Can a Dog Love You Too Much? (5 Signs They Do!)


The love and affection your dog provides you is so special it’s difficult to put to words. But just like anything in life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Is there a world where your dog could love you too much?

Actually, yes. Dog’s that are codependent and have destructive behavior when you’re absent are dog’s that love you too much. This can be in the form of crying/barking the entire time you’re away, destroying things in your absence or even harming themselves in an attempt to get to you.

A dog that has separation anxiety is commonly used to describe a dog that loves their owner too much. They have such strong feelings of love that they can’t bear to be apart from their owner, to their detriment as well as their owners.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about a dog loving you too much, how to know if your dog might love you TOO much, what it means as well as what you can do about it.

Let’s dive in!

can a dog love you too much

Is It Unhealthy For a Dog To Love You Too Much?

Love is one of the most beautiful emotions. While some people may want their dog to love them more, others have a dog that has become a little too attached.

Unfortunately, it is rather unhealthy when a dog loves you too much. A little independence is important for any relationship, and if your dog isn’t able to function because you’re not with them, this isn’t healthy.

Not only is it unhealthy for them mentally, but also physically. Getting anxious whenever you’re absent will take a toll on their mind and body. Their restlessness can lead to emotional breakdowns that could result in unintended self harm.

Now, this is talking about the extreme end of the spectrum with a dog loving you TOO much.

If your dog doesn’t howl/bark non-stop when you’re away, their body isn’t shaking when you come home to them, or they aren’t overly protective around other dogs and people, your pup likely doesn’t overly love you.

Them wanting your constant love and attention (pets, belly rubs, to play, etc.) while you’re home isn’t excessive love. This is quite normal behavior.

5 Signs Your Dog Loves You Too Much:

There’s a possibility that your dog has developed deep feelings towards you, to the point where it feels rather toxic or unhealthy. As a result, your relationship may be affected in the long run if not taken care of properly.

Here are five potential ways a dog may behave if they love their owner too much:

1. Overly Protective Around Other Dogs/People:

Being overly protective around other animals and especially dogs, is an indication of your dog loving you excessively. For example, When you try to pet other animals, specifically other dogs, your dog gets in the way and behaves possessively.

Similarly, while spending time with other people, your dog keeps on interrupting you by trying various methods to get your attention. This behavior could be another red flag.

2. Excessive Whining/Howling/Barking When You’re Absent:

An overly attached dog will miss you a lot in your absence which affects their mood. Without your presence, your dog may show their unhappiness that you’re gone by barking for hours on end.

In their mind they’re doing everything they can to get your attention and have you come back to them. You can only imagine how upset they are emotionally to be able to bark/cry for such a long period of time. 

Not only is this emotionally damaging for them, it could harm their vocal cords and not to mention be pretty irritating for your neighbors as well.

3. Destructive When You’re Gone:

If almost every time you’re gone your dog finds something to destroy in your home this could be a sign they have separation anxiety.

They’ll search for things that smell like you and since they interact with the world around them with their mouth, your belongings are sure to get wrecked. It could also be them trying to ‘teach you a lesson’.

If you give them a big reaction when you come home and see the mess, they’re likely to continue to do it because you left them alone again.

Not only is this bad for you cause you have to replace many items, it’s dangerous for them if they were to ingest anything potentially harmful in the process.

4. Shaking/Trembling When You Come Home:

If you often see your dog shaking or shivering when you come home to them, this is definitely a sign of loving you too much. They’re so out of sorts emotionally when you’re gone that their body is almost in shock which brings on the shaking/trembling.

This is a more obvious sign of loving you too much because it wouldn’t happen otherwise (unless they were left in the cold).

5. Inflicting Self-Harm:

There’s a few ways your dog could inflict self-harm because they’re significantly struggling with your absence.

One is through excessive licking, biting or chewing on a body part. They would do this because they’re restless and not consciously aware of how much they’re doing it. Unfortunately it can lead to a nasty mark on their body if done for too long.

Another way is by not eating. Like people, when a dog is feeling super anxious they may choose not to eat or their appetite is simply gone. If they experience high levels of anxiety every time you’re gone they may not eat anything throughout the day and not even find their appetite to return after you’re home again.

Lastly, in an attempt to find you or get to you, they may harm themselves trying to break free from their crate, the room you keep them in or your house in general. When any animal is emotionally unstable they don’t make the best decisions and it could result in them unintentionally harming themself.

What Does It Mean For a Dog To Love You Too Much?

When a dog loves you too much it’s negatively affecting your relationship with them. Just like in human relationships, if one partner becomes overly obsessed with the other, it’s never healthy.

If they love you to such an extent that it seems like they’re not able to function unless you’re with them, this isn’t good for anyone involved.

When a dog loves you too much it means they’re codependent. Beyond needing your assistance with feeding them and giving them exercise, they need all your time and attention.

If they don’t get it, they become emotionally unstable and lash out in various ways.

Why Do Some Dogs Love You Too Much?

A big reason for why a dog begins to love a person too much is due their puppy years.

Suppose your dog had a traumatic childhood where they got abandoned or were hurt by someone. In that case, once they trust a new person, the chances of them developing such a significant love for you are higher. Again, having a lot of love isn’t a bad thing, it’s when a dog is codependent is when it becomes unhealthy.

Another reason why a dog could love you too much is they were showered with love and attention from a young age and got used to you always being at their beck and call.

Since that’s their ‘norm’ anything outside of that will be emotionally disheartening for them.

Much of a dog’s behavior today can be linked back to things that happened when they were just a pup.

How To Get Your Dog To Love You a Little Less?

Now, separation anxiety or teaching a codependent dog to not need you as much can be done, but it will require lots of time and patience.

A better way to look at it is you won’t be training them to love you less, you’ll simply be teaching them how to be more independent.

You can either go about this yourself or hire a professional to help you.

One way to do this on your own is to crate train your dog. This doesn’t mean buying a crate and leaving them in it without helping them get acclimated to it.

It means get them comfortable being inside the crate with the door open. Once this isn’t foreign to them, close the crate door while still being in the room. Once they are okay with this, leave the room for a few minutes at a time.

Slowly but gradually, increase your time out of the room where their crate is. Eventually, start leaving the house while they’re in there.

Training them in this way will make them more comfortable being in a crate and have less of a shock when you leave.

The more you can help your dog become okay with being away from you the better your relationship will be.

Final Thoughts

Being loved and loving is a beautiful feeling. But too much love can be harmful in many ways. So, just like human relationships, we need a balance in the owner-dog relationship.

Your dog certainly can love you too much and if this is the case it’s important to train them to be okay with your absence so they can be happier and healthier. 

Be on the lookout for any of the signs mentioned above. If you’re noticing that your pup might be overly attached it’s best to help them with this behavior ASAP.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Can a Dog Love Two Owners? (The Truth!)

Dog Won’t Go To Bed Until You Do? (Explained!)

Why Do Dogs Bring You Toys?

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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