If your dog expresses that it always needs to be touching you, there are several reasons why your dog might be doing it, and it could be a combination of factors such as wanting attention, positive reinforcement, pack-like mentality, and separation anxiety symptoms. Your dog may also be trying to communicate to you by showing their affection towards you, whether or not they may need something from you.
Because dogs cannot communicate with us, they use their body language to tell us things.
This article will help explain possible reasons why your dog always has to touch you and what you can do to prevent it.
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Related Reading: Common Reasons Your Dog Licks Your Hand
Five Reasons Your Dog Always Has To Be Touching You
1. Your Pup Is Looking For Affection Or Attention From You
If your dog behaves in this sense, it could be looking for your attention. If your dog touches you at a specific time in the day, every day, maybe reflect on why only those times.
Is it around the time you usually feed them, or perhaps it’s around when you two go on its daily walks?
You should also know that if you consider bringing home a new furry addition to your household, do your research on that dog’s personality traits.
You’ll be able to learn if the breed is a cuddler or if they keep to themselves more. Breeds that can be the most cuddly are, Pugs, Dachshunds, Alaskan Klee Kai, Boxers, Newfoundlands, and even Great Danes.
Taking time to research the personality traits of different breeds may be the first step you take before bringing home a new puppy.
2. Dogs Have Pack-like Instincts
Depending on the type of dog breed you have, your dog is probably protective of you somehow. If your dog touches you while sleeping, that could be another way of displaying your dog’s protective impulses towards you.
Most people don’t realize that dogs actually are pack creatures by instinct. Wild dogs are known to travel in packs and have their leader, who was chief of them and was the protector.
If you think about it, your dog is then looking to you as his protector.
3. You Are Rewarding The Behavior
If you entertain the idea of them touching you or sleeping right up next to you, it can be the reason for this behavior.
If you reward your dog in any way, your dog will make it a habit, and think by always being near you, touching you could get it whatever attention it wants.
4. Your Dog May Have Separation Anxiety
If you have recently adopted a new fur member into your family, you may notice that your dog may not want to leave your side.
Or if you are seeing that your pup starts to act clingy when you are leaving the house, this is because your new pet has developed separation anxiety. Don’t be too worried, as this is very common amongst shelter pets.
Many dogs like to snuggle up against their owners and sleep with them. This behavior is also notably typical. Your dog might likely feel more comfortable while sleeping near you or touching you.
5. Perhaps You Are Making Your Dog Feel More Secure By Your Touch
If you have a very protective pup, they could be touching you because of that. Your dog is making sure that by having itself by you, you are then safe. Your dog could be showing this behavior while sleeping with you and facing the central door opening.
Sometimes when a dog sleeps on top of you, it indicates your dog wants to be protected by you. You are your dog’s protector; therefore, this might cause your dog to stay close to you or to touch you.
Is This Behavior Something To Be Concerned About?
Off the bat, I will let you that if your dog has to be always touching you, it’s not the worst thing. There usually are no underlying health concerns or issues.
If you are a dog parent and would prefer that your furbaby is not a cuddler, consider the type of breed your dog is. As mentioned above, there are specific personality traits in each and every dog breed as no dog is alike.
However, allowing your dog to be cuddling with you is an option you are choosing and bestowing as an appropriate behavior to your pup.
If this behavior is new to your dog, as in they never used to act this way before, it is possible that something happened to him for these behaviors to show up. Consider reflecting on what might’ve happened to him.
Was he recently hurt by another dog or animal? Were you gone for an extended period, leaving him alone for that time?
Also, it’s good to know that if your dog doesn’t always display these behaviors, be aware of what is different when it does happen. Your dog is likely acting in these behaviors right before going out for its daily walking or right before being fed.
How to Correct This Behavior
If you decide to discourage this behavior, then consider the following methods for “paws-itivily” training them.
Method #1: Move Your Dog’s Bed Closer To Your Bed
By moving your dog’s bed closer to your own bed will still effectively allow them to feel like they are a part of your “pack” and retroactively still protecting.
Method #2: Positive Reinforcement
As you should always do if you need your dog to obey you and obey your commands, it is always important to enforce training in the most positive way.
By using this method, you are teaching your dog certain behaviors to encourage it to behave the way you desire simply by providing a reward when he acts that way.
You can use this method to teach your dog to sleep or rest someplace else other than your bed. The best way to appropriately do this method is to give a reward to your dog if it displays good behavior.
Method #3: Reducing Stressful Environments and Anxiety
As stated earlier, it’s possible that your dog could be displaying behaviors like touching or constantly being by you, which could be a result of having separation anxiety.
Steps you can take to help reduce your dog’s anxiety would be going on daily walks, and if you can, more than once. If you find that your dog gets anxious before leaving the house for work, try to take it outside to go to the bathroom so they aren’t waiting too long.
Separation anxiety can lead to so many damaging behaviors in dogs, including being incapable of relaxing away from you, which leads us to our next method.
Method #4: Providing & Showing Comfort
When dogs can not sleep away from you, it can become a tremendous problem that leads to adverse outcomes. If you are a dog parent that loves to have your furry friend nearby when relaxing or sleeping, consider purchasing high-quality, plush dog beds for the areas you desire.
Placing the dog beds in cozy and quiet areas not only teaches the dog where its appropriate resting space is but gives you peace of mind knowing they are nearby.
If that spot happens to be its crate, then making the area more comfortable ensures that your dog will have a better chance of actually sleeping in its crate.
You also want to be sure that you provide enough space for the dog to lie down comfortably, and the areas you have chosen for your dog to sleep or rest are not too bright at night, as this will keep their brain stimulated and won’t provide enough melatonin to their brain for a good night’s rest.
How To: Going back to positive reinforcement, if you can get your pup to be comfortable with the sleeping location you choose, and whenever he goes there, get him to lay down, then reward him with a treat or two and some high praise!
Repeat this process every day until your dog finally makes the connection to lay in his own bed.
Is There Any Benefit As a Human To My Dog Always Touching Me?
Surprisingly to some, there are numerous benefits to having your dog always touching you or being by you. There are specific reasons as to why dogs are often supporting animals.
Having a loving dog nearby prevents loneliness, aids in mental challenges, encourages exercise, and even can help detect diseases like cancer.
As humans, we crave companionship and connection. When we have a companion, we feel connected, desired, and needed. Some studies show that even a little interaction with a dog can help reduce stress, anxiety and even improve our mood.
In conclusion, your dog could display behaviors connected to why they always have to be touching you. Simply loving you, needing your undivided attention, having anxiety, or reenacting pact-like instincts are just some reasons you should consider.
If you are looking to discourage any touching behaviors with your pup, look into some positive reinforcement training to use for this.