This post is part of #SoCS Feb. 10/18.
So this is a tale of why my shadow Stitchy follows me around constantly.
Full disclosure a large portion of this post comes from the linked article 4 Reasons Your Dog Follows You Everywhere written by Cheryl Lock on PetMD.com. While I love the constant companionship, I do often wonder what in the world is going on and why is he so clingy. In my defense or against my defense, Stitchy is my favorite because he is my only boy and I already told my husband Cruz – no matter what we will not have any more boys because of our previous experience.
Why Your Dog Is Following You, Scientifically Speaking
If your dog follows you around constantly, you’ll likely either find it incredibly endearing or you’ll be tired of almost tripping over him all the time. Either way, it helps to understand some of the science behind why your dog might be constantly at your side.
- Imprinting. Early ethologist Konrad Lorenz showed how baby geese imprinted on him — or came to recognize him as a parent or other object of trust — by following him everywhere, including into the water. “Puppies can imprint on people, as well,” said Burch. “The imprinting period for puppies is between three and 12 weeks old.”
- Reinforcement. Often dogs will follow their owners if their bond is paired over time with a great deal of reinforcement. For example, “if a dog learns that good things — such as food, pats and fun activities — come from a particular human, they may be more likely to follow that person,” says Burch.
- Breed traits. Some breeds, especially those that have been bred for centuries to work with people, are more likely to be what Burch calls “Velcro dogs” (or those that stick by your side).
- Companionship. Perhaps the most obvious reason, some dogs simply prefer the companionship of their human friends. “Over the process of domestication, natural selection has shaped dogs to become companions for humans,” said Laurie Santos, PhD, a professor of psychology and director of the Canine Cognition Center at Yale University. “Domesticated dogs are now ‘bonded’ with humans in some of the same ways as human children. In this sense, our bond with dogs is one that has evolved over the course of domestications.
So my tale is that because I rescued Stitchy and his sister Sadie from being abandoned when they were just about 12 weeks old my boy has imprinted himself upon me. Yet, as mentioned before I am the dada that does all the reinforcement in our house, it is a never ending battle trying to get Cruz to do reinforcement as well. Of course Stitchy loves his dada Gregory because he is the best dada in the world!!! P.S. – he does love his daddy Cruz also!!!
This is what is in My Rattled Cage today!