11 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Is So Clingy And Needy


When you brought your schnauzer into your home, you had no idea you were bringing home such a clingy pup! Is it something you did to make them so clingy? Or are schnauzers as a breed generally overly clingy/needy?

Why Are Schnauzers So Clingy:

Many times a schnauzer has become so clingy because they’ve unknowingly been trained to act this way. When a schnauzer is showered with love and attention from an early age it results in creating an overly clingy or needy dog as they get older. 

In this post you’ll discover the 11 of the most common reasons why your schnauzer is acting so clingy and needy as well as things you can do to help reduce their clinginess.

Reason #1 is the least talked about but potentially one of the biggest!

Let’s jump right in.

11 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Is So Clingy & Needy

1) Your Attention & Affection Is Like a Drug

In a very real way, when you give your schnauzer love and attention, it almost acts like a drug.

Many antidepressants and drugs focus on lowering cortisol and increasing oxytocin and serotonin.

Cortisol is the stress hormone, and oxytocin & serotonin are ‘feel good’ hormones that are released when people (and animals) feel happy.

And studies have been shown that when you and your pup have physical contact it releases oxytocin in their body.

Even as little as holding eye contact with your beloved doggo can help them create & release oxytocin.

Which means that the more they get this ‘feel good’ sensation from you, the more they’ll crave it.

And if you’re generous with how much you cuddle with your schnauzer, how much you pet and give belly rubs, and how much you pay attention to them, they may crave this feeling often.

So your schnauzer could be very clingy and needy because they want and crave how good you make them feel simply by being in contact with you.

2) Boredom

If your schnauzer often feels bored and doesn’t have anything fun/stimulating to do, they may act quite clingy.

Since your pup has a rather limited ability to amuse themselves they need a buddy to play with.

Much like when a child tells you they’re bored and proceeds to decide to bug you to curb their boredom.

The amusement they get from bugging and clinging to you is better than lying down being bored.

And if it’s been a while since their last walk or play session their energy has probably built up again and needs to be expressed.

A good thing to remember is that a tired doggo is a peaceful doggo.

They won’t have the energy to misbehave, bark, or bug you by being overly clingy.

Instead of feeling bored they’ll be tired and would rather rest up.

3) Getting Older

If your schnauzer hasn’t been clingy in the past but you’re starting to notice their neediness increase lately, it could be related to their age.

As your pup moves into their senior years they may become more reliant and therefore clingy/needy.

Simple everyday activities that were once quite easy for them to do might become more difficult.

And because of this they may cling to you as they’d like you to cater more to them since they’re starting to struggle a little more.

Running, jumping and lots of playing used to be extremely enjoyable for them. They would want to do anything other than sit still.

But now, following you around and being close to you might be their new idea of fun as they slow down.

4) High Expectations

You may have unintentionally set their expectations far too high in terms of attention they receive.

Maybe you had more time to play with them and cuddle while they were young.

But now your job situation may have changed and you aren’t around nearly as much.

Unfortunately, you’ve set your schnauzer’s expectations quite high in terms of how much of your time they expect to get.

They feel that the amount of attention they once got should continue for the rest of their lives.

It’s what they’re used to and they really liked it the way it was.

But now your situation has changed and they are feeling a little deprived.

So whenever you’re around now, they want to cling to you to make up for lost time.

High expectations of how much attention your schnauzer feels they deserve could be part of the reason they’re so clingy.

5) Lack Of Exercise

Too much pent up energy can definitely result in a clingy schnauzer.

Schnauzers need roughly 60 minutes of exercise each day in order to stay fit and healthy.

And if your pup isn’t getting enough exercise, they may decide to cling to you to either burn off some steam or in hopes to start a play session or go for a walk.

A few ways you can give your schnauzer more exercise to help them stop being as clingy is playing daily fetch in the backyard.

Increased time on their daily walks.

Additional walks throughout the day.

More dog park visits.

Or adventurous hikes whenever you have the time available.

If your pup is getting enough physical stimulation odds are they won’t have the energy to be as clingy as they are now.

6) It’s a Schnauzer Thing

Your schnauzers ancestors were bred to be hunting dogs as well as guard dogs.

This means they will have a more natural desire to grow super attached to a single person.

That one person is their leader in all life’s adventures or the person they feel strongly about protecting.

Because the bond is so strong between a schnauzer and their human counterpart, they can sometimes be overly clingy dogs.

With proper training this clinginess can absolutely be limited.

But it’s instinctive for your schnauzer to be extremely close with you as their alpha/leader.

And they want to be beside you at all times helping in any way they can.

7) Afraid/Uncomfortable

While schnauzers are known for being rather fearless, not all will be the fearless warriors their ancestors were bred to be.

Which means they may become uncomfortable or afraid in certain situations which makes them cling to you.

It could be fear of a stranger that they feel is a potential threat, not wanting to be at/go to the vet, or even loud noises like fireworks, construction or thunder.

These types of situations can create fear in your pup which makes them become clingy.

They feel safe beside you or between your legs and know you’ll protect them if anything bad were to happen.

Most of the time there’s probably nothing to worry about and you think your pup is being a little drama queen or king.

But to them their fear feels very real and makes them want to cling to you like velcro.

8) Anxiety

Separation anxiety will produce some of the most severe needy/clingy behavior in a schnauzer.

If your pup had a troubling past of abuse, being abandoned, recent changes to their living situation or lost a loved one, they may develop separation anxiety.

If you notice, in addition to their clingy behavior, that they are excessively barking, destroying items in your home while you’re away, going number 1 & 2 indoors, excessively pacing or licking, these are all signs of separation anxiety.

Unfortunately separation anxiety is not easily trained out of dogs which means it’ll take quite a bit of time and patience to help your pup overcome this.

If you feel your pup may have separation anxiety, hiring a professional behaviorist to help you, help them is generally a good idea.

The longer they feel this way the more potentially harmful it will be to your relationship with them.

9) They’re Unwell

Your schnauzers’ increased clinginess or neediness could be a result of them not feeling 100%.

Whether it’s a physical, external injury or something going on internally.

If they aren’t feeling well or are in pain, they may start to act more clingy.

They may need your help moving around or simply being next to you gives them some relief.

Many dogs will do their best not to show their owner that they aren’t well so if you notice them acting more clingy while crying/whimpering more, you should take them to the vet.

It’s likely something that should be looked at by a professional if they’re behaving differently.

10) Too Much Isolation

Too much isolation can cause a schnauzer to be more clingy in a few ways.

If they were too isolated as a pup and didn’t receive much love or attention, they may be extremely clingy because they love you so much.

They didn’t have a valued family member when they were young and now that they do, they always want to be around you.

Another way isolation could be taking a toll on them is through your work schedule.

If you work more than 8 hours everyday, your schnauzer may start to feel isolated and isn’t handling it well.

Dogs are very social creatures so when they experience long periods of isolation, many don’t handle it well.

Also, their feeling of being overly isolated could come from a change in both your routines.

For example, if your job allowed you to work from home and now that’s changed, your pup may start to feel isolated.

They got used to you being home most of the day and now that’s changed.

Sometimes when a schnauzer has been deprived of attention from an early age, they respond by being clingy once they have a loving family.

Or a change to their routine makes them feel deprived and more isolated than they would like.

Also resulting in them being overly clingy/needy.

11) They’re In Heat (If Female)

If you have a female schnauzer, their overly clinginess or neediness could be because they’re in heat.

Dogs that are in heat will often experience personality changes.

One of those being they want more of your attention and affection.

If there’s a possibility that your pup is in heat, no need to worry about this behavior becoming their new normal.

Dog’s in heat go through 4 cycles.

The first two cycles (which last roughly 9 days each) are when they’re likely to be the most agitated and needy.

After that they should start becoming more of their normal selves.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Are Schnauzers Loyal To Their Owners? 9 Facts Revealed

Are Schnauzers Good With Kids? 13 Things You Should Know

Can Schnauzers Swim? 6 Facts, 5 Dangers & 5 Helpful Tips

Citations:

Standard Schnauzer

Oxytocin-Gaze Positive Loop and the Coevolution of Human-Dog Bonds

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

Separation Anxiety

Dog In Heat? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

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

Recent Posts