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Although dogs are known for their loyalty, friendliness, and other positive traits, just like humans, they can be highly clingy too. These dogs are called Velcro dogs.
The name velcro came from a tool called Velcro Tape, typically used to hold or fasten something.
Like the tape, Velcro Dogs like to stick around their humans and be with them 24/7. This behavior may look sweet at first, but it will eventually be troublesome.
Velcro syndrome occurs as a response to an emotional stimulus. Certain breeds classified as a lap or a working dog are more likely to develop the said syndrome due to their needy character.
Several owners have experienced this syndrome in their dogs before; thus, in this article, we will share the signs and symptoms of velcro syndrome and tips on how you should deal with it.
Read on to continue!
5 Obvious Signs That Your Dog Has A Velcro Syndrome
The first thing you will notice in dogs with velcro syndrome is their intense clinginess with you as their human companion.
Although they may exhibit other signs of the said syndrome, clinginess will always come as a part of it.
Common signs of dogs with velcro syndrome include:
- Your dog follows you around the house—which provides for taking a bath or a dump inside your comfort room.
- If they try to get close to you by climbing up your lap or sitting by your side.
- When they anticipate the time, you leave to follow you around when they don't have anything to do.
What Causes Velcro Syndrome?
Have you ever thought about the possible reasons why your canine partner sticks their way around you? Do you think there is some explanation for their actions?
Look no further! Listed below are the possible reasons for your dog's clinginess.
Bred to be Dependent to their Owners
Certain dog breeds tend to rely on their humans as guidance and direction for their survival and comfort. Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas are great examples, but giant dog breeds like German Shepherd and Akita tend to do it too.
Their susceptibility to rely on others makes them at risk of developing a velcro syndrome.
However, please take note that these dogs have no intention to be dependent. They are born to be one.
Breeds Highly at Risk of Velcro Syndrome:
This breed is considered the ultimate Velcro dog and is sometimes called the Hungarian Pointer because of its status as a hunting dog.
Accompanying their favorite human companions is second nature. Thus, they tend to stick around them as they please.
It's within an instinct of this breed to herd livestock. They are called herding dogs because of their vital energy to help their owners to manage their farm or ranch.
In contrast, they can be needy, clingy, and unable to work whenever their owners are not around.
These dogs are Velcro dogs because of their need to be on their owner's side at all times. Even if they're outgoing and friendly, these dogs will always opt to get close to you in any way possible.
This breed's nickname is called Velcro due to its clingy and territorial character. Their playful temperament, however, may be used to teach them to relax.
This breed's clinginess is one of a kind, making them another potential Velcro dog breed.
They will closely bond and attach to you through snuggling and cuddling. These dogs also like to lie down and burrow under blankets for their comfort.
Labradors are known to be loyal companion dogs.
As much as they're used to having humans around, they like to rely on and follow them around a lot. They'd even follow you from room to room in your home until you realize that they're there.
Frenchies are born to be dependent on their guardians. As a result, they're prone to develop vector syndrome and exhibit clingy behavior whenever possible.
With this breed, always expect to be smothered with their big and sloppy kisses. It's one of the ways that they could show you their affection for you.
Leaving your Great Dane at home puts them at risk of developing Velcro Syndrome.
Despite their enormous size and deceiving look, this breed is naturally a softie that excessively attaches to their humans.
This dog breed tends to extend their affection toward their human companions by following them around every corner of the house.
These pups always prefer to be near or attached to their family members. Like Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs might even try to herd them like sheep.
Coton de Tulear
These dogs are loyal and committed to the extent that they are called Velcro dogs themselves.
These pups are highly energetic creatures, and they are the type to hurry and sit on your lap for their much-awaited belly rubs.
These gentle giants are just as clingy and playful in comparison to their mini counterparts.
Giant Schnauzers may look intimidating at first sight, but they're one of the breeds that crave attention and affection.
Basset Hounds may be one of the laziest dogs. But they're not safe from developing velcro syndrome because, just like others, they're also clingy and needy.
These dogs are the ultimate support dogs that will always be by your side during emotional weaknesses. Finnish Lapphund dogs will cling to you every time they sense that you're sensitive and sad.
They're sweet with a charming temperament who loves to be around their owners. Considered a velcro breed, they are low-maintenance and are a good choice for moderately busy owners who won't mind cuddles.
Moving Into a New Neighbourhood
Significant changes in surroundings can be an anxious experience for your pup.
For well-trained dogs, they can quickly adapt to the place in a span of two weeks to two months. However, dogs who are not adept at socializing may take a year to adjust because of their possibly anxious nature.
Thus, to cope with their anxiety, they tend to stick to their owners most of the time.
Boredom Plus Lack of Mental and Physical Stimulation
Does your dog look bored most of the time and want to cling to you every chance they get?
If your answer to this question is yes, then your dog is probably experiencing a case of velcro syndrome.
One way to lessen this is to conduct training and other indoor activities such as hide and seek. This activity will distract their attention from you and become more alert to their surroundings.
You may also sharpen their olfactory receptors by hiding their favorite treat in the house and having them look for it. Furthermore, it may also be a good idea for you to bond by having a mini spa session with your dog.
Remember to always give a fraction of your time in sharing and showing your affection to your dog. As long as your pups feel your attention and presence, the velcro syndrome in them will eventually regress.
Most dogs firmly attach to their humans, but dogs with separation anxiety are complicated.
Separation anxiety is when dogs feel stress symptoms when the humans they hyper attach to are gone. It's the most common behavioral pattern in North American dogs, with diagnosed pooches ranging from twenty to forty percent.
This study also proves that hyper attachment to their owner strongly reflects the dog's separation anxiety. With this aspect, they might even go to lengths like trying to break out of their house to follow them.
On the other hand, one of the top reasons separation anxiety occurs is when you separate your pup from its mother a few weeks after its birth. Consequently, it makes them eager to attach themselves to a particular person (e.g., human companion) or object (e.g., blanket) that resembles the warmth of their mother.
Other Common Reasons Why Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety
Change of Ownership
Dogs who have constantly been changing owners have higher chances to develop separation anxiety due to the possible overwhelming stress of abandonment.
Leaving them alone for the first time
When dogs are used to interacting with others, they become anxious when they're suddenly alone. If this happens, they will try to look for attention by causing damage to their surroundings.
Sudden change in things they are used to
When your dogs sense that something changed in their usual routine, they might think there's something wrong happening. It may happen, especially if it's something abrupt.
A good example will be moving to another state after their human's work promotion.
Loss of a family member, especially one they hold dear
Dogs with separation anxiety tend to wait for their human companions, not knowing they are already dead.
It can be painful and confusing for them because their humans aren't around anymore.
However, dogs do not precisely understand the emotional feeling of losing someone in the family. They only know that they miss them.
The thought that their humans may leave them for good is several reasons for a dog's abandonment. It includes loss of interest, lack of money, and insufficient time to take care of them.
Every time someone adopts them, their separation anxiety will aggravate because of their fear of abandonment.
Bear in mind that separation anxiety and velcro syndrome are not the same.
A significant difference between them is that dogs with velcro syndrome are naturally clingy; thus, they feel happy whenever they follow you around. However, dogs with separation anxiety only experience panic if they sense you are about to leave their side.
An example of this is getting up from the couch, going to the bathroom, or leaving for work. It depends on the circumstances you're in, but most of the time, it's inevitable.
Nevertheless, velcro dogs are likely to develop separation anxiety compared to other dogs. However, not all of them will have it.
Signs and symptoms of separation anxiety-induced velcro syndrome include
- Excessive panting and drooling;
- Pacing and following you around;
- Constant howling or barking to call your attention;
- Frequent accidents inside your house where you'd find them in a fit of panic while trying to look for you; and
- Trying to escape the place to see you and assure themselves that you're alright;
If this occurs more than average, consult your local veterinarian immediately to know if it's velcro syndrome or separation anxiety. Furthermore, consultation is also a way to rule out any possible illnesses associated with their anxiety and stress.
Other illnesses or conditions may also serve as a factor for your dog's velcro syndrome. When dogs fall sick, their natural response is to find themselves in the care of their owners, especially during stressful days.
Most of these conditions are related to auditory or olfactory problems. And it's common among older dogs.
If your dog suddenly follows you around and it's not in its nature to do so, be alert and contact an appointment with your local veterinarian. It might be a sign that they may have a potential condition or illness if possible.
Ways to Train your Dogs with Velcro Syndrome
Start training your dogs as soon as possible while they're still young. Teach them to become less sensitive by repeatedly doing something mundane until they become bored of waiting.
Do they perk up when you put down your remote, hear the clinking of your keys, or go to the bathroom? Constantly do that until they don't mind you doing them anymore.
Another option is giving them a toy that they could spend their time playing with. Occupying your dog's mind is a good alternative, but sometimes it's not a long-term solution.
Teach them the stay command and use it every time you sense them following you. It is also harmless to say no when your dog will give you their ultimate lethal weapon—their innocent eyes.
Having a dog with velcro syndrome is harmless but can be an inconvenience. It may hinder you in terms of productivity and time management because of the hassle that it gives.
The lifestyle you have right now serves as a determining factor if you can take care of a dog with velcro syndrome or not. For example, if you are a busy person, please consider not having one.
In addition, be consistent in training and making time for them so they won't have to look for you in constant panic. Finally, help your dog overcome their velcro tendencies by firmly disciplining them.
It seems like an effortless thing to do, but dogs with velcro syndrome take every ounce of support from their owners. And helping them get out of it is the best way to help them.
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