Springer spaniels can clingy, but this largely depends on the environment, the way you behave in front of your dog, as well as many other factors. Also, keep in mind that what you might perceive as clingy may be completely different for another pet owner that has a Springer spaniel behaving in the same manner.
So, what does it mean to be clingy? Well, does your Springer spaniel behave in the following ways:
- No matter where you walk in your house, your Springer is right behind you or next to you, even when you go to the toilet or take a shower.
- As soon as you sit down, your Springer spaniel jumps up on the couch beside you or on your lap and stays there.
- Every time your eyes sweep past your dog’s, you notice that she is staring at you constantly.
If you have answered yes to some or all of the behaviors above, then you have a clingy Springer spaniel on your hands, which is also known as a “Velcro dog”.
For some people, this can be very endearing. However, if this behavior continues, there is a point where most pet owners will start getting annoyed.
The good news is that there are ways to ensure your Springer spaniel doesn’t turn into a clingy dog. In fact, it is also possible to teach a clingy dog to become more independent as well.
Don’t Confuse Affection With Being Clingy
Springer spaniels are naturally very affectionate dogs and love to be close to their family members. This is actually a very healthy behavior for these dogs.
If your Springer spaniel comes every now and then to you so that you can pet her and provide her with some affection, it is a good thing.
Because these dogs are so affectionate and sociable, there is a tendency for them to suffer from separation anxiety if you’re not careful in how you train them as they develop from puppies to adults.
And this leads us to the next consideration:
Don’t confuse a clingy Springer spaniel with one that suffers from separation anxiety. Make sure that you understand exactly what you’re dealing with before moving forward with any type of behavioral training.
Clingy Springer spaniels will stick to their owners like glue. However, once their owners leave the house, they won’t panic and suffer from uncontrolled anxiety.
Springer spaniels that suffer from separation anxiety can be clingy dogs, and when the owner leaves the house as they don’t like being left alone, they will begin to panic and can become very destructive in their behavior, such as chewing your shoes, cushions and other belongings.
Now, let us take a look at some of the reasons why a Springer spaniel can become clingy.
You Taught Them This Behavior
Nine out of ten times, we are the culprits for our dogs’ behaviors. The way you interact with your Springer spaniel can have a huge influence on how they perceive life moving forward.
If you decide to give your dog some of the food you have taken out the fridge every time you go to the kitchen, your Springer spaniel is going to see this as a cue to follow you every time you go there.
If you give your Springer affectionate rubs and scratches every time she walks up to you, then she will see this as a good thing and continue to do it relentlessly.
So, if you think about it, you are training your Springer spaniel to become clingy.
Your Pooch Is Bored
Springer spaniels are very active and intelligent dogs. They’ve been bred to be work dogs and are used to the outdoors where they can run around and expend a lot of their energy, both physically and mentally.
If all you do is stay indoors and never pay any attention to your Springer, she will naturally become bored. When this happens, the only thing that looks interesting enough for her is to follow you around to see what else might be new as you make your way through the house.
Your Springer depends on you to stimulate her mind and to provide her with enough activities so that she can use up all of her energy.
Sudden Change Of Routine Or Environment
If you have a child, or you remember being a child, you will understand this one.
I have noticed on many occasions that when my daughter is in a new environment where everyone is a stranger to her, she will grab my hand and stay like that until she feels comfortable with the situation.
Sometimes it can be a few minutes, but many times, it can be like that for a few hours.
Springer spaniels, like many other dogs, act very similar to children. When they are not used to their environment, or when there is a sudden change of routine, they start to feel insecure. The first person they search for to get reassurance is you, the dog owner.
If you have moved into a new home, or you have suddenly changed your daily routine, it is very natural for your Springer to feel insecure.
Your Springer Spaniel Has Vision Or Hearing Loss
If your pooch has developed vision or hearing loss, they will feel less secure about their surroundings and will become more dependent on you to make up for it.
In this case, you have to become more patient and understanding of the situation. Your Springer all of a sudden sees things in a completely different way than how it was in the past.
Dogs rely heavily on their hearing and sight to move around and to protect themselves. If the one thing that they rely on so heavily starts to fail them, it can be very difficult to adjust to their new lifestyle.
How To Make Your Springer Spaniel Less Clingy
My first advice is to take your Springer to a behavior expert and to get a checkup at the vet. You need to rule out physical conditions such as hearing or vision loss and to find out why they are behaving this way.
Give your Springer all the exercise she needs to expend that energy that has built up throughout the day.
She needs to go out for walks and runs, and this is a great time for you to bond with your dog and to teach her that there is a time and place, even with regards to affection.
This will help stimulate your pooch’s brain as well, and by the time your Springer is done, she will most likely feel too exhausted to follow you all over the house.
Train your dog not to follow you around by changing your habits and making your movements less interesting for your Springer.
For example, when she comes close to you, resist always petting her and giving her a lot of attention. Don’t completely avoid her either, though. You need to find a healthy balance.
When you go to the kitchen, do something else that is completely uninteresting for your Springer spaniel. Only take food from the fridge when she’s not around. Soon enough, she will realize that walking to the kitchen doesn’t always mean she’ll be fed.
Create a fun environment in your house where your Springer spaniel can play and take her naps. Whenever you see her following you around too much, tell her to go to her fun place, and make sure to give her a reward every time she does it.
In time, she will see this as a good thing, and instead of clinging to you, shall be clinging to her cool environment that you’ve created for her.
Springer spaniels are wonderful family dogs. They are smart, affectionate, and very loyal. Sometimes, many of these good traits can turn into bad traits if you don’t train your dog correctly from the day you adopt them into your home.
In most cases, it’s us, the dog owners, that are usually at fault when it comes to the way our pooches behave.
So, with a little bit of common sense, patience and understanding, you can turn your clingy Springer spaniel into a well-rounded loving pet that will also feel appreciated by you and the rest of the family.