Your dog following you to the bathroom is common behavior for many dogs. In fact, it is not limited to just dogs. Cats may do the same thing!
Many people attribute this behavior to a dog being watchful of its owner. While that may be a great reason to include in your list of why a dog follows you into the bathroom, it is not always true.
Your Dog’s Instincts May Lead Him to Your Bathroom for Other Reasons
Dogs who are in the wild or domesticated dogs who spend much of their time outside will often “mark” trees and rocks by urinating on them. They do this to mark territory, but they may also be inclined to urinate on your toilet if not properly trained from a young age.
1. For Pure Pleasure
Dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners will follow their owners anywhere. Most dogs are naturally packed animals and prefer to spend all of their time with members of the family, whether it be in the kitchen when their owner cooks or waiting for them outside of a bathroom door.
2. To Show You They Care
Dogs have a natural protective instinct towards their owners. Licking and following you can be their way of showing they care about your feeling or well-being. In the case of dogs with separation anxiety, this behavior may be a result of not seeing their owner leave for long periods of time.
3. They Want to Worship You
Dogs have been known to have religious experiences when around their owners. While most domesticated dogs have never lived in the wild, they still have some primal instincts that tell them to show respect and worship to someone who is higher up on the totem pole.
4. Bathroom Scent Marking
If you do not already own a dog, then perhaps your neighbor does. Dogs that roam free will often try to mark their territory as much as possible, and one way they do this is by urinating on certain objects. This scenario often plays out when a dog smells the scent of another dog on an object near your house. They may feel inclined to leave their own scent in order to make the spot “theirs.”
5. Breed Traits
Some breeds of dogs naturally have a higher prey drive than others. Some breeds are even bred to be hunting companions and used to track other animals, including humans. If your dog is one of these breeds, they may try to follow you into the bathroom in an attempt to sniff out any prey that might be hiding there.
6. To keep you safe
Dogs are known to protect their owners. If they believe you are in danger, they may follow you into the bathroom for protection instead of waiting outside the door where it’s safe.
7. Dietary Needs
Food is often a leading cause for following their owners into bathrooms, especially if they are not fed at specific times throughout the day. A dog’s stomach may also growl in an attempt to catch your attention. If that does not work, they will often try other tactics, like following you into the bathroom.
8. They Miss You
Dogs are social animals and rely on their owner for companionship. If your dog’s daily routine involves spending time with you throughout the day, he may miss you a lot more if you’re gone for too long.
9. They tend socialization to their own kind
Dogs enjoy being around other dogs and naturally have a pack mentality. If another dog is occupying the bathroom, your dog may try to follow them in as well. Your dog may also be interested in meeting any new dogs that just joined the household.
10. Dogs have a Pack mentality
Dogs are natural pack animals and they feel most secure when there is a designated leader, which would be you in their eyes. If you’re not giving them the attention that they seek out, they may follow you into the bathroom or any other room in an attempt to be with you wherever you are.
Dogs in the wild hunt and eat in packs. Because of this instinct, dogs may feel inclined to stick with their pack or family when they leave them for a short period of time, such as when they’re using the bathroom. When you adopt a dog it sees you as a member of its pack.
11. Dogs have no privacy
Most dogs in the wild do not have any privacy. They sleep and eat together in a small area that they consider their territory. This behavior carries over to the bathroom. If you do not close the door when using the restroom, your dog may try to come in and see what’s going on.
12. They have a very sensitive nose
Dogs have been known to be able to sniff out certain smells that humans can’t detect. If they smell something odd when you are not around, they may naturally want to stay close to you.
13. They are territorial about their owner
When a new dog is brought into the household, your dog may feel jealous or territorial of you until it has time to adjust. The best way for your dog to tell that he can trust this new addition is if he follows him into the bathroom.
14. They want to be a part of your life
Dogs crave companionship and attention from their owner just as much as you crave companionship and attention from them. Dogs love spending time with you, especially when you’re going somewhere they don’t often go, such as the bathroom or shower. If your dog can’t join you, he may try to follow you inside so that he can still be a part of your life.
15. They keep an eye on their surroundings
Dogs are naturally protective and aware of their surroundings at all times. When they feel like something is wrong they will try to investigate the problem until they solve it themselves or until you return and help them.
16. Dogs hate to be alone
Dogs would rather be with their owners than stay alone and bored by themselves.
17. They attach to any house guest as a pack member as well.
If you’ve recently had a new houseguest, your dog may consider him or her part of his family and want them to follow him around so he can protect them too.
18. Dogs are curious
Dogs are inquisitive by nature. This makes it hard for them to stay in one place without exploring their environment. If your dog is prone to wandering, he may wander into the bathroom while you’re using it and hang out there until you come back out.
19. They get bored easily
If left alone for extended periods of time, dogs can get bored and start to look for things to do. If your dog is not used to being alone for long periods of time, he may make up his own games while you’re gone in an attempt to keep himself distracted.
20. They are social animals
Dogs need a lot of companionship from their owners throughout the day. Dogs that get a lot of attention from their owners will be more likely to follow them into the bathroom.
21. Dogs love to be given attention
Dogs love attention from you and will do anything to get it. If they follow you into the bathroom, they may want you to pet them or play with them while you’re there.
22. Dogs need a leader
Dogs are social animals that naturally search for a leader or pack leader. Since they don’t know who is going to be leading them, they will try to follow all members of the family into a small room in order to feel safe.
23. Dogs are food motivated
Dogs may follow you into a smaller room where there is a good chance that you might have some food with you or that something edible might be nearby. Your dog wants to make sure that he doesn’t miss out on any possible food that might be nearby.
24. Dogs are territorial about important resources
Sometimes dogs will try to take over a room in the house where there are certain things they feel are valuable, such as food or an outside door.
25. Dogs love being with their owner
Dogs love spending time with their owner and will follow them around in order to do so. If your dog follows you into the bathroom, he may just want to be with you while you get ready for the day.
26. Dogs are alert animals
Dogs are alert animals that try to protect their environment from things they deem dangerous or unusual. If your dog feels that there is something wrong with the bathroom, he may bark at it to warn others of possible danger.
Dogs are some of the most loyal animals on earth. They will follow you no matter where they go, and this is why it’s important to be a good pet parent.
If you’re looking for more reasons as to why your furry friend follows you everywhere (even into the bathroom), then read our previous post on why we think you should get a dog.
We’ve compiled 26 different explanations that may help shed light on their curious behavior – or at least make them seem less weird.