Why Does My Cocker Spaniel Follow Me Everywhere?

Cocker spaniel puppy staring at camera

Let the record show that I am officially annoyed. As a fellow Cocker Spaniel, I take offense in knowing that this question even exists in Google’s user intent algorithm. But you asked and I’m here to answer: Why does my cocker spaniel follow me everywhere?

Cocker spaniels fixate on one particular person. While they are good family dogs, they choose only one individual as their favorite. This often causes them to act in obsessive and protective ways and can lead to separation anxiety issues.

If you give us structure and treats we will forever be indebted to you and follow you around in complete and selfless adoration.

It’s the law.

Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.

Cocker Spaniels Follow You Because Dogs Are Pack Animals

Not just cocker spaniels, but all dogs.

By nature, dogs need a crew – a pack to let them know they’re safe, protected, and a part of a family.

It’s an evolutionary survival thing for us. But once we’re adopted into a human family, you guys become our pack.

Because of our need to be a part of something bigger than us, we obsess over rules, structure, and training. When we get that from a human, then that human becomes our alpha.

We must follow that alpha around…everywhere.

Our fearless leader must never go anywhere alone.

Our fearless leader must never have to poop by themselves ever again.

We are here for you, always, oh fearless leader.

For hundreds of years you have used us to help you in search of food, protection, hunting, companionship, and cuddles. Because of this form of domestication, we have come to enjoy our alpha human’s company more so than anything else.

Heck, we’ll even hold you accountable to your running goals. As a matter of fact, we make excellent running partners. Don’t believe me? Check out the article I wrote on the very topic right here.

Your dog will continue to follow you around out of loyalty and submission. Train them to do otherwise – but until then – get used to your new shadow.

Cocker Spaniels Are Bred for Hunting

Here’s the thing.

My humans are vegan, so hunting animals is totally out of the question for me. Truth be told, I’m okay with this. I’m a lover, not a fighter.

That doesn’t change the fact that cocker spaniels and spaniels in general were bred over hundreds of years to be a hunting companion.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been hunting (I haven’t but I watch a lot of tv, so I know) but it’s a bored mans game spread out over the course of an entire day. This gives us the opportunity to spend copious amounts of time with you and only you.

During times like these, we’re completely submissive to you – awaiting your instruction, watching and obeying like the good boys we are.

You have to understand that this type of breeding inevitably morphed them into the stage 5 clingers that cocker spaniels have progressively become. All of this one on one time has taught them to align with one person. It’s what they’re good at.

For me these days, hunting consists of tracking down the prey of the illusive green tennis ball with my favorite human.

Six of one, right?

How Old Was Your Cocker Spaniel When You Adopted Them?

I was ten weeks old when my mom adopted me. I remember it like it was yesterday. Best day of my life.

I bring this up to quickly illustrate the bond between a small pup and their new human. It’s scary being in a strange place and away from your puppy family.

You’re confused, can barely walk straight, and get yelled at every time you pee on the floor.

Makes no sense, but there’s so much to learn and it’s completely overwhelming for a puppy that’s only been in this world for a few weeks, at best.

Your dog is looking for love and safety. They find that in you within a few days. From then on you become their best-est mom and proverbial safety blanket – for life.

They need you.

This bond starts early on.

It’s unbreakable, so stop complaining about us following you around everywhere. You should be overjoyed with our constant and unwavering company!

Is There Another Reason Your Cocker Spaniel is Following You?

It’s important to bring up the not so happy possibility of this.

We need to rule out any scary medical condition or illness that may be causing your cocker spaniel to follow you around more than usual.

Cockers are a strange bunch – I’ll be the first to admit it. I mean, I’m writing a blog for crying out loud. How many dogs do you know that take the time to do that, let alone cockers?

As a breed we have the tendency to creep on our humans. We need them in our line of sight at all times. This is for your safety and our anxiety. Deal with it.

But for the sake of comprehensiveness covered in this article, we need to consider all things possible.

Reasons Your Cocker Spaniel May Be Following You Around

Infographic representing the 5 top reasons your cocker spaniel may be following you around everywhere.
  • Health and wellness of your dog – it is normal behavior for a dog to act strange if they are sick or in pain.
  • Age of your dog – as your pup ages, so too may their behaviors. Keep this in mind as you begin to notice changes in their normal routine.
  • Previous trainings – have you, or someone else trained your dog in a way that would warrant an overly submissive behavior? Adopting a service animal for instance?
  • Is it a new environment? – Dogs don’t always do well with change. A new environment is a perfect example of this. We don’t like it and will stick extra close to our person until we feel safe again.
  • Is your dog properly socialized? – I’m telling you, we’re weird. If you don’t get us used to other pets and people then we’ll follow you to all corners of the globe to keep from having to sniff another butt.

All of these can be factors playing into the overly emphasized stalking your cocker spaniel has committed to.

You know your dog better than anyone. If they’re acting weirder than usual, it’s not a bad idea to schedule a visit with your friendly neighborhood vet.

Better safe than sorry!

Related Questions

Are Cocker Spaniels Good Family Dogs?

Cocker Spaniels have a pre-disposition to be a well mannered, loyal, and intelligent breed. This makes them excellent members of a family.

Cocker Spaniels are generally a “one-person” type of dog. Meaning they attach very quickly to one person. This doesn’t mean they won’t love everyone in your family, it just means they’ll love one person a LOT and they’ll love everyone else the normal amount.

Cocker Spaniels are a wonderful breed of dog. I wrote an entire article about adopting a Cocker Spaniel into your family if you’re interested in a bit more information.

Can Cocker Spaniels Run Long Distances?

A Cocker Spaniel’s eager need to “please” their owner makes them excellent running partners.

If you’ve never ran your Cocker Spaniel before, it’s imperative that you start off slow and follow the recommended guidelines I wrote about in this post: Can Cocker Spaniels Run Long Distances?


If we’re getting on your nerves then you’re just going to have to work with us.

Teach your cocker that you don’t actually need them right beside of you – because they’re born and bred to think otherwise.

Personally, my mom doesn’t have a problem with my clinginess. And I like it that way.

Just let it happen, humans! But in the meantime, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often!

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.

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