The Velcro Dog – that nervous, stressed out, anxious dog that follows you room to room, like your shadow, in fear of you leaving or some impending doom. Did you know that if you allow this type of behavior to continue, you’re actually reinforcing it and doing your dog a massive disservice. Intentional or not, allowing your dog to cling to you out of fear will inevitably perpetuate further instability, keeping him stuck in a negative state of mind.
Owners that are quick to smooch and soothe their dog in this mindset inevitably create a more insecure, anxious dog that relies heavily on his own impulse to take control of a situation. This can lead to anything from destructive separation anxiety to reactivity towards humans or other dogs.
Dogs riddled with fear based anxiety need MORE structure, rules, and routine than your average dog. Predictability creates security. Anxiety and stress sky rocket when a dog doesn’t know what’s happening next. If their leader can’t provide a blueprint that gives them this security, they will draw up the plan themselves. This is where panicked reactions come to a head.
The best thing we can do for our dogs is provide a clear set of rules and boundaries so that our dogs aren’t left making their own frenzied decisions.