I think pretty much everyone can agree, when you head into the bathroom, you want to be alone. Whether you’re doing your business, taking a shower, or getting ready for the day, the last thing you want is someone else sitting in front of the toilet or next to the bathtub staring at you.
But if you have a dog, it's pretty common for this exact thing to occur. A lot of dogs have a tendency to shadow their owners wherever they go—and that includes into the bathroom.
What gives? Why is your pup following you into the bathroom and crowding your space? And, more importantly, how can you make them stop? (If indeed you're intent on making them stop.)
Why Does My Dog Follow Me To The Bathroom?
So, first things first—why, exactly, does your dog insist on following you into the bathroom:
Your Dog Wants To Be Near You
The first reason your dog follows you into the bathroom is a heartwarming one. Dogs are pack animals—and, as their owner, you’re part of your dog’s pack. When you’re around, your dog feels safer and happier when they're near you. And that means they wants to be with you wherever you go—including the bathroom.
Your Dog Is Trying To Protect You
Your dog instinctively wants to protect you. But it’s hard for them to make sure you’re safe if they don’t know where you are at all times of the day and night.
Part of the reason your dog follows you into the bathroom is to protect you. They want to make sure you’re safe in case of an intruder, an accident, or anything else that might happen. (It’s kind of hard to be mad at them for interrupting your bathroom time when you know they’re just trying to keep you safe, isn’t it?)
Your Dog Doesn't Understand Boundaries
Your friend, neighbor, or colleague isn’t going to follow you into the bathroom (at least we hope not!). That’s because humans recognize when a behavior is appropriate or inappropriate.
Dogs don’t understand boundaries. They don’t get why following you into the bathroom is any different from following you into the kitchen or out to the backyard—they just want to follow you, period.
Your dog is curious
Have you ever heard the saying “curious as a cat?” Well, the same thing applies for pups.
When you go into the bathroom, your dog is probably curious about where you’re going and what you’re doing. So, they follow you into the bathroom—that way, they know exactly what you’re up to.
How To Get Your Dog To Stop Following You Into The Bathroom
So, now you know why your dog is following you into the bathroom. But how do you get them to stop?
The solution to taking back your bathroom time is two-fold. First, shut the door—and shut it completely! If the door is shut, your dog won’t be able to follow you in. And if it’s shut completely, he won’t be able to use his nose to nudge the door open and bust in on your bathroom time.
Shutting the door will keep your dog out—but you don’t want him to feel scared, nervous, or rejected. So the best thing you can do is give him something to keep him occupied while you’re in the bathroom.
Next time you head into the bathroom, set your dog up something that will keep him busy for awhile, like a chew or a puzzle toy. If you can give him something to keep his brain engaged, he won’t be worried about what you’re doing in the bathroom—and you can enjoy some alone time in peace.
Want to keep your dog busy (and out of the bathroom)? Try BarkBox
! With BarkBox, we’ll send a carefully curated selection of chews, toys, and treats to your door every month. It’s a win-win; your dog has plenty to keep him occupied and you get to shower in peace!