Does your chihuahua follow you everywhere?
Does your chihuahua follow you everywhere? If you pop to the loo does she wait outside? Have you wondered why your chihuahua feels the need to follow you around the house? Is it bad for her and should you try and curb the habit?
Chihuahuas seem to have a special talent for this behaviour, especially if you are their ‘designated favourite.’ Picking a ‘favourite’ is a chihuahua idiosyncrasy. Minnie wants to be with me all the time and is currently curled up in her basket at my feet. If I get up she is likely to follow me. Sometimes if makes me think twice about doing something as it seems a shame to disturb her. I am convinced both the dogs can silently teleport and just appear behind you.
The Velcro Chihuahua
There are several ideas about why your chihuahua likes to follow you about. To understand it we need to look at the situation from her point of view. Dogs are very social animals and feel happy and secure when they are in a pack or group. To your dog, you and the family are the pack. So, staying in a group makes them feel safe and secure.
She may be curious to see where you are going. Being very opportunist in nature she might see it as a chance to get some additional food. Especially if she sees you heading to the kitchen for a cheeky custard crème. Crumbs of guilt are very likely to come her way!
If the balance is right she will view you as the pack leader, and she may view your wandering as patrolling your territory. She will naturally want to be part of the patrol. Chihuahuas are especially territorial and take a dim view of security breaches. This is one of the reasons they bark so much and dislike strangers in the house. They are respected for their watch-dog abilities.
But according to ‘I Heart Dogs’, there is scientific evidence that shows your dog plain loves you and feels happiest when she is with you. So it could be she simply adores you.
When is it unhealthy anxiety?
However, the natural urge of your chihuahua to follow you everywhere can be something else. Is your chihuahua overly anxious when you are not in the room or go out? Does she whine, bark and show signs of stress when you are not close to her. Then it is possible she has separation anxiety. Long term anxiety can be bad for your dog in the same way it can be bad for people.
If your dog is completely healthy (check with your vet) and there is no underlying medical reason for her anxiety there are things that you can do to make her feel more secure when you are not there.
Create Some Time Out
Desensitize her to your absence by arranging short periods of time alone. Make sure she has something positive to do, like chew a bone or Kong. When you come back don’t make a huge fuss so she doesn’t feel something momentous has happened. Build these periods up slowly.
Plug in a phenome adaptor. According to ‘’Adaptil, which is a common brand in the UK:
‘Adaptil is a chemical copy of the dog appeasing pheromone (D.A.P.) released by a mother dog from her mammary area after her puppies’ birth. It’s involved in the attachment process between the mother and her offspring. This pheromone is a comforting message providing a strong signal of security to puppies as they explore the world and face so many challenges.’
You can buy them as plug-ins and sprays. I would suggest for fire safety reasons don’t leave them plugged in when you are not in or in bed asleep. Use a spray if you are out.
Reduce Stressful Noise
In addition to this try to cut the noise down. If your house is very noisy, you may have workmen in or a new baby or teens playing loud music or the TV. This may be causing her anxiety because she can’t settle and doesn’t feel secure.Turn the volume down and you could try some soothing classical music.
The upshot of our research seems to be if your dog is happy and healthy then don’t worry about it, just try not to trip over her!
Have you got any funny stories about your chihuahua following you about. Please leave comments below. We love your feedback.