Training Dogs And Humans For A More Enjoyable Life Together

By Susan Smith, East Valley Dog Training 

Answers to questions are based on the information provided. It’s always a good idea to have your pet thoroughly examined by a veterinarian when having behavior problems. Although I can give general information and management suggestions on serious behavior problems such as aggression, issues such as these can be a very serious problem and a certified dog trainer should be consulted.

I have 3 pugs, Cecil 4, Odin 1 and Olga 4 months. Why do they always follow me to the bathroom? Leisa

Great question, Leisa – and I’m sure it’s one other people have, as well. First, our dogs like to know where we are. If we’re out of their sight, it’s not uncommon for them to come looking for us. Often, they’ll position themselves so they have two or more rooms in their sightline – such as the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. This way, they are able to keep tabs on us without having to get up.  Of course, this varies, depending on the dog. Some dogs are more independent while others want to know where their people are.

However, the bathroom is kind of a special situation. This is speculation on my part, but I think the reason dogs follow us into the bathroom (women, especially), is because they have a captive audience. Here you are, sitting at dog-head height, just waiting to scratch some doggie ears! I know that for my dogs, this is an opportunity to get some real quality ear scratching and head massaging.

Personally, I don’t mind this behavior – I think of it as good quality time with my dog, sort of like when it’s just you and your kid in the car, which is a great opportunity to talk about things. However, if you do mind it, just close the door before they can come in. Eventually, they’ll get out of the habit of following you in, although they may wait outside the door forever!

Leisa has more fun doggie questions, which you will see in upcoming columns.

If you have questions for the trainer, please send them to Susan Smith, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is a dog trainer in San Tan Valley, AZ, specializing in pet dog training as well as cat and parrot training—from obedience behaviors to serious problems such as aggression. She can be contacted at Sue is also the owner of Raising Canine, LLC which provides professional education to animal trainers.