Why Does My Dog Follow Me to the Bathroom?

If you're a dog owner, you're probably familiar with your dog enjoying being around you, to the point of giving you almost no privacy. To the point of even following you to the bathroom. Why is this? Why does your dog follow you to the latrine and watch you intently as you pee?

Dog on the toilet - Jack Russell Terrier
credit: K_Thalhofer/iStock/GettyImages

There isn't one specific reason for this seemingly odd behavior— there are several.

Protection

Your dog loves you, and he always wants to make sure that you're safe from harm! However, when you're hidden behind a closed door with strange flushing noises and brushing noises and even the occasional loud hairdryer, your dog can't help you and make sure you are safe.

That's why your dog eagerly stays by your side, so that nothing goes awry behind a closed door. This can be cute until it becomes a problem. If your dog begins to carry out resource guarding, which is when your dog becomes overly protective of something or someone they find important (food, toys, or you!) this can become dangerous and lead to overly aggressive behavior. If this happens, you can carry out some simple preventive training so that your dog doesn't continue this undesirable behavior.

Training

Your dog learns from you even if you don't realize that it's happening. When you give your pup pats and treats and walks and other fun activities, they associate you with good things. When you leave, they learn that things get a lot less treat-filled, adventure-filled or love-filled, and that is sad news for your pup. This is why when you go to use the toilet they want to come, so they don't miss any of the action!

Dog standing between woman's legs in bathroom
credit: Chris Amaral/DigitalVision/GettyImages

This leads right into our third reason for your visitor in the bathroom:

Curiosity

Dogs are very curious creatures. Although they care for us, they do not fully understand why we do the strange things we do, which is understandable. In an effort to better understand us, they watch us and observe us in different environments. Like when we, from their perspective, take off our bottom fur and sit randomly for a long time on a white porcelain seat. Your dog just wants to know and understand you better, because of:

Pack mentality

Your dog considers you a member of their pack. A weird one, to be sure, but a member of their pack nonetheless. In nature, wild dogs stay together for protection and camaraderie, and privacy is not a recognized necessity. You're in a vulnerable position and your pack member wants to keep an eye on you to make sure you stay safe. They may even think their job is to patrol the area while you do your business.

Dog playing with toilet paper on bathroom floor
credit: Carol Yepes/Moment/GettyImages

Insecurity

Your dog could simply not feel safe unless they can see you. Feeling alone can be scary as a human. For a pack animal like a dog, feeling alone can be especially nerve-wracking. If your dog has separation anxiety, they can feel like any time you're out of sight, you're leaving them or they will lose you.

Don't be too worried if you are frequently accompanied to the bathroom. You can simply close the door if you need your privacy. The only time that it might be a problem is if your pooch becomes aggressive or distraught at the closing of the door. If this is the case you will need to do some preventative training or retraining to help your dog know that they are safe and not alone.

Then, after you're finished in the bathroom, you can give them a nice snuggle. Just wash your hands first.