My Dog Follows Me, Not My Husband: What’s Up With That?

Dog following woman on beach
Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered why your dog decides to follow you around but not your husband or wife? Well, it’s a common question that’s asked that doesn’t necessarily have a clear answer.

If your dog follows you around more than it does your other half, this could be a strong sign that your dog sees you as the leader of the pack. In their eyes, you’re the one who is in charge and they want to make sure that they are always close to you in case you need them, or they need you. They may also love having your attention, cuddles, and scratches!

This is especially true if your dog is always close to you when you’re doing something that they enjoy, like going for a walk or playing fetch. They know that if they stick close to you, they’re more likely to get in on the fun or be rewarded.

Why does my dog follow me and not my husband?

They likely see you as the leader of the group, but there are other reasons why your dog may only follow you and not your husband, or anyone else for that matter.

Below are some of the reasons why your dog may like to follow you but not your husband:

You give them lots of treats!

If you give them lots of treats, belly rubs, and verbal praise when they follow you around, then they’re going to want to do it more often because they know they’ll be rewarded.

You have a close relationship

If you and your dog have a really close bond, then they may just prefer to be around you more than the other person, including your husband. It could simply come to the fact that you spend more time with them, play with them, and show them affection more often than the other person does.

As an example, if your husband is not at home often due to work, whereas, you are a stay-at-home mom, or work from home, you will naturally spend more time with them. This increased time spent together can lead to a stronger bond between you and your dog.

The dog feels more comfortable around you

Another reason why your dog may only follow and hang around you is that they feel more comfortable and content around you. They feel they can be themselves and don’t have to worry about anything when they’re with you.

This isn’t a sign that your dog doesn’t like your husband, it simply means that they prefer to spend more time with you and feel comfortable knowing that you are close by.

Below are some of the reasons why a dog may feel more comfortable with you:

  • You have a calm energy that they like and enjoy
  • You’re less likely to shout or make a lot of noise
  • You reward them with treats more than your husband
  • They know they won’t be scolded or hit
  • You provide them with lots of cuddles and love
  • You play with them and give them lots of attention
  • You give them belly rubs
  • You talk to them in a high-pitched, calm, friendly voice
  • You make them feel very special
  • They are allowed to lick and kiss you

The dog is looking for attention

Dogs are social creatures and crave attention from their humans. If they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention from you or other people, they may follow you in an attempt to get it.

Dogs are attention seekers and they’ll do anything they can to get it, even if that means following you around everywhere you go.

You give the dog lots of love

If you praise your dog a lot and give them lots of attention when you are home, this is another reason they may prefer to follow you over your husband. Dogs love attention and if they feel like they are getting more from you, they will want to be around you more often.

Can my husband do anything to get our dog to follow him more?

Yes, if you’re husband feels left out, then he can start to build a great relationship with the dog too. It may take some time, but eventually, the dog will start to follow him more as well.

Photo of a Golden Retriever following the husband
Photo of Golden Retriever by Jacob Thorson on Unsplash

Here are some tips on how your husband can build a better relationship with your dog:

Spend more time with your dog

This is an easy one – simply spend more time with them. If your partner is with them all day then it’s no surprise that they’d rather follow and be with them.

Spend quality time without phones, the tv or any distractions. Play with them, cuddle them, walk them – just spend time showing them love and attention.

Give your dog attention and praise

Dogs love attention and they love to be praised. Whether you give them attention in the form of hugs, cuddles, or belly rubs, they’ll be happy. Your dog will also love it if you praise them verbally, such as saying “good girl!” or “good boy!” in a happy tone. Dogs react to our tone of voice, so make sure you use a happy and upbeat tone when praising them.

You can also give them treats as a form of praise – but don’t just give them treats for the sake of it, make sure they do something positive – like following you or giving you more attention than usual. But don’t feed them too much as they will put on weight!

Have one-on-one time with them without the favourite person around

If your husband wants to improve the relationship he has with the dog, it’s important that he spends some time alone with them without you around.

This one-on-one time will allow the dog to get to know your husband better and they’ll start to form a bond. But it’s important to do this when you aren’t around, otherwise, the dog may decide to just follow and spend time with you instead. In order to build a quality relationship, they need to be together alone or when they aren’t distracted by your presence.

Your husband can do things like play fetch with the dog, go for walks together, or just sit and have cuddles. Doing things together will help the dog to see your husband as a source of fun and attention, rather than just someone who is around all the time!

Should I be concerned if my dog follows me more than my husband?

Absolutely not – it’s common for dogs to follow one person more than another. If they are female, they may also feel more naturally inclined to follow the female of the household too (1).

It’s nothing to be concerned about and simply means that your dog enjoys your company more than your husband’s. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your husband can’t have a great relationship with your dog too – it just takes a bit more time, patience and effort.

My experience

“My dog tends to follow me more than my husband – but that’s because I’m home all day with our Tilly, whereas, my husband, commutes to work and in the evening works upstairs on his computer. She tends to come to me for treats, cuddles and love, but that’s because I’m always the one around more. Tilly loves both of us equally – but she definitely follows me more.”

“It’s not something I am concerned about as I know Tilly gives my husband lots of attention and gets super happy when he returns home from work – but she feels more safe and content around me. I think it’s just a natural thing for dogs to do!”

Paulina, wife and dog owner

Do you have a dog that follows you more than your husband?

If your dog follows you around more than your husband, then don’t worry. It’s nothing to worry about and it’s very common for a dog to follow around a specific person in the household, and have their favourite go-to individual.

It could be for any of the reasons we’ve discussed above, or it could simply be because they prefer your company more. If you’re concerned about it, then try some of the tips we’ve given on how your husband can build a better relationship with your dog.

Do you have a story about your dog following you more than anyone else? Please do leave a comment below we would love to hear your story!

Professional References:

Below are the references used in this content to professional academic research institutions and medical associations, that have been used to help inform the content in this article. To learn more about our process of creating content, please see our about page.

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