If you have a bonded canine friend in your life, you know just how hard it is to escape their sight.
Even the bathroom is not off limits for many beloved pups, causing some to follow you right into the restroom as you attempt to do your business.
Though some dogs simply need to be at your side at all times, others act as if they need to stand watch while you sit on the toilet.
So what does this strange behavior mean in our furry friends?
In this article we will discuss the plausible reasons why your dog may follow you into the bathroom, and help you better understand how you can limit this behavior going forward.
Is This Behavior Normal?
Before we discuss the possible reasons why your dog follows you to the bathroom, it’s important to understand that this behavior is completely normal.
Many canine friends follow their owners from room to room, even invading their private time in the bathroom.
Dog owners around the globe have a constant furry shadow at their side, and no activity is off limits when it comes to their pursuit.
Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom?
Now that you understand just how common of a behavior this is, it’s time to go into the many reasons why our pups feel the need to spy on our bathroom trips.
Ranging from general curiosity to fear of being alone, there can be more to this behavior than meets the eye.
1.) Your Dog Wants To Be Near You
Our dogs love nothing more than being in our company.
While we have many layers to our lives and plenty of distractions, we are a dog’s entire world.
Due to this, many pups will be glued to their owner’s side at any given chance.
A trip to the bathroom is just one more opportunity for our dogs to spend time with us, causing them to perch outside the door and watch our every move.
2.) Your Dog Is Offering Protection
While going to the bathroom may not seem like a dangerous activity to us, our dogs may beg to differ.
Dogs view this time as especially vulnerable, as our level of distraction allows for predators to sneak up on us.
Wild dogs would guard their pack members each time they passed stool, preventing any dangerous predators from sneaking up on them while they did their business.
While we may not find any roaming predators in our homes or bathrooms, our dogs may be trying to offer us ample protection just in case.
3.) Your Dog Is Following Pack Mentality
Many have branched away from pack mentality training in our canine friends, but that does not mean we can eliminate all pack mentality behaviors in our pups.
Our dogs have an ingrained need to bond with their family and even imprint on certain owners, causing them to cling to their side as often as possible.
Some dogs may even see their owners as the leader of their pack, feeling the need to shadow them at all times.
Some dogs may feel an obligation to follow their owners around their home, bathroom time included.
4.) Your Dog Dislikes Being Alone
Being alone can be a terrifying thing for some canine friends.
This is especially common in dogs that are not yet secure in their surroundings, ranging from newly adopted dogs to young puppies.
Dogs that are afraid to be left alone will typically follow their owners around at all times, and not just when they get up to go to the bathroom.
These dogs may even whine and appear anxious when you shut the bathroom door, only for them to be immediately relieved and joyful once you join them again.
5.) Your Dog Is Trying To Bond With You
Our dogs can attempt to bond with us during strange moments.
Some dogs will stare into our eyes and even attempt to rest their head on our legs as we sit on the toilet, looking for any opportunity to show their love.
Our bathroom time can be especially vulnerable in our dog’s eyes, leading them to think this could be a good time to connect.
Though it may seem strange, some furry friends are simply looking for a bonding opportunity.
6.) Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety
If a dog suffers from separation anxiety, they may view your short trips to the bathroom as distressing moments.
These dogs may appear restless and stressed any time their owners leave the room, causing them to cling to their side at every given opportunity.
Dogs with separation anxiety will typically struggle with any type of separation from their owners, ranging from short bathroom trips to hours left alone at home.
This is a much more frantic behavior than simply wanting to be near their owners and results in actual distress for the dog affected.
7.) Your Dog Is Being Rewarded Somehow
We are often unaware of the subtle rewards we offer our pups in our daily behaviors.
Something as simple as talking to our dogs as we walk to the bathroom can be motivating for our pup, causing them to seek out this attention each time you leave the room.
This is especially true if you ever pet your dog while sitting on the toilet, as many pups will attempt to recreate this moment as often as possible.
Why Does My Dog Watch Me Poop?
If your dog always wants to watch you poop, it could be due to a combination of the reasons we discussed above.
It can be due to their need to guard you, general curiosity about what you are up to, and even fear of being left alone in another room.
No matter the exact cause behind your dog’s need to stare while you poop, it typically comes down to some form of love and interest in what we are doing.
If the habit seems a bit too strange for your liking, you can always keep the bathroom door closed.
Should I Let My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?
As long as you are not bothered by your dog’s presence in the bathroom, there is nothing wrong with letting your pup follow you there.
This behavior is typically harmless and endearing to some pet owners and does not automatically point to an underlying behavioral issue.
However, if your dog already struggles with separation anxiety or insecurities in their home, this could be a wonderful opportunity to encourage separation.
By helping them feel comfortable with being left alone in another room for short periods, this will allow them to work up to feeling secure for longer periods of separation from their owners.
Can I Teach My Dog Not To Follow Me To The Bathroom?
If you do not approve of your dog’s need to follow you to the bathroom, there are a few ways to put an end to this strange behavior for good.
Let’s list a few of the most effective tips and tricks to implement going forward.
- Give your dog an enticing toy or bone each time you head to the bathroom
- Train your pup to sit in place or outside of the bathroom door, offering them a tasty treat each time they succeed
- Avoid talking to your pup each time you leave the room so they won’t be encouraged to follow you
- Engage in a game of fetch right before you go to the bathroom, tossing the toy to the other side of the room right before you exit
- Install a baby gate near the bathroom that will not allow them to bother you at the door
Understanding the underlying reasons why our dogs follow us to the bathroom is the best way to put an end to the behavior going forward.
Once you begin to address the feelings behind these actions, you can determine the best plan to limit the behavior in the future.
If your dog acts as your shadow each time you go to the bathroom, you are certainly not alone.
After reviewing the potential causes behind this behavior above, you can begin to understand your dog’s need to invade your space.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! More About Us