hours and others who took weeks. It must be so confusing for them. Right now you are her hero and the person she depends on. You are her security blanket.
It is important to not encourage her to follow you around but if she does just ignore her. I have two dogs of my own and both are rescues. One was like yours in the beginning but is so much better but it took time.
The submissive urination can probably be cured by ignoring her when you walk in the door. Don't make a big deal of your comings and goings. When she is calm and you have taken off your coat, boots etc.. sit down and give her a little attention.
Please don't get discouraged, rescues make the best companions.

Golden Girls
January 18th, 2007, 07:22 AM
Welcome to the board and thank you for rescueing her :love: Because you don't really know her history, one thing you do know is she was abandoned at least once maybe more so trust would be a big issue. Maybe time but like Frenchy said her two golden's are and she learned to go around that. My older golden came from a pet shop at 6 weeks old and she's almost 8 ... and still she must c me at all times. I too sometimes must go outside - she let's me know when and other times she's ok? I've just had to accept she's this way. I also think it's wonderful that you work from home which might make a huge difference with her insecurities. I hope these posts make you feel a lil better :) or at the very least know your not alone :grouphug: Check out my Velcro Dog her way of enjoying out back yet keep an eye on me inside :D she's nuts!

Rescues make the best pets :cloud9:

January 18th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Joey was exactly the same way. If I walked two feet in any direction he got up and followed me those two feet. Completely glued to me. It gradually subsided as he realized he was home. But for the first month that he was here he had to have me in his sight at all times. Even though he always preferred to be where I was the distance increased and he was happy to be in the sameroom and didn't have to be within a foot of me anymore.

But I have to be honest, I really miss being followed around. Although Cooper is getting to be that way a bit when we're home alone. But if there are other people in the house he'll stay downstairs with them. Butduring the day he likes to be near where I am. Right now he's in the next room in his bed. But he would usually be in here with me and then follow me in there when I get up.

Your pup just needs time to feel more secure. I think that the more patient you are about this behavior the sooner it will lessen.

January 18th, 2007, 10:11 AM
The behaviour is very normal, as the dog become more comfortable and secure she'll improve.

As far as going outside, I like to go out and supervise, I know the dogs are not getting into mischief or making a nuisance of themselves, no holes are getting dug in the lawn, I know right away if there may be a potential health problem by the pee(particularly in winter) and poop, if an accident/injury occurs like a fall or they run into something, I can relate to the vet if need be which can help diagnose the injury better/faster plus I get the benefit of getting fresh air while out there with them

Angie J
January 18th, 2007, 10:25 AM
Only a week ago!! Pup is barely adjusted.

Great advice about getting pup a bed and making it a spot where "mommy" is visable.

Remember, dogs are pack animals and YOU are the leader. In the wild it's "keep up or get left behind". Your pup has been left behind too many times. Once she feels a secure, enduring member of the family, she'll relax.... perhaps She'll still need to follow you (Mine do!), but probably not 'dog' you.

I thought my Newf was Velcro.... then I got a Bernese! She takes 'dogging' to a new level!! If I stop she is absolutely going to be 'ON' some part of my body...foot, leg, knee, lap, grabbing and licking my hand...whatever she can I've learned to LOVE it :)

Angie J

January 18th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Oh yeah, I've had the nose up the butt quite a few times if I stop walking. Dracko has his days he is right on me following me around. Most especially if he is bored and waiting for play time.

There is never a time he isn't in the same room as me in the house (unless it is somewhere he can't be for some reason). If this happens you can be sure he is right outside the door.

January 18th, 2007, 07:12 PM
Funny thing about my velcro dogs. The only time they don't follow me is when I have company. If we are in the living room and I get up to do something, they will stay with the company but will lift their heads and watch my every moves. They "rest" when I get back in the room. My friends and family think it's real cute.

January 19th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Summit and Brie follow me everywhere also. Its quite comical with a big GSD and then a small chi trailing you around the house. The only time Summit isn't in the same room as me is when we have a bunch of company over. Then she likes to go to her safe room and be by herself or outside. She does not like large groups of people which is going to be interesting when I get her into obediance school.

January 19th, 2007, 12:19 PM
I have a HUGE soft spot for rescue dogs.

It's possible that something might have happened to her in the past and she's now fearful that she might again have to leave this new loving home, but the nice thing about dogs is that they live in the moment, so the past should be left in the past.

I like the "down/stay" idea. This not only allows you to establish your pack leader role, but it also teaches the dog that she doesn't have to follow in your footsteps all the time, and not to panic when you're out of sight (sort of like peek-a-boo with a child).

Rescue dogs can be a tricky subject in the seperation anxiety department. The one thing I find the hardest to do is when NOT to give affection. Affection is a reward in itself, so the more clingy she is, and the more affection/attention you give her, the harder this might be to fix.

Remember to give her positive attention and affection only on your terms, and not because she's asking for it, and you'll kick this pretty quickly. :)

January 19th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Funny thing about my velcro dogs. The only time they don't follow me is when I have company. If we are in the living room and I get up to do something, they will stay with the company but will lift their heads and watch my every moves. They "rest" when I get back in the room. My friends and family think it's real cute.
lol trying not to look so needy in front of the guests.:D

My dogs are the opposite... They're not clingy when I'm home alone, but when guests come, they cling to the guests.:D

January 30th, 2007, 06:59 PM
:dog: hello
just to say you are not alone . We also have a shelter dog new to us and we laugh at the thought of a velcro dog ..... but ours also comes with bungie cords. We are working with the sit/stay but she brings her bungies with her and there she is lol .. But since we have had her she has eaten the dinningroom window sill, i have no casing left on my back door, the metal kennel we got for her is bent. but that still hasnt made us give up on her and we dont think anything would. when i called the spca to see how we could help her my message on the phone was misty has started our renovations without us now we have added in the door out the door. we will prevail.... or she will become a sausage tester at our work lol.

January 31st, 2007, 01:10 PM
Yes, she has been shuffled about, but today is a new day and lets try to help her with her insecurties. Time should help, but good leadership will help her even faster.

Start teaching her a bigger vocabulary which includes stay and 'out' - 'out' meaning out of my space. The more you can engage her brain the more confidence she will gain and the greater leader you will become. The stay and 'out' will also help you to teach her how to be away from you. i.e. you are in the kitchen and you don't want her underfoot so you ask her to be 'out' of the kitchen. She can stay at the edge of the room and watch you if she wants or go somewhere else, but she just can't come in the kitchen until you release her to come in.

It is about helping to balance her insecurities. She can learn to sit next to you on the couch without having to be leaning on you. She can learn to watch you move about a room but not have to be your shadow. Try to ask her to do lots of things throughout the day - little jobs like: sit, stay, shake...the more her mind is working with you the less it will be worried about you disappearing, and the calmer she will become over all.