Dogs love us and love being with us. They’d gladly spend every possible moment with us!
While we find this cute in theory, the reality is most of us would get irritated at least once when our dog insists on following us to the private areas of our home. This will likely leave you wondering, “Why does my dog follow me to the bathroom all the time?”
Well, there isn’t an exact reason that can be applied to everyone. All dogs are individual creatures with their own personalities that can baffle even the most experienced dog owners.
Some experts have tried answering this question and discovered why dogs do this. So, if you wonder, “Why does my dog follow me to the bathroom?” you might find their results interesting.
Just keep in mind that your dog likely won’t stop doing this any time soon!
So, why does my dog follow me into the bathroom? Here are a couple of possibilities:
Why Does My Dog Follow Me to the Toilet?
All dog owners have likely realized that having alone time isn’t likely to happen any time soon. This clingy dog behavior is both the cutest and most annoying part of being a dog owner.
But why do our dogs do something as silly as standing in front of our bathroom door for hours, if necessary?
Here are 20 possible reasons to answer the question, “Why does my dog follow me to the bathroom?”
1. Breed Traits
Some dog breeds are more prone to this clingy behavior than others. Shepherds, Border Collies, Cattle Dogs – all herding breeds are known to be what is called velcro dogs. These doggies will follow you everywhere – including into the bathroom. This is likely a residue from their working dog ancestors that had to follow their humans everywhere on the fields.
On the other hand, Doberman Pinschers or Dachshunds will follow you everywhere because of their protective nature. It is in their genes to keep you safe from danger, and the best way to do so is to make sure you never leave their sight.
Finally, some friendly dog breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever or the Pointer, will follow you simply as a sign of affection.
Puppies are likely to follow you everywhere. It’s in their instincts to follow their parents no matter where they go, and they’ll continue to do the same with you.
When you adopt or purchase your puppy, you will become like a parent to them. One might even say that you become their whole world. They’ll want to stay with you all the time and socialize as much as possible.
This behavior will continue once a dog grows up. In fact, dogs with such behavioral traits will continue to follow their owners everywhere, even if you’ve adopted them as an adult or senior dog.
To them, following you around is simply out of a desire to socialize and spend as much time as possible around you. Unfortunately, this also means following you to the bathroom and likely whining until you get out.
3. Pack Mentality
In the wilderness, our canines’ ancestors used to live in a pack. Even when left to live freely, dogs will gather in a pack. This is yet another part of their instincts that remained.
When you adopt a dog, you become a member of their pack – the leader of the pack, nonetheless. They will want to spend every possible moment with you and will hate being left alone. Being alone means being vulnerable and lonely, and no dog will like that.
Unfortunately, if you could ask your dog, they would probably answer that this includes even brief bathroom visits. Pack animals should stick together all the time, even while doing something private.
4. They Are Protective
We’ve already mentioned that some dog breeds are more protective than others. However, all dogs are protective to a certain extent. Taking care of their pack members is something everyone has to do.
Any place or room can be ideal for predators – including the bathroom. If you wonder, Why does my dog follow me to the bathroom? chances are, he is looking after you to save you from any danger that might occur.
The moment you go into the toilet (or any other room, for that matter) and close the door, you are staying unprotected and at risk of something bad happening. Your dog is likely worried that a terrible predator might come and get you while you’re doing your business, and they want to be there to help you out.
5. Dogs Don’t Understand Privacy
Dogs don’t think the same way humans do. They live in a pack, and the concept of privacy isn’t familiar to them. If you look at your beloved pooch, you’ll probably notice that they will gladly sniff each other even during potty time!
While this is disgusting for most humans, for dogs, this is entirely normal. They don’t understand why you would want to do anything on your own – especially as you have pack members who are there to look after you while you are on the toilet.
Inside a pack, everything is shared with everyone – including going to the toilet. Not to mention how fun it is for dogs to be around other pack members! They simply don’t understand such boundaries.
6. They Hate Being Alone
Dogs are very social creatures that hate being alone. They don’t understand why you would want to do anything alone without your best friend.
Because of this, they’ll gladly provide you company all the time, even when you’re in the restroom. By doing this, they’re offering to help you fight boredom by always having someone by your side.
7. They Are Curious
The bathroom is somewhere you go several times a day, and sometimes you take your time inside it. Sometimes, there is even the sound of running water!
All of this might make your dogs excited. They’ll think that there must be something fun going on inside of that room, and they’ll want to be a part of it.
At the same time, they might think there is something wrong inside of that area and that you’re going inside of it to see what’s happening. This will make them think they should be monitoring these activities.
8. They Are Supportive
When you go to the bathroom, you are clearly doing something. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be spending that much time inside that one room – especially not with the doors closed!
From your dog’s point of view, this surely means something important is going on inside the toilet. As you’re going inside to solve whatever problem is occurring, your dog will want to show his support and be there for you.
9. They Love Attention
Most dogs are attention-seekers. They will want to have your full attention at all times – and this isn’t something you can do if you’re inside a room with the doors shut!
In fact, this type of behavior is usually the owner’s fault – at least partially.
When we have a puppy, he will likely whine when we go into the toilet. To make him feel more comfortable (or simply to stay quiet), some dog owners will cuddle him or give him a treat before going into the bathroom.
Unfortunately, this usually backfires. Your dog will connect getting attention with you going inside that particular room. If he whines, you’ll pay him attention and show him some form of affection.
If you think this is the reason, your best option would be to train your dog to do something else while you’re inside the bathroom. Send him into a room, give him a puzzle toy, or make him do a trick.
Once you’re out of the toilet, reward the change in his behavior with some positive reinforcement. This might help you regain some privacy.
10. This Is How They Show Their Love
Some dogs don’t just stop at following you to the bathroom door; they’ll bring you a toy in their mouth, pick up a towel, or even bring you toilet paper!
This type of behavior is your furry friend’s way of expressing the unconditional love he feels toward you. By bringing you useful things, he’ll show that he cares about you, no matter what it is you’re doing.
11. They Love Being with You
Let’s face it. We all live very busy lives and are likely not spending as much time at home as we should. Even if we work from home, we still sit at our computers most of the time. This can make our dogs miss us.
So, if you’re wondering, Why does my dog follow me to the bathroom? chances are, he is simply missing you and is using every possible opportunity to spend some extra time with you.
12. They Want to Know You Better
Dogs meet other dogs by sniffing their bottoms. This is disgusting in our eyes, but for them, it is a logical way to get to know someone a bit better.
Many dogs will want to follow you while you go to the toilet for that same reason. They will think this is a perfect opportunity to know you better – and you’re forbidding them to do so. This is why they’ll whine.
13. They Are Looking for a Treat
Dogs can sometimes behave like children. Their logic can be something that would never cross our mind, but it is still one of the possible reasons your dog might be following you into the toilet.
If you go into a room often, your dog might think this is where you’re hiding treats. In the end, most of us keep treats in a locked closet inside a room that dogs sometimes aren’t welcome. The locked bathroom door might make them think the same is happening here.
14. Dogs Love To Stare at Their Owners
This is another adorable yet incredibly annoying behavior dogs like to do. They can spend hours sitting and looking at you.
While this might be weird to us, eye contact is a way dogs can tell they are being loved. For them, this is a body language that expresses an emotional connection – no matter how awkward that might feel for you, especially if your dog looks at you while you’re using the toilet.
15. They Love Smells
This might be the simplest explanation of all – but at the same time, it is likely the most plausible one of them all.
Dogs love to smell us, and a bathroom is a place full of funny smells! We’re not just talking about bodily smells. This is where you keep your shampoos, perfumes, and soaps – all of which might remind your pups of you, their pack leader.
For your dog, dirty towels aren’t something that needs to go inside the washing machine, and poop isn’t something dirty. They will think of them as a source of information, something they can use to feel closer to you.
16. They Consider You Their Pack Leader
You are not just a pack member for many dogs – you are a pack leader that they have to follow all the time.
Many dogs can become imprinted on you, and they’ll consider you a part of the family. This is especially the case with dogs you’ve adopted at an early age. For them, you are a parental figure that should always be by their side.
A dog will feel obliged to follow the leader of their pack around the home. When you lock the bathroom door, you are making them fail at such an important duty.
Why does my dog follow me to the bathroom but not my roommate, family member, or any of my friends?
Some dogs – especially reserved dog breeds such as Chihuahuas or Dobermans – tend to pick a favorite person. This is the person they’ll want to be with all the time, even during bathroom time.
18. They Are Afraid
If your dog follows you to the restroom when there are guests around or if the TV is on, chances are he is afraid and wants to be close to you, his ‘safe person.’
Think about whether your dog follows you around all the time, or only if it’s only in certain situations. If it is the latter, your dog is likely afraid of something inside his environment.
19. They Are Insecure
Some dogs can be very insecure. They’ll insist on following you all the time and spending every second with you because this is what makes them feel safe.
Keep in mind that this isn’t healthy behavior. It is usually followed with ‘resource guarding,’ a type of behavior when a canine believes that the only way to protect something (or himself) is to express aggression.
As you might’ve guessed, this can end up being quite dangerous, especially if you have kids inside the house. Resource guarding is something you’d want to get rid of, and the best way to do so is to consult a veterinarian, as well as a professional dog trainer.
20. Separation Anxiety
Dogs can suffer from what is called ‘separation anxiety.’ Some signs of separation anxiety include insisting on spending as much time with you as possible but switching to panic mode the second you leave.
Sometimes, your pooch might behave stressed the moment you close the door. The whining will stop if you open the door – however, this isn’t a good solution in the long run. Quite the opposite, it will let your dog know that if they whine for long enough, you will let them in.
Separation anxiety – or any type of anxiety – isn’t an easy condition. You should consider consulting a vet or a trainer for help. Otherwise, both your dog and you will be stressed out every time you need to use a bathroom.
Do Dogs Follow You into the Bathroom?
So, now you know the likely answers to the burning question of “why does my dog follow me to the bathroom?” But how many dog owners struggle with this type of behavior?
This isn’t an uncommon behavior in dogs, and you shouldn’t be overly concerned if this is happening to you. By following you to one of your most private moments, your dog is expressing his love and affection toward you, his pack leader.
Of course, if signs of stress or constant whining follow this behavior, this is likely a signal that something is wrong. Don’t hesitate to visit a behavioral specialist if you think this behavior could be stopped – or at least reduced to something more manageable.