Why Does My Jack Russell Follow Me Everywhere?

By John Martin - January 31, 2022

People who have a Jack Russell, know that they follow you everywhere you go. While it is adorable at first, it soon starts to get on your nerves.

If you’re wondering why your Jack Russell clings to you like Velcro, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s why your Jack Russell keeps following you around:

Why Is My Jack Russell So Clingy?

Jack Russells are clingy by nature and like following their owners around. It is not strange for them to constantly stare at you or follow you around, especially if you are the alpha in your house.

The exact reason can vary and depends on the dog, but there are a few common reasons why it happens.

Let’s take a look at all the potential reasons your Jack Russell keeps following you around:

Your Pet Is a Velcro Dog

Velcro dogs are exactly what they sound like—they stick to one person and constantly follow them around wherever they go.

While any breed of dog could be a velcro dog, Jack Russells are a little more prone to it.

Your dog loves you a lot and likes being by your side every waking moment. Being away from you annoys them and they might resort to behavior like chewing or peeing on your things.

He Is Enthusiastic By Nature

It is very common for Jack Russells to be extremely enthusiastic and eager. They don’t care what you’re doing or where you’re going, they just want to be part of the experience.

They will tail you from the moment you wake up and inspect everything as you go about your morning routine. Once they are sure that nothing is out of order, they will go back to their spot and wait until it’s time to play or go for a walk.

He Likes the Attention

Some Jack Russells are simply attention seekers and want to be the center of attention 24×7.

They think that being in your vicinity will make you pay attention to them, so they constantly stay in your sight.

If your pet whines or barks when you don’t pay attention to them, it is likely that they are an attention seeker.

You give in to them and they think that following you around, whining and barking is a good way to get affection from you, so they keep repeating the same behavior every day.

Also Read: Are Jack Russells Hyper?

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is not specific to Jack Russells. Any dog could suffer from it.

When dogs have separation anxiety, they think that something bad will happen if they are away from their owner. This instills fear and anxiety which causes them to follow you around and act out if you are not near them.

Separation anxiety can be quite difficult to deal with. It is also hard to diagnose correctly.

It is recommended that you start by letting your dog have two hours of time away from the family every day. This helps normalize separation and they learn to socialize without clinging to you 24×7.

If your dog has severe separation anxiety, it is best that you seek the help of a professional to help deal with the problem.

You Reinforced His Behavior

Jack Russells love being near their owners. They are friendly by nature and show a lot of affection towards their family.

When they keep following you around and get affection because of it, you positively reinforce his behavior.

If your dog is constantly at your heel at day, you will probably stop at some point and give them a belly rub or a treat. Your dog may start thinking that it is a reward for constantly following you around the house.

Now that they know this, they will put even more effort into this behavior to earn more of your approval and affection.

Also Read: Are Jack Russells Cuddly?

Is It Wrong If My Jack Russell Follows Me?

It might seem harmless for your dog to always follow you around, but it is not so. It can create serious problems for you later.

This kind of behavior starts very easily but is extremely difficult to stop.

For example, if you go outdoors and your pet follows you, he might get into an accident or get hurt or scared by something else outside. This is a big possibility, especially when they follow you out and you don’t notice them.

Also, Jack Russells are hunting dogs. It is in their nature to chase after rats, squirrels or other small animals.

If you are outside and they always follow you, they could get distracted by their hunting instinct and chase after something else. You will never be able to get anything done because all your attention goes towards managing your dog whenever you step outside.

Clingy dogs often get jealous when others interact with their owners. You will have to be careful while meeting someone or talking to a stranger because your dog might act out when this happens.

Thus, there are a lot of potential problems if you let this behavior continue. Especially when you are outdoors, where you can’t be in control of all the factors.

How to Stop My Jack Russell from Following Me

There are plenty of ways to stop your Jack Russell from following you around. One of these techniques should definitely help you make your dog less clingy.

Try any of the following techniques to stop your dog from following you around:

Plenty of Exercise

Making sure your Jack Russell gets enough exercise every day can help solve a lot of problems.

If they have spent a good deal of energy playing with you outside, they are more likely to lie down on their bed or the couch and rest.

Spending energy helps calm them down and they feel less enthusiastic. If they have a lot of pent-up energy, they will look for ways to get your attention and start following you around.

Cut Back on Treats

If your Jack Russell keeps following you around the house, make sure you don’t give him treats at this time.

If he gets rewarded for clinging to you, he will think that it is a good thing to do. Instead, try to pick other times to give him a treat.

If he exhibits good behavior or performs a trick you taught him, reward him with a treat. Refrain from treats when he is following you around.

Alone Time

This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your dog or isolate him completely. Letting your dog have alone time means that he has something to keep him busy, so he doesn’t feel tempted to follow after you.

For example, if you give him a chewy toy or treat, it will keep him occupied for a long time. Don’t stay near him this time. Leave him alone and go about your day as usual.

Crate Training

Crate training is quite beneficial in many ways. It also helps stop your dog from following you around all day.

If he gets frequent breaks from being with you, he will get more comfortable staying away from you.

Put the crate in a spot out of sight, so that your dog doesn’t know whether you are in the house or not.

If he doesn’t like getting in the crate, motivate him with treats. Take some treats in your hand and put them on the floor near the crate.

Jack Russells are highly motivated by food, so they should understand this cue pretty well.

Also Read: Are Jack Russells Good With Kids?

Parting Thoughts

It might sound cute, but it can be very difficult managing a pet who won’t stop following you around. All your time and energy is spent in managing them and you have little time for anything else.

There can be many different reasons for your dog to follow you around. You need to first determine the reason for their clinginess.

Once you know this, you can start trying to discourage this behavior. Getting more exercise, starting crate training, letting them have alone time and reducing positive enforcement will all help put an end to this behavior.

If you think your pooch is following you because of separation anxiety, it is best to seek professional help.