Updated at: 24-12-2021 - By: petexpert

Well, in the end, the root cause for her suddenly being clingy was down to her old age and doggy dementia (also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome).

For your dog though, they could be super clingy all of a sudden for reasons including separation anxiety, boredom, illness, anxiety over life changes, or even that they are in heat!


In this guide, I will dissect all of the reasons why a dog can suddenly become clingy towards you. It also includes some tips on how to work through them with your pup.

Of course, I am not a vet, so this is all written from personal experience. If there is a drastic behavior change accompanied by other weird physical symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, contact your veterinarian for expert advice.

He’s clingy because of anxiety or fear

Think of your dog as a kid, basically. If the dog is anxious or afraid, he’ll search out for his owners and want to be at their side until he feels safe and calm again. You are his place of comfort and safety, which is kind of adorable when you think about it!

He’s clingy because of a threat

This threat could be something actually dangerous like an intruder or a stranger in your home. But, it could also be something as simple as adding a new furry friend, such as a puppy or cat, or it could be a new person or a baby, etc. All of these are threats to your dog, and he’ll become clingy to protect you from the threat until he learns that the toddler is not, in fact, a threat at all!

He’s clingy because of boredom

As easy as dogs are to entertain (hello, leaf!), they can also bore easily. If you’re gone to work all day or their other human family doesn’t interact with them, or even if you’re simply at home but doing your own thing, he’ll cling to you to remind you, “Hey, I’m here, pay attention!”. If it’s happening more than usual, it’s because he’s really feeling the boredom and is telling you he needs stimulation.

He’s clingy because he’s missing you

Cute, right? Dogs miss us terribly when we’re gone. They also don’t seem to have any concept of time, so being gone for 2 minutes is the same as being gone for 2 days for them. If they feel you’ve been gone for too long, they’ll let you know by being clingy.

He’s clingy because of sickness or pain

Whether it’s the equivalent of the dog sniffles, or something like arthritis, or even something more serious, he’ll seek you out for comfort and reassurance. Sometimes this is obvious by limping or swelling, or sometimes it’s a bit more subtle and can be hard to pick out.

She’s is clingy because she’s in heat or going into labor

In the case that our dog isn’t spayed and/or is pregnant, many will let you know when they are going into heat and/or labor. It’s more of a heads up, Mom/Dad” situation. IN these cases, you’ll want to pay attention to them and keep an eye on them to make sure they are doing okay!.

Your Pet is About to Give Birth

Some dogs and cats become very clingy just before they give birth or during the birth. Take it as a compliment and a sign of how comfortable your pet is with you. Giving birth is stressful and exhausting for the mother; she wants to be close to the person she loves and trusts during this time.


A normally independent dog or cat that suddenly becomes clingy is a warning that should not be ignored. Conversely, a pet that is usually clingy and suddenly becomes withdrawn is also a sign that something is amiss. Never hesitate to seek medical advice from your veterinarian for any sudden change in your pet’s behavior.

What’s the difference between clingy VS velcro dogs?

There is a difference between clingy dogs and velcro dogs, both of which can be temporary or long-term, depending!

A clingy dog is going to hang out with you and then immediately get anxious when you step out of their range of touch. If you go to the bathroom, they’ll hurdle after you and attach themselves to your side. If you get up to answer the phone, they’ll immediately press into your side as soon as they can physically follow you. When you leave, they’ll bark and get frantic that they can’t get up to you.

A velcro dog, on the other hand, likes to be in contact with you, from his head on your lap to pressing up against your feet in bed to sitting on your food (ouch) while you’re on the computer. These dogs don’t tend to be necessarily anxious, but they love to be touching you and will often look adoringly in your direction. He’ll be dejected when you leave, but otherwise, okay.

Some dogs enjoy sleeping nearby and hanging out with their favorite human. But others simply must be physically touching you as much as possible, as often as possible. It’s all about personality!

Is it okay to stop my dog from being clingy?

Yes, you can retrain your dog’s behaviors once you understand where it’s coming from. A dog’s clinginess isn’t something you have to put up with. The amount of time and effort it takes will vary depending on the dog and the situation, of course. If you need help doing just that, you can talk with the veterinarian for some tips!


A clingy dog can be frustrating when you’re trying to move around the house freely, but this is an important sign to pay attention to in your dog’s behavior. These tips will help you get to the bottom of it and give yourself your space back!


If your dog is suddenly clinging, they could be scared, protective, bored, missing you, sick, or in pain. If you need help retraining this dog behavior, taking the right steps is important to do it the right way for everyone’s health and happiness!

Did some of these reasons for clinginess surprise you? Do you know someone who will find this information valuable? Share it with them and spread the wealth!

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