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You can picture the scene. You’re doing the dishes in the kitchen—and your Rottie is right next to you. You’re brushing your teeth in the bathroom—and your Rottie sits there, wagging his tail. You’re working in your home office—and your Rottie is sleeping on your feet.
It’s no secret that Rottweilers love to follow their owners around. Wherever you go, they go. But why?
There may be a few reasons for your constant shadow, or “velcro dog,” but most likely your Rottie wants or needs something from you. That could include food, water, going outside, or even just some attention.
With this wide variety of needs, there are a few signs you can watch for that will let you know what your Rott wants. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the reasons they may be following you around.
Reason 1: Rottweilers get firmly attached by nature.
Rottweilers are not always the most trusting dogs, especially not right away. Rotts need to be introduced to new people, animals, or situations slowly. They’ll need some time to warm up.
However, once you prove your commitment, authority, and love to a Rott, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more loyal companion.
Because they are so naturally affectionate towards their humans, Rottweilers will be happiest when they’re around their people. Your Rott following you around and leaning up against you could simply be a sign that they have a strong attachment to you and want to keep you safe. Think of it as your Rottie’s way of telling you they love you!
Reason 2: Your Rottie is trying to communicate with you.
To understand this point, we need to know a little bit about the history of Rottweilers. They were originally bred as a working dog, trained to herd cattle and other livestock. That herding instinct is still part of their personality, so it makes sense that your Rott would stay right with you.
They may try to nudge you in a certain direction if they’re experiencing a particular want or need, and they could even use vocals (that “rumble” sound you sometimes hear, almost like a purr) to try to communicate with you.
Reason 3: Your Rottweiler needs something.
These needs will most frequently involve food, water, or going outside. In order to decipher your pup’s need, pay attention to his physiological signs. Is he wandering around his food bowl? Is he pulling you towards the door to go outside?
Other needs could involve wanting to play or needing to exercise. Rottweilers are fairly muscular dogs, and they need to get a decent amount of exercise every day, whether that be taking them for a long walk, giving them space to run, or involving them in an interactive play session.
Reason 4: Your Rottweiler wants attention.
Rotts can be needy dogs! They consistently want love in the form of belly scratches, ear rubs, play sessions, and cuddling. If your dog ~isn’t feeling the love~ they’re going to let you know by following you around and annoying you until you give it to them. Be fully prepared for them to climb into your lap for bonding time, no matter how big they get.
Even though Rottweilers generally do well alone, they still need your attention! If Rotties aren’t getting enough interaction or aren’t being provided stimulation, they could experience boredom. Boredom can easily turn into destroyed furniture or chewed-up shoes, so provide your dog with some activity, in the form of toys, attention, or a good long walk outside.
Reason 5: Your Rottweiler may have separation anxiety.
Because they get so easily attached, Rotties can also suffer from separation anxiety when away from their owners. If you leave your dog for a time and then return home, your dog might be more likely to follow you around because they experienced fear or anxiety while you were gone.
If you think this is the case, there are steps you can take to minimize that anxiety. Make sure your environment is safe, welcoming, and comfortable for your furry friend. Buy your Rottie some hard-to-destroy interactive toys. Make sure they are getting enough exercise while you’re home. It might take a few tries before you figure out what works for your Rott.
Can I train my Rottweiler not to follow me everywhere?
Is your constant shadow getting to be a little too much for you? Let’s talk about how to set some healthy boundaries in place.
Rottweilers are very smart dogs, and they can be trained towards or away from certain behaviors, including this one. But before you work on that training, you need to figure out why exactly your Rottie is following you around.
Does your dog need something? Make sure they have plenty of food and water, and take them outside to go to the bathroom on a consistent basis.
Is your dog getting enough attention? Rotts can be needy. Make sure you’re spending a few hours every day playing, giving belly scratches, or just letting them be close to you.
Is your dog experiencing anxiety while you’re away? If so, take some steps to minimize that anxiety.
Does your dog get enough exercise? It’s not just running! We’ve got a long list of our favorite Rottweiler games that not only stimulate dogs physically but mentally too.
Finally, examine your relationship with your dog. You could be positively reinforcing clingy behavior, maybe without even realizing it. While you absolutely need to provide for your Rottie’s physical and emotional needs, be careful not to directly reward neediness.
Beyond these first few steps of what to do and what not to do, you can also teach your Rott some simple commands, such as “Stay,” “Place,” or “Out.” Although they can initially be headstrong, Rottweilers are very obedient, and they have the desire to please, so these commands can be highly effective. Teaching these commands, especially at a young age, will set some boundaries and give both you and your Rott some freedom.
Next time you trip over your velcro dog while doing household chores, see if you can figure out what they want! Pay attention to your Rott’s wants and needs to make sure they are living the happiest, healthiest life possible.