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The Surprising Reasons Your Dog Won’t Leave You Alone in the Bathroom

It’s frustrating when you need time alone after a long day at work, but your dog follows you everywhere you go. This includes even the bathroom, which is supposed to be your sanctuary for privacy. But why do dogs follow you into the bathroom?

Since they can’t communicate as humans do, we can’t know for sure, but experts have some possible explanations. Veterinarians believe it’s not as simple as wanting to be near you when you’re using the toilet.

This guide will discuss the potential reasons why dogs have this need and what you can do to give yourself some peace when needed. 

why do dogs follow you into the bathroom

Why Do Dogs Follow You Into the Bathroom? 6 Reasons

Following are some reasons why your dog follows you into the bathroom.

1. Socialization

When they are tiny puppies, dogs depend on you like babies and want to be near you day and night. The scientific term experts use to explain this situation is imprinting. It means your puppy gives you the role of parent for the first 3 to 6 months until they become more independent.


This survival instinct is vital in the wild if you want to survive but are not strong enough to defend yourself. Once your puppy has imprinted you, it will whine when it can’t stay with you.

But dogs don’t have to imprint you to want to spend time together. No matter what the age of the dog you adopt, if it thinks of you as the pack leader, it will want to be by your side all the time. Dogs love being in groups and doing everything together. The concept of privacy is foreign. 

2. Companionship

Pack animals like your canine hunted and traveled in groups before they became domesticated. To this day, dogs in small villages still move around together for safety. 

3 german shepherd border collie mix dogs
PC: Eva Gronblad

However, the four walls of your home protect your household dog, so they no longer need to run in a clan. But that instinct to seek warmth is still hardwired in them, which leads your canine to seek a strong bond with you. You become the center of their world, meaning sustenance, protection, and satisfaction are expected from you as the leader.

Because of this expectation, being removed from its master causes fear and stress until you return. As the master of the home, your dog will want to be everywhere with you, even if it means watching you in a vulnerable state on the toilet. 

3. Breed Characteristics

Are you familiar with the term “Velcro dog”? Velcro dogs come from breeds more likely to follow humans than any other animal. For example, species used for chasing sheep, like Border collies, cattle hounds, and German Shepherds, have these traits.


These dogs love to keep the humans they love together in one place. Also, there are devoted canines like Boxers and Pinschers that you want to be near to keep you safe in case of danger. Lastly, there are family-friendly breeds like Golden retrievers and pointers that like your company because you’re their best friend. 

We can’t point out one specific breed that loves to stay in the bathroom with their masters, but the ones mentioned above are more likely to have this habit. 

german shepherd mouth

4. Curiosity

Dogs are inherently inquisitive animals and love to know everything that’s going on. When you go to another room in the house, your dog’s ears will point upwards, and it will get curious about where you’re going. Could it be dinner time, or is a little snack waiting?

german shepherd border collie mis with big ears

Or maybe you are on the way to doing something fun they love doing with you. If your dog follows you to the bathroom, it may want to know what you’re doing and leave you alone afterward. Lastly, your canine may also be after you to see all the water from the toilet bowl it loves to drink. 

5. Reinforcement

How do you react when your canine tries to go with you to the bathroom? Do you get angry and shut the door on them, or do you give them love and put them in another room to wait? No matter how you react, acknowledging their presence makes your dog want to follow you again in the future. 

Some dog parents accept having their pets in the bathroom, which is not a problem. But if you want to be alone, the best step is to teach them to do something else instead of following you. The worst thing you can do is admonish your dog.

beagle on woman's lap on couch

Instead, treat your dog when it doesn’t follow you to the bathroom because that’s the behavior you want to reward. If your pet does come with you, give it love and praise for waiting patiently at the other end of the door without whining.

After 1 to 2 weeks of practice, the behavior will be ingrained, and you will have the alone time you crave in the bathroom. 

6. Dogs Love Scents

It’s a common-sense explanation, but it’s correct. Your dog loves to smell you and everything that comes from your body. It’s why it loves to be with you in the bathroom.

shiny dog nose in focus

Also, every soap bar, shampoo, and skin cream remind dogs of the scents of their beloved owners. It’s difficult for us to understand as humans, but you must deal with it if you want to have a dog. 

Summing It Up

If your dog is a puppy, be patient because it will want to follow you everywhere you go, and your bathroom will be one of those places. It will take time with love and proper training, but your newborn pup will stop as it ages. 

As it gets older and you see it continue this behavior, train it correctly with treats and praise until it starts waiting for you outside the bathroom door instead of whining about wanting to be inside with you. 

puppy-sleeping-on-other-dogs-head why does my puppy sleep on my head

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