General info, Health

Why Are Weimaraners So Clingy?


Weimaraners are known for their close relationship with their owners. Separation anxiety can cause Weims to become clingy, but there are a few other reasons like showing affection, illness, their owner’s emotional state and more.

It’s A Breed Trait

As I mentioned above, Weimaraners are known to be super clingy. Of course not all dogs of the same breed are the same, so one might be more clingy than another.

Weimaraners are called “velcro dogs”, simply for the fact that they tend to follow their owners everywhere. Yes, including the bathroom. They love to be with their owners no matter what.

When I leave my room, Nelly often gets up from her spot and follows me. If I’m in the bathroom, she will lay down in front of the closed door.

They want to know where you are and can often suffer from separation anxiety. It’s best to prevent separation anxiety from developing rather than having to fix it with training later on.

I have written a guide for dealing with a Weimaraner’s separation anxiety here, so do check that out if you’ve noticed any signs of separation anxiety – excessive barking, whining, pacing, peeing and pooping indoors, scratching at windows and doors, destroying furniture and other objects in your home.

Treating separation anxiety is a long process and you will need a lot of patience. Separation anxiety is not an obedience issue, it’s simply a stress response.

Why are Weimaraners Clingy?
Nelly as a puppy

They Just Want To Show Love And Affection

Dogs love their owners regardless of their breed and they show love and affection a few different ways. Some give kisses, some cuddle up to you in your bed or your sofa, and some simply are more subtle in their approach.

Like Nelly – she likes to lean on me/against my legs when I pet her. When I’m sitting, she would put her front paws on my legs and stand on her hind legs, smushing her face into mine like a nuzzle. Sometimes she can be a little wild about it and we have clashed skulls a few times in the past.

She also likes to nibble on me with her front teeth, which is fine until she pinches my skin. It’s a habit I’m trying to train her out of. I’ve written a separate post about nibbling here.

They Are Anxious

As I mentioned above, one thing that can cause a Weimaraner to be clingy is separation anxiety. But not all anxiety needs to be from separation and not all clingy dogs suffer from separation anxiety.

Maybe you moved to a new place, maybe you’ve changed your routine – these are things that can make your dog anxious or nervous. They are dependent on you, so you need to reassure them that the new change is okay.

They Are Sick Or In Heat

Some dogs may be clingy if they are sick. If your dog is naturally clingy all the time, you wouldn’t associate it with an illness rightaway. However, if your dog started to get more clingy than usual, make sure to monitor their behavior.

Are they eating and drinking? Do they seem lethargic or in pain? Were they once exuberant but now they rarely leave their bed? If you notice these changes, visit your vet. It can be nothing but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sometimes female dogs get more clingy when they’re in heat. The hormonal changes in their body causes them to be more affectionate towards their owners.

Interestingly, male dogs can become more clingy if there are female dogs in heat nearby.

You Are Sick Or Anxious

Dogs are attuned to their owners and often times can sense that something is wrong. Their sense of smell is exceptional and they can detect the slightest imbalance in your body, sometimes even before you are aware of it.

Maybe you’ve heard about service dogs that alert their owners of an incoming epilepsy seizure, low blood sugar, and can often detect first signs of various cancers before any technology can.

It’s incredible and it always leaves me baffled when I read these kinds of stories. Even untrained dogs can do this.

It’s not just a physical thing but dogs can sense your mood as well. They are often found cuddling their owners whenever they’re crying or are anxious. There are service dogs who can predict a panic attack before they happen.

I like to tell this story quite often because I think it’s remarkable. While I’m not Nelly’s owner (my sister is), I often puppysit her when they’re on vacation, out of town, etc. In 2019 I took Nelly on a walk as usual. She hasn’t quite mastered loose leash walking outside just yet, so she was pulling quite a bit.

We walked over a grassy area and thanks to all the grass I didn’t notice there was a hole. So of course I stepped into it, sprained my ankle and skinned my other knee pretty badly.

As soon as she heard me hiss in pain, she stopped, turned around and went to inspect, being really gentle and stayed beside me while I sat there waiting for the pain to subside a little bit. Normally she would sniff all around but she stood guarding me.

Of course I couldn’t continue with the walk, so we turned back and headed home, which wasn’t thankfully that far.

She didn’t pull once.

I think it’s quite remarkable that despite me not being her owner, our bond is strong enough regardless that she would be attuned to me that way.

If you’d like to learn more about detection dogs in the medical field, research and training, visit Medical Detection Dogs.

Clingy Weimaraner

You Might Be On Your Period

As I mentioned above, dogs can sense the changes in your body. While you’re on your period, your hormones (and emotional state) change and dogs can detect that. Some can be more clingly during that time while others might keep their distance.

It’s not just female dogs that we like to think want to commiserate during this time, male dogs can do it as well. If your Weimaraner is naturally clingy, you might notice they become even more so.

You Might Be Pregnant Or Close To Your Due Date

Hormonal changes come with every pregnancy and your Weim can detect that even before you’re aware that you’re pregnant. This can in turn make them more clingy, more protective. Their super-sniffers can also detect an incoming labor!

I was introducing Nelly outside to my friends, one who was 6 months pregnant. She was in that adolescent stage then, so a bit wild. She’s always loved meeting new people and this was no exception. She could get hyper about it but in the presence of my pregnant friend, she totally calmed down as if somebody flipped a switch.

How To Deal With A Clingy Weimaraner

It depends on why your dog is displaying clingy behavior. If it’s from separation anxiety, I’d recommend dealing with it sooner rather than later.

Try to monitor your dog for any signs of illness – their appetite, bathroom habits, personality changes. Aging can also factor in Weims being more clingy.

If you haven’t felt like yourself and your dog started to be more clingy all of a sudden, I would visit a doctor. Better safe than sorry!

Conclusion

If your Weimaraner has always been affectionate (without any anxiety present) and it’s not bothering you, I’d just accept it as one of their personality traits. If you notice the level of clingines ramp up or ease off, that’s when you should start paying more attention.


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