Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: you’re having a relaxing evening on the couch with your best friend (your dog) and you decide to pause the movie you’re watching to take a bathroom break.
What happens next? I think you know…
As you make your way to the bathroom, you notice that your beloved pup follows you and even wants to go inside the bathroom with you. Whether you let them in or banish them to the hallway is your call.
But one thing is for sure: our dogs are ALWAYS following us to the bathroom.
But why do they do that?
There are actually a few different reasons why this happens, according to certified applied animal behaviorist Mary Burch, Ph.D. The first reason is because they think something good might happen: a treat, a walk, some pets. Our dogs know they get a lot of good stuff from us, so it’s a positive reinforcement thing. They stick close by because they know that’s how good things happen.
A second reason is instinct. It’s in a dog’s nature to want to be part of a pack. If you only have one dog, you and your family are the pack. So naturally, they want to fit in at all times. One study states that it’s literally in a dog’s genes to want to follow you around.
Another explanation is that dogs want to feel good. And when they’re with their owners, chemicals that make them feel good are released into their brains. Just like humans enjoy those feel-good chemicals, so do dogs!
Dogs also feel a need to protect and help their owners, so if you get up and walk around, they might feel as if you are patrolling your home territory and they want to help you guard their turf. They’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason.
Our furry friends are also naturally curious animals so they want to know where you going and what you’re doing when you get up and leave their side.
The final reason, and probably the most obvious one, is that dogs want to bond with us humans because that trait has become universal in domesticated dogs over the years.
Now we know! Keep those pooches close to your side at all times! They’ll stick with us through thick and thin!