Is Your Dog Controlling You? Signs and 3 Solutions

Pssssst… getting up from the sofa very quietly so your dog doesn’t notice you’re leaving?

Have you already gotten into the habit of sneaking through the apartment so that your dog doesn’t follow you everywhere?

If you want to cook in peace without him staring bites out of your hand, do you have to lock him out?

That sounds kind of… shall we say… quite uncomfortable.

It is?

All the better that you read our article on the question “How do I know that my dog is controlling me?” bumped into

We will explain to you what our dogs’ supposed need to control is all about and how you can recognize your dog’s need to control and ultimately wean him off the stressful behavior.

In a nutshell: No more controlling behavior!

Constant compulsion to be in control quickly becomes stressful – for both you and your dog. It is therefore important to observe and recognize your dog’s behavior and to draw the right conclusions from it.

Is your dog always on edge and ready to get up when you do? Wouldn’t it be much nicer if your dog could just lie there and relax? It is important that you set boundaries for him.

You can also close a door behind you or send your dog back to its place if you want to be alone.

Of course, you should build up the training in small steps and always respond to your dog’s emotions. You don’t want to punish him, you want to teach him that you can take care of yourself.

How do i know that my dog is controlling me?

Often we recognize a symptom and cannot link it to a cause.

Do you have trouble keeping your dog in check during dog encounters? Does your dog always get in the way when you hug visitors? Or does your dog even follow you when you go to the toilet?

All of these can be symptoms of a compulsion to control – but they don’t have to be, because: our dogs are all individual. So there is no general answer to the behavior of your dog.


If you are unsure about the behavior of your dog, please contact a local trainer. A personal conversation and getting to know each other will help to create an individual training package for you!

Now let’s assume that your dog wants to go to the toilet with you because he doesn’t trust you to do it alone. “Oh nonsense, that’s totally stupid”, do you think now?

In fact, you may have inadvertently taught your dog this type of “control compulsion.”

Was he always allowed to follow you and accompany you everywhere? You never sent him back to his seat when he got up with you, even though he wasn’t meant to when the doorbell rang?

Well, is it ringing for you now? Your dog thinks he HAS to go with you everywhere because he hasn’t learned to do otherwise.

This not only means stress and uncertainty for you, but also for your dog! It’s great that you do some research so that you can spot the first signs of a prospective control person and counteract their compulsion to control.

Help, my dog ​​is controlling me!

Constant control compulsion quickly degenerates into stress and can also spread to other areas of life. Dogs that are constantly glued to their owner’s heels often have an enormous problem with being left alone.

You can read more about being alone in our guide: “How long can a dog stay alone?”.

If you allow your dog to be by your side, he’ll have a hard time if he can’t have you around for a few minutes (or even hours – oh god oh god!).

You must decide to what extent you are okay with your dog “chasing” you. It may also be that your dog is simply looking for your closeness or a change.

So you don’t always have to reject him right away. Observe exactly in which situations he behaves in a way that you don’t like.

Of course, you should not ignore the stress level of your four-legged friend. If he can’t find any rest anymore because you’re whirling around at home and he can only chill when you’re doing it, you should definitely work on it with him!

This is how you can break the compulsion to control your dog

It gets awkward here and there when your dog sticks to you like a shadow? Finding the right measure is not that easy, because we actually always want to have our dogs around us.

However, you definitely need to set some boundaries!

As you can certainly imagine, it is not pleasant for your dog to constantly have to check you. It’s not called “compulsory control” without reason.

Imagine that you constantly have to know where your favorite person is because otherwise you become restless or even panic. Pure stress!

You will now find out how you can get your dog’s loss of control under control and ultimately break the habit.

With these tips you can help your dog to relax more:

1. Decide for yourself what bothers you

Is it okay for you if your dog follows you into the yard when you go out, but it bothers you if he waits outside the toilet door for you to do his business?

Understandable! Then start right there. If you want to go to the bathroom, send your dog back to his seat as soon as he gets up.

Here it is advisable to give your dog the command “Stay!” to teach. You can always increase the interval for how long he has to stay in his place until the command is resolved with an “OK!”.

At first, it is enough if you take a few steps away from him and praise him extensively for lying down. Step by step you move further away until Hundi can lie down completely calmly and relax and wait for your return.

2. Don’t read too much into it

Yes, dominance and control are part of the normal behavior of our dogs. However, not everything can always be explained in this way.

Just because your dog stands with his front paws on your foot while you pet him or he’s a little boorishly pouncing on his favorite human for a cuddle doesn’t mean he’s controlling or dominating.

The same applies here: If the behavior bothers you, research the cause of it exactly and then start your training right there!

3. Don’t create checkpoints

Where there is no post, there is no minder! Make sure your dog’s bed is in a quiet place.

Conceivably unsuitable are places by the front door or those that allow him a perfect view of everything that is happening.

You can avoid control behavior by not sending a dog to the checkpoint in the first place. Logical? Logical!


The main way you realize that your dog is controlling you is because he follows your every step. He always wants to be where you are and if that means the quiet place, your dog will remain loyal to you!

You have to decide for yourself when this behavior stresses or bothers you and also keep an eye on whether it causes stress for your dog.

If you always give your dog the opportunity to “control” you, this can reinforce his behavior and he will want to watch out for you in other situations as well. For example, when encountering dogs or when visitors come.

At the latest when your dog no longer allows you to hug your friends, the fun really stops. Prevent this by setting boundaries with your dog and specifically training them to be apart from you.

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