What Makes a Dog a “Velcro Dog”?
Jack is a velcro dog. What does that mean? Does it mean he’s bonded to me? Does it mean he REALLY loves me? Does it mean he freaks out if I’m not around? It means a little of all of that. Mostly, it means that Jack is attached to me like velcro. He follows me everywhere, attached to my hip. It’s flattering that he loves me so much, but it can be a bit annoying when:
- I’m trying to cook and I trip over him when I turn to the stove.
- I enter our walk-in closet and he follows me and blocks the door.
- I go to the bathroom and he sits next to me until I’m finished.
- I take a shower and he lies down outside the bathroom door.
- I go for a walk in the yard or up the driveway and is so close to my side I have to back up to get around him.
Being a velcro dog could also mean your dog has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety “describes a condition in which a dog exhibits distress and behavior problems when separated from its handler”. (Wikipedia) It can be quite serious, destructive and debilitating if not handled correctly. While I don’t think Jack has separation anxiety, we will take a closer look at the condition, it’s signs and possibly remedies in a subsequent post.
Luckily, Jack doesn’t exhibit any distress when I leave. He usually seems to know when I’m going out – mainly because I put on ‘real clothes’ instead of my usual around the house clothes. But luckily his attachment doesn’t carry into anxiety. He doesn’t even follow me to the door, he just climbs in the bed that gives him a view of the driveway and watches me leave…and he’s there watching for me when I return.
Tino was the opposite of Jack. Tino was probably the most independent of our dogs, although Maggie is giving him a run for his money for that title. There were many days when Tino would go outside after breakfast and spend his entire day out in the backyard. He would have no idea if I was home or had gone out and didn’t seem to care, he was perfectly happy with his own company.
While Jack usually wants to be near me when I am home, he’s perfectly content and comfortable when I’m out. How about you and your dog? Independent? Bonded? Velcro? Separation anxiety issues?