Does your Australian shepherd follow you everywhere you go?
Even to the bathroom?
And if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering “why does my Aussie follow me everywhere?”
Well, I did some research on this exact topic and here is what I found out.
Herding dogs such as the Australian Shepherd, are bred to follow human commands. Not to mention, Australian Shepherds are working dogs by heart. This is why your Australian Shepherd seems to never leave your side. He is always alert and waiting for you to give him a command.
Let’s take a closer look into why your Australian Shepherd follows you everywhere.
Why your Australian Shepherd Follows you Everywhere
To first understand why our Aussies follow us everywhere, we first need to understand the history of the breed.
Want to hear a fun fact?
Australian Shepherds do not originate from Australia. The breed was originally developed in the United States by ranchers.
The purpose of the Australian Shepherd was to be a working dog. Protecting and herding livestock were a couple of important jobs the Aussie was assigned to do.
When my Australian Shepherd, Bo, was a pup, we took him to a family friend’s for a cookout. They lived on a ranch and owned a few sheep. As we were all out there enjoying the cookout, I noticed Bo had wandered off. After searching for him for several minutes, I discovered a cloud of dust in the distance. After a closer look, I noticed a group of sheep standing in a bunch and Bo sitting next to them with a big smile on his face.
Bo had herded up the sheep and was keeping them in a bunch.
Did I ever teach Bo to herd sheep?
He herded those sheep out of pure instinct and after he finished, he sat and waited for me to give him his next command.
It’s in his blood to be a quality working dog. And to be a quality working dog, he needs to be able to listen and follow commands.
This explains why Australian Shepherds seem to never leave our side. They are always waiting for us to give them orders. It’s what they are bred to do.
Australian Shepherd’s Can Be Attention Seekers
Let’s be honest.
Most of our dogs don’t shy away from attention. A good reason why your australian shepherd seems to follow you everywhere is because he wants attention.
Oftentimes when I am sitting on the couch watching TV, my dogs will walk over and nudge my hand with their nose. This is their way of asking for a head scratch. I don’t blame them. Head scratches are great.
It’s also in a dog’s blood to be our closest companion.
Your dog relies on you for survival. And some dogs understand this. They are aware that we are their caretakers. They provide us with protection and love and we provide them with food, water and shelter (and belly rubs).
Could your Dog Be Bored?
Another reason why your Australian Shepherd follows you everywhere is because he has nothing else to do. Endless days with nothing to do can lead to extreme boredom for your dog. If following you to the kitchen is your dog’s most exciting thing to do during his day, that’s a problem.
Luckily, here are a few things you can do to prevent your Australian Shepherd from getting bored at home.
Exercise is Important
A lot of dog owners don’t take their dogs out for walks or exercise. This can leave a dog feeling restless with a ball of energy stored up inside of them. If you are one of these people, I urge you to take your dog outside multiple times per day.
How much physical activity should your dog get per day? A good rule of thumb is a dog should get 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day.
You can make it fun too! Trips to the park and/or the lake can be a lot of fun for you and your dog. Try exploring new places in your city that you have never been to. Just make sure you take a good leash, so your best friend can’t slip away.
Chew Toys can be a Life Saver
Maybe you already do take your dog out multiple times per day and he still seems restless when he’s at home.
In this case, I recommend getting your Aussie some chew toys. Personally, my three australian shepherds love chewing on pretty much anything.
A quality chew rope like this one, or a simple rubber ball are perfect for providing your dog with some entertainment. My dogs spend hours playing with their chew toys and seem to never get bored of it.
Give your Aussie a Job
Nothing will satisfy your Australian Shepherd like giving him a job. Like we said before, it’s what they are bred to do.
A simple way to give your Australian Shepherd a job is by teaching him simple commands like how to sit and roll over. If he’s already mastered these simple tricks then you can move onto more difficult ones to keep things fun.
Practice these commands with your best buddy while you are sitting at home with nothing to do. To make it even more fun for you and your dog, you could add dog treats to the mix. Every time your Aussie correctly follows your command, give him a treat!
Playing Fetch with your Aussie
My favorite activity to do to entertain my dogs while we are at home is playing fetch. If you have a backyard or access to a park, a simple game of fetch can do wonders for curing boredom. This not only is a fun activity, but it satisfies your Aussie’s natural craving to work (don’t worry, they love it).
I always keep a big bag of tennis balls handy because we are always losing them. In 20 minutes, my dogs and I are huffing and puffing from a quality game of fetch.
This sort of activity can provide you with exercise too!
Benefits of A Dog that Follows you Everywhere
Lastly, I want to talk about the benefits of a dog that follows you everywhere. Would you rather have a dog that cared less about what you were doing or would you rather have a dog that loved to be in your presence?
I would choose the latter.
Dogs that don’t care about what their owners are doing usually are the ones who end up getting lost or doing something they shouldn’t be doing (chewing on the couch).
Having your dog always by your side gives you the peace of mind that he is safe and in no danger.
Plus, it’s convenient when you take your dog outside and he continues to stick by you. You don’t have to worry about your dog getting into trouble or even worse… running off!
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully, this article answers your question on why your dog seems to follow you everywhere.
Australian Shepherds are wonderful dogs to have because you know they never get tired of your presence.
Consider yourself extremely lucky to have a special friend like that.
Why Does My Australian Shepherd Follow Me to the Toilet? Your Australian Shepherd follows you because of his animal instinct. Aussies are bred to be working dogs and because of this, this breed is always waiting to receive commands from its owner. This is why your Australian Shepherd never seems to leave your side even when you are walking to the bathroom.
Are Australian Shepherds Clingy? Australian Shepherds love being near their owners. Because of their “wolf pack” mentality, Australian Shepherds may come off as clingy. In reality, they see you as the leader of the pack and they find comfort in being in your presence.
Why Does my Australian Shepherd Stare at Me? According to the American Kennel Club, dogs stare at their owners to show affection. In fact, the love hormone, oxytocin, is produced in dogs when humans look at them. This may be the reason your Australian Shepherd stares at you.
- Do Australian Shepherds like to Cuddle?
- Can Australian Shepherds Sleep Outside? – An Owner’s Guide
- Are Australian Shepherds Good with Other Dogs?
- Can Australian Shepherds Live Outside?
Meyers, Harriet. “Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere? It’s in His Genes.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 2 Mar. 2021, www.akc.org/expert-advice/advice/why-does-my-dog-follow-me-everywhere/
PetMD Editorial. “4 Reasons Your Dog Follows You Everywhere.” PetMD, 15 June 2018, www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/4-reasons-your-dog-follows-you-everywhere.
Flaim, Denise. “Australian Shepherd History: Behind the Breed.” American Kennel Club, 28 Sept. 2020, www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd-history-behind-breed.
Gibeault, Stephanie MSc. “Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?” American Kennel Club, 11 May 2020, www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/why-does-my-dog-stare-at-me/#:%7E:text=Just%20as%20humans%20stare%20into,feelings%20of%20love%20and%20trust.