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5 Super Clingy Dog Breeds Who Have Earned The ‘Velcro Dog’ Label

These pups are usually happiest by your side

Have you ever heard the phrase “velcro dog”? The moniker refers to super clingy dogs that cling beyond the typical unconditional love for which we cherish our loyal companions so deeply. Velcro dogs take things a step further, often clinging to their humans’ sides, following their every footstep, constantly seeking attention and affection and doing all they can to maintain some level of physical contact.

In severe cases, clinginess can lead the dog to whine or bark and suffer from distress and anxiety when their owner is out of sight. A clingy dog can be a lot to handle both emotionally and physically, so they require a lot of patience. Clinginess can stem from past experiences or simply be part of an individual pup’s personality, but there are some breeds that are known to be less independent than others. According to canine experts, here are a few super clingy dog breeds that tend to stick to their loved ones like — well — velcro!

Here are 5 super clingy dog breeds

1. Super clingy dog breeds: Vizsla

Vizsla dog and owner cuddling
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Vizslas are endearingly referred to as the ultimate velcro dogs because they simply have a natural desire to be surrounded by their loved ones. These dogs were originally bred for falconry (hunting), explains Liza Cahn, veterinarian with Embrace Pet Insurance. Therefore, they love working closely with humans, and that trait has translated into a need for constant companionship. Vizslas form tight bonds with their humans, and they do not like to be left alone.

2. Super clingy dog breeds: Labrador Retriever

Labrador retriever with owner
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Labs are known for their tremendously friendly, affectionate and energetic spirits. As their name suggests, they were bred to hunt and retrieve, they love to play and even to swim, and they are also notably intelligent. Arguably the top attribute that makes them such ideal family dogs, though, is their sweet and boundlessly loving nature. This is also one of the reasons that labs are a top pick to be therapy and service dogs.

Robert Gonzalez, Regional Medical Director for Small Door Veterinary‘s New York City hospitals, explains that the clinginess of these breeds comes from the purposes for which they were historically bred. “For example, Labrador Retrievers were bred as companions and working dogs, making them crave human interaction,” he says.

3. Super clingy dog breeds: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier king charles spaniel laying on owner
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These dogs were bred specifically to be lap dogs, so they seek constant companionship, Dr. Gonzalez explains. And perfect lap dogs, they are (not exclusively because of their size). These dogs have a moderate energy level, so they’re just as content cuddling with their humans as they are playing outside. They are very affectionate, gentle and great with children.

4. Super clingy dog breeds: Doberman Pinscher

Woman sits by the lake with her doberman pinscher
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Dobermans are one of those breeds that literally embody loyalty. They are born fierce protectors and widely known as the best guard dogs, which is why they have such a strong desire to stay near their humans to stay vigilant and ensure they’re safe. Make no mistake though, these dogs are also extremely loving. They are also remarkably smart and athletic, so they will need a good deal of time and attention to be physically and mentally fulfilled.

5. Super clingy dog breeds: French Bulldogs

French bulldog on woman's lap
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Frenchies are another breed known for being innate lap dogs. They don’t need much in the way of activity, so they are more than happy to spend all their time lounging with their people. They are very sociable, are happy to adapt to any lifestyle their families choose and form very tight-knit relationships with their humans.

When should you be concerned about a clingy dog?

A clingy dog does a great job of making you feel valued and loved, but you don’t want your dog to be so clingy that they can’t manage being away from you for a moment to the point of physical or emotional stress.

“Clinginess can be a problem if it interferes with your dog’s well-being or your daily life,” says Dr. Cahn. “If your dog is unable to settle down or entertain themselves, constantly seeks your attention, limits your ability to leave the house, or develops problem behaviors or physical manifestations of stress (such as loss of appetite, panting, restlessness or diarrhea), it can be very disruptive.”

Dr. Rodriguez echoes that sentiment, noting that an attached dog needs modification if their clinginess leads to separation anxiety. This, he cautions, can include becoming destructive when left alone, excessive barking or whining, pacing, house soiling and depression or lethargy.

If your dog does get to the point of serious separation anxiety, there are things you can do to help. Dr. Rodrguez suggests gradually accustoming the dog to being alone by leaving for short periods and slowly increasing the time away. Additionally, he recommends offering your pup a safe space and comfortable space and teaching them to retreat there when they are feeling uneasy. You’ll also want to make sure your pal gets plenty of physical and mental exercise, and try to maintain a consistent routine to provide some stability.

“If you suspect your dog has separation anxiety it’s important to work with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist, because management often involves a combination of medications and behavioral modification, such as desensitization, counterconditioning, and independence training,” says Dr. Cahn.


Keep reading for more dog behavior facts!

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Why Does My Dog Lick Me When I Pet Her? Animal Experts Share the Surprising Reasons

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me? Veterinarian Explains What They’re Trying to Tell You

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