Does your dog follow you each time you enter the shower? Does he go as far as sit outside and wait on the bathmat while you take a bath? Or even follow you more anxiously after you’re out of the shower?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, then there’s definitely a solid reason behind the behavior. While dogs love their human owners to death and prefer to follow them around, the bathroom is not one of the places our canine friends tend to follow us to.
Now, there are numerous reasons why your dog might follow you into the shower. It could mean that the dog is offering you companionship or is being a bit overprotective of you. It could also imply that the animal is poorly trained or ill-socialized. In some cases, a dog following his owner into the shower could be indicative of an underlying medical condition.
Read on as we unpack some of the reasons your dog follows you into the shower and what you can do to stop or redirect the behavior.
Possible Reasons Your Dog Follows You to the Shower
Dogs may not be as curious as cats are. But they’re just curious enough to want to check out whatever is going on in the shower.
The sound of water flowing out of the shower head and into the drains, or the scent of certain shower gels is sure enough to pique your dog’s curiosity. This may be more common with water-loving dogs like Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Poodle, and German Shepherd.
At times, the curiosity may have nothing to do with the flowing water or the sweet-smelling shower gels. The mere fact of you getting from the bedroom to the bathroom will cause your dog to wonder what’s going on and want to find out.
As you probably already know, dogs are pack animals which historically lived and traveled together in close-knit groups. The same traits can be seen in the domestic dog’s wild cousins like wolves, jackals, and wild dogs.
As far as dogs are concerned, every member of the household belongs to the pack. That includes their very owners.
Now, pack animals are meant to look out for each other and generally find comfort in being part of a group. Therefore, your dog following you to the shower could be a sign that he treats you as a member of the pack.
3. It’s In the Dog’s Nature
This ties back to the fact that dogs are pack animals and generally look out for every member of their pack.
However, it’s also worth noting that certain dog breeds have inborn traits that make them more inclined to follow their human owners. For instance, herding breeds like German Shepherds and border collies have a natural tendency to want to keep the whole family rounded up, just as they do when herding cattle.
So, when you move from the living room to the shower, the dog instinctively believes that you might endanger yourself, which is why he follows you.
Another reason your sweet canine friend could be following you to the shower is that the dog is trying to be overprotective of you. Usually, an overprotective dog will tend to stay by your side when other people or pets are around you.
While overprotective behavior is often inspired by good intentions, it could affect the dog’s routine negatively.
For instance, the behavior could prevent him from playing, eating, and even socializing normally with other people or pets as long as you’re around.
5. Attention-seeking Behavior
Dogs are attention-seeking animals who will stop at nothing to seize their owners’ attention. In most cases, this behavior is motivated by the dog’s desire to be the center of attention.
Maybe your pooch has recently noticed that you give more attention to other household pets and now he’s trying to use every opportunity he can find to grab the spotlight.
Other times, following you to the shower could be a sign that the dog is trying to bring something to your attention. Perhaps he has spotted something in the house that doesn’t belong, such as new furniture set or strange smells.
6. Poor Training and Socialization
Has your dog been following you ever since he was a puppy? And if yes, did you do anything to make him stop?
If your dog is accustomed to spending too much time with you, then he will invariably follow you wherever you go. And that includes the bathroom.
It’s also important to note that dogs are inherently loyal animals and are hardwired to stick close to those they love and trust. Even if you adopted a senior or adolescent dog but did nothing to make him stop following you around, he will learn to be loyal to you and follow you wherever you go.
7. You’re Inadvertently Rewarding the Behavior
How you react when your dog follows you to the bathroom could be a reason the behavior has become imprinted on him.
Unknown to you, you could be rewarding the dog each time you come out of the shower. Perhaps you throw a bone or toy his way as soon as you’re done using the shower.
It could also happen that your shower time coincides with the dog’s feeding hours, or you tend to pet and groom your pooch a lot after having a shower. As such, the dog tends to associate your shower time with some treat, and therefore follows you to the bathroom.
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8. Medical Condition
In extreme cases, a dog might follow you to the bathroom if he’s suffering from certain medical conditions. Canine anxiety disorders, such as separation anxiety, are some of the most common causes of such aberrant behaviors.
Separation anxiety refers to a medical condition where an animal suffers intense anxiety as a result of being left alone for extended durations, without enough physical or mental stimulation.
Most animals with separation anxiety tend to get anxious and irritable each time their owner is about to leave the house. For such pets, the idea of being alone makes them want to stick around their owners.
If you normally take a shower right before leaving the house, it can be one of the reasons your dog follows you to the shower. It’s the clearest indication ever that he’s about to be left alone.
How to Make Your Dog Stop Following You to the Shower/Bathroom
Much as we love and adore our canine friends, the idea of them following us to the bathroom is anything but fancy. Therefore, any dog owner facing this scenario would be interested in stopping or redirecting the behavior.
Right off the bat, it’s important to reiterate that the solution you adopt to stop your canine friend from following you to the shower will depend on the underlying cause of the behavior. So, you should begin easy by finding out the triggers or motivation behind this behavior before applying the right remedy.
The following are some of the tips to stop your dog from following you and sitting outside the shower;
1. Insist on early socialization
This doesn’t just apply to stopping a dog from following you to the bathroom. Early training and socialization will go a long way in helping to impart good behavior in the animal. In this case, the focus should be on making the dog less protective.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule on how early puppies should be trained to stop following their owners to the bathroom. However, you’re usually good to go in about six weeks or so.
2. Keep your dog ever stimulated
Adequate physical and mental stimulation can make a world of difference in terms of making a dog stop following his owner, be it to the bathroom or anywhere else.
For starters, a well-stimulated dog will not develop unnecessary curiosity or overprotective behavior. Such a dog will understand that you simply stepped into the shower and will be out in minutes.
Most importantly, enough stimulation is crucial to keeping separation anxiety at bay. So, be sure to walk and exercise your dog regularly whenever you’re around.
And when you’re gone, make provisions for enough toys. You could also consider hiring a dog sitter to keep the animal stimulated in your absence.
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3. Don’t reward the behavior
There are no two ways about it. As long as you don’t reward your dog each time you’re out of the shower, the animal will not associate your shower time with treat time.
So, if you find him waiting for you outside the bathroom, simply walk away.
Avoid petting him, touching him, making eye contact, or doing anything to suggest that you loved the idea of him waiting for you outside the shower.
So, Why Does My Dog Sit Outside The Shower?
As we’ve seen throughout the post, there are numerous reasons why your dog could be following you to the shower and waiting for you outside.
Although it’s generally a harmless behavior, it can be a bit uncomfortable for you. Fortunately, there are equally various tips you can implement to stop or redirect this aberrant behavior.
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