Home » Dog Breeds » Australian Shepherds » 9 Weird Reasons Aussies Follow You Everywhere + 4 Tips

9 Weird Reasons Aussies Follow You Everywhere + 4 Tips

Pawscessories is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

While following you can be endearing, when your australian shepherd does it all the time it can become quite irritating. Accidentally stepping on them, tripping over them, and having them paw at you constantly isn’t fun.

Is it normal for australian shepherds to follow you everywhere? Or is something wrong?

Why Do Australian Shepherds Follow You Everywhere:

Many owners accidentally encourage their australian shepherd to follow them everywhere by giving them attention. If at some point when your australian shepherd follows you, they get some form of reward, they’ll want to continue to do it. Other reasons could be they’re mentally or physically unwell.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 9 reasons why australian shepherds follow you everywhere
  • When your aussie following you is something to be concerned about
  • 4 tips to help get your australian shepherd to stop following you everywhere (Tip #1 can help the quickest!)
  • And much more

Let’s jump right in.

Why do Australian Shepherds follow you everywhere

9 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Follow You Everywhere

1) It’s An Aussie Thing

Australian shepherds were bred to work.

They were primarily used to help herd cattle for farmer families.

Which means two things.

One, they get more attached to their human companion.

This is instinctual for them because of the close bond they’ve always had with their human family and the role they played in the family.

And two, because of their working background, they want to be ready if you need them for anything.

Which is one reason why your australian shepherd follows you everywhere.

They want to make sure they’re ready and available if you need help with anything.

Even if you don’t live on a farm and need help herding anything.

They’re happiest when they have a job and want to help wherever possible.

Related Reading: 12 Weird Things Australian Shepherds Do (Fully Explained!)

2) Unintentionally Encouraged

Even if you don’t mean to, you may be encouraging your australian shepherd to follow you around.

If every time they follow you, you eventually give them attention, they’re going to learn that this is ‘good’ behavior.

It’s important to be aware of how much and when you’re giving them attention so that you can avoid unintentionally encouraging the behavior.

If your aussie knows that at some point, whether it’s in 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes, that you’ll interact with them, they’ll follow you everywhere.

As long as you are now paying attention to them when you once weren’t they’re happy.

Which makes them want to continue this behavior.

3) Comforting Themselves & You

If your australian shepherd is following you everywhere for comfort reasons, either something is scaring them or they’re picking up on your emotions.

Something in their environment could be making them feel uneasy which makes them want to be by your side and feel protected.

This could be from loud construction happening outside your home, a thunderstorm, or a new pet you’ve recently added to your family.

Also, if you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, your aussie may be picking up on this and start feeling anxious themselves.

Let me explain.

Recent studies have found that stress levels are very similar between dogs and their owners.

Which means if you’ve been particularly stressed out lately because of work, family or your social life, your pup might be picking up on this.

And because they feel stressed out, they want to be by your side to make themselves feel safe and secure.

Fortunately, more physical contact with your aussie is also proven to make you feel better as well.

Related Reading: Are Australian Shepherds Loyal? Simply Explained + 9 Facts

4) Simply Bored

Just like us, dogs can get bored too.

And when they’re bored, they want to find something to do.

Which is often following their favorite person around.

This is especially true if you work long hours and they’re left home alone for most of the day.

When you come home, they’ve been sitting around with nothing to do all day and they want to spend as much time with you as possible.

The younger your australian shepherd is, the more likely you’re to find them following you around everywhere.

Simply because they have more energy and need an outlet to release their pent up energy.

And without a play partner it’s hard for them to do, so they follow you in hopes they’ll get some sort of mental or physical stimulation.

Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys

5) Follow The Leader

If you’ve been doing most of your aussie’s training, they’ll see you as their alpha/leader and want to be around you as much as possible.

Dogs are pack animals.

They’re used to being in a group with a leader.

And you, my friend, are your pups’ leader.

Not only do you give them training which helps cement your bond, but likely all the best things in your aussies life happen when you’re around.

Whether it’s eating, getting a tasty treat, going for walks or hikes, bringing them home fun toys and playing with them, etc.

Not only do they look up to you and respect you, but you give them access to the things they love the most.

Which is likely contributing to why they want to follow you around everywhere.

Related Reading: Are Australian Shepherds Loyal? Simply Explained + 9 Facts

6) Wanting Something From You

Whether it’s a treat, a toy, or some attention in general, your australian shepherd may be following you around because they want something from you.

In this case it’s not that they necessarily need anything from you, but they’re craving something.

For example, they may have just eaten their food recently, but are following you around because they want a treat.

They don’t need more food, but they want the yummy taste of a treat.

Also, if they see that you’re not focused on something or doing anything they think is important, they’d rather you pay attention to them in some way.

Related Reading: Are Australian Shepherds High Maintenance? (Explained!)

7) Needing Help With Something

There are times when your australian shepherd may need some help with something and they’ll follow you around until they get it.

For example, if they need to do their business and it’s been a while since you let them out, they may follow you around until you get the hint that they need out.

Or maybe their water bowl is empty and they want you to refill it, so they’ll follow you until you do.

In these cases, having your australian shepherd follow you everywhere is actually a good thing.

They’re letting you know they need out so they don’t have an accident inside.

Or that you may have mistakenly forgotten about dinner and they’re getting hungry.

Following here are simply helpful reminders.

It’s when they follow beyond needing something that it would be considered problem behavior.

8) They’ve Developed Anxiety

If your australian shepherd has developed anxiety, it could be why they’re choosing to follow you everywhere.

There’s a key difference between a ‘velcro dog’ and one that has anxiety.

A velcro dog simply prefers to be by your side.

They don’t have strong negative emotions when they aren’t with you, but they much prefer to be by your side when you’re home as opposed to being on their own.

Dogs with high levels of anxiety have a hard time dealing with being away from their owner.

Something has happened that’s affecting their confidence and it makes them very uneasy when they aren’t with you.

If your australian shepherd has anxiety, you’ll likely also notice other excessive behavior.

Like licking, panting, drooling, pacing, whining, barking, shaking, etc.

You may also find them becoming destructive when you’re away and having more accidents inside.

Related Reading: Australian Shepherd Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes & Solutions

9) They’re Unwell

Another possibility as to why your australian shepherd is following you around everywhere is because they may not be feeling well.

Dogs that are unwell may follow their owner more closely than usual.

They’re looking for comfort and reassurance from you during a time when they don’t feel well.

If your australian shepherd is unwell, you’ll likely notice other changes in their behavior as well.

Such as lethargy, a decrease in appetite, and generally not acting like themselves.

If your australian shepherd is unwell, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet for a check up.

Bonus: If a Female Aussie – She’s In Heat

If your female australian shepherd is following you around everywhere, it could be because she’s in heat.

When a dog is in heat, their hormones are all over the place and may want more attention during this time.

So if you find your female australian shepherd hasn’t been spayed and is following you around more than usual, it could be that she’s in heat.

4 Tips To Help Get Your Australian Shepherd To Stop Following You Everywhere

1) Increase Daily Stimulation

One way to help your australian shepherd stop following you around everywhere is to make sure they’re getting enough daily stimulation.

This means providing them with plenty of exercise, mental enrichment, and socialization.

If they’re well-stimulated each day, they’ll be less likely to follow you around because they’ll be more interested in resting than following you.

Australian shepherds need at least 60 minutes of good physical activity as well as training/puzzle toys to challenge their mind.

Without these things they’ll have too much pent up energy and likely pick up undesirable behaviors.

Related Reading: 13 Best Mind Stimulating Dog Toys: Features & Benefits

2) Ignore It

Another way to get your australian shepherd to stop following you around everywhere is to simply ignore the behavior.

This means not giving them any attention when they follow you, even if it’s just a quick glance or petting them.

If you give them any type of attention, even if it’s negative, they’ll see it as a reinforcement of the behavior and continue doing it.

So it’s important to be consistent with ignoring the behavior whenever it happens.

Over time, they’ll realize that following you around doesn’t get them anything and will eventually stop doing it as often.

3) Find What’s Bothering Them

If your australian shepherd is following you around because they’re anxious, it’s important to find out what’s bothering them.

Has there been a big change to their environment recently?

Have they been getting less of your time?

Once you figure out what’s bothering them, you can start working on helping them feel better.

This may mean attending dog training classes to help with anxiety or removing what’s bothering them altogether.

Once you find out what’s bothering them, you can start taking steps to help make them feel better.

Which should help them feel better/more confident about being alone.

4) Speak With a Vet

It’s always a good idea to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing the behavior before trying to address it yourself.

This is especially true if your australian shepherd is unwell or showing other changes in their behavior.

A trip to the vet may be all that’s needed to help get to the bottom of things and start working on a solution.

Other posts you might find interesting:

8 Best Dog Beds for Australian Shepherds | Beds That Last

9 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Dig + Tips To Stop It

When Do Aussies Calm Down? Age By Age Breakdown + Tips

Top 8 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Paw At You + 3 Tips


Long-term stress levels are synchronized in dogs and their owners

Psychosocial and Psychophysiological Effects of Human-Animal Interactions: The Possible Role of Oxytocin

Separation Anxiety