Last Updated/Info Checked on October 19, 2023 by Linda Michaels
One of the kindest, most affectionate, and most obedient dog breeds, Pitbulls have emerged to be great companions for humans. They are a trustworthy and reliable family-oriented breed.
However, Pitbulls have a natural tendency towards clinginess. This means you will have a hard time getting personal space and peace of mind.
But, being an intelligent breed, they can be trained to reduce unwanted behaviors.
A lot of factors decide a dog’s proclivity to be clingy. Pitbulls are clingy because they may be suffering from separation anxiety. Lack of exercise, and thus, lack of physical and mental stimulation, old age, and high sensitivity to their environment also make them stick to you.
Why Are Pitbulls So Clingy? And How To Train Them Out Of It
In this article, we will be going through all the details about your dog’s clinginess and what techniques you can use to make them leave such a behavior.
What Makes A Dog Clingy? The Velcro Pitbull
Another word for a clingy pooch is velcro, your dog would be called velcro or clingy when it has the following habits.
- It follows you around the house
- Cannot sleep away from you
- Demands constant attention
- Cannot tolerate loneliness
- It will be waiting for you when you get up from sleep
If your Pitbull is displaying such habits, then it is safe to assume that it is a velcro, Pitbull. Watch the video below and you’ll understand what I mean.
Why Is It Wrong For Dogs To Be Clingy?
Dogs that become overly attached and clingy rob you of your time and space. You cannot enjoy your own company, be alone with your thoughts or have independent leisure.
This annoys a lot of people, especially those who live by themselves. They would need a dog daycare service to look after their dependent dog when they leave for work. Moreover, they may have to take the dog with them whenever they go out on vacation.
However, for those of you looking for just the type of companion I described, someone who sticks around and is there all the time, then a velcro Pitbull is the right match for you.
Reasons Why Is My Pitbull So Clingy?
Let me share 6 reasons for Pitbull clinginess.
Many Pitbulls get so attached to their owners that they cannot imagine their lives without them. Even in the presence of multiple family members, they have been known to get attached to only one person.
When separated, they get separation anxiety and do not function well on their own.
Lack Of Exercise
Pitbulls are moderately energetic dogs, they require a certain amount of healthy activity every day to keep them physically engaged.
Dogs that do not drain their energy tend to be more clingy at home as compared to the ones that are tired as the latter would want to relax, giving the owners time to spend by themselves as well.
Lack Of Mental Stimulation
A lack of mental activity means your pooch has nothing to do throughout the day. Dogs that have no activities of their own keep themselves busy by sticking to their owners.
Dogs that are sensitive to external cues like loud noises and lights or even to strangers, get stressed easily and find comfort in the company of their owners. Hence they become clingy.
Change Of Environment
Any recent change of city or apartment or of the people in your household can be the reason for your dog’s unrest which it displays through being overly attached to you.
Many dogs do not handle change well and rely on their old companions as a source of strength and comfort.
Just as with humans, dogs get more attached to their families as they get old. That may be the reason for your Pitbull’s clinginess.
Signs Of Pitbull Separation Anxiety
As previously mentioned, dogs that are highly sensitive and dependent on their owner’s presence tend to get hit by separation anxiety when left alone.
You can tell that a dog is having separation anxiety from the following pitbull anxiety symptoms:
- Fidgety with increased barking and howling
- Urination and defecation that may be in random places
- Eating their feces is known as coprophagia
- Chewing at random things
- Destroying household items
- The dog may try to escape its house and may get into accidents
If you see some of these signs in your presence, this might be a sign of something else and you would need to get your dog checked by a professional.
Now that you know why your Pitbull might be so clingy lately, let’s discuss the various ways you can train it not to be.
4 Ways To Get Rid of Pitbull Clinginess
Follow these and you’ll thank me.
1. Regular Exercise
Keep your dog physically engaged. Have it follow a proper exercise routine.
You can take your dog out on long walks or have him play fetch, frisbee, or any dog sport with you. You can even involve him in playing with other dogs. I used to keep a German Shepherd along with Pitbull and they were very nice friends.
This would tire your pooch and at home, it would try to rest and relax rather than following you around everywhere.
2. Mental Stimulation
Mental engagement for dogs is as important as physical engagement.
Have your dog solve puzzles or play detective games that stimulate the mind. This would not only divert his attention but also keep his mental faculties drained.
3. Command And Reinforce
You can train your dog into being less clingy through commands and positively reinforcing this behavior.
What you need to do is order your dog to stay at a distance when it tries to come near. Use hand gestures and an affirming voice. When it follows the command, reward it with a treat.
Gradually keep increasing the distance until your dog can handle itself being out of your sight.
Similarly, you can leave your dog alone and run errands. Do that for shorter periods initially and then keep on increasing the time until it becomes okay for the dog to be left alone at home for longer durations.
Associating this behavior with a treat is essential for the dog to see the distancing as rewarding rather than a punishment.
You can use your Pitbull’s favorite food or game as the reward.
4. Desensitize Your Dog
Dogs that are overly sensitive need to be desensitized to their environments.
You can do this by exposing them to external cues gradually.
For example, make them listen to noises and keep on increasing the intensity when the dog normalizes to one grade.
Similarly, you can train your pooch into meeting new people. Start with a small number and then keep on introducing it to more.
During this desensitization process, make sure you are there by the dog’s side otherwise the dog may get more anxious than before.
Should You Own Another Pet With A Clingy Pitbull?
One of the ways to reduce a clingy pet’s anxieties is to introduce a furry companion. There are intermediate steps, obviously, as you shouldn’t outright go and bring another dog to your house.
- Make sure that your dog has received plenty of early socialization.
- Adopt a dog that’s compatible with pit bulls. You should aim for an equally big but gentler and forgiving breed such as a Golden Retriever.
- Gradually introduce the two dogs by first keeping them separate and letting them sniff each other’s scent on stuff you introduce them to. Then, separate them with the help of a barrier such as a fence and see how they behave. Finally, when they are ready to meet, use plenty of treats to elicit good behavior from the two.
- You should keep on carrying all the necessary steps to keep the clingy pitbull in check and see if it’s getting along well with the other dog.
- Keep an eye on any potential jealousy. In case it resurfaces, try to give equal attention to the two.
- Owning a healthy dog and a clingy one under the same roof is a huge responsibility. I suggest you take caution and know that it’s going to take a lot of time but once you do things well, you’ll reap the reward.
I have answered some questions that may help you in understanding your Pitbull’s behaviors.
Is a Pitbull a velcro dog?
Yes, Pitbulls are famous for following around their masters. They would wait for them to wake them, follow them around the house and get anxious in their absence, This makes them a clingy breed.
Another word for a clingy dog is velcro.
Do Pitbulls pick one person?
Pitbulls generally show their love and obedience to all the members of the family however, sometimes they can be more attached to one person in a family than others but that doesn’t mean they hate others.
The nanny breed among the dogs; Pitbull, is a very loving and obedient dog breed and is one of the most popular choices as companion dogs.
With that comes an aptness to be overly attached or clingy to their owners. This can be a good thing for people looking for a permanent companion that they can rely on but is very challenging for those who have busy lives and cannot tend to a dog throughout the day.
The good news is that you can train your Pitbull not to be clingy and dependent through positive reinforcement techniques and keeping it engaged both physically and mentally.
However, always give proper time and attention to your dog, and do not be careless about its needs.