I’ve always had dogs, and one of the things I’ve noticed is how no matter what breed they are, how old or whether they are male or female they all try and follow you to the loo. Always.
If they know you’re going, they have to follow. No matter how comfy they are, if they are in the middle of eating, or if they were sound asleep and snoring – if they suspect you’re off for a piddle they have to go too.
Why Do Dogs Follow Us To The Toilet?
Now, there are times when I think about some random stuff and this is one of them. For years I just thought ‘why do they do that? weird!’ and then just carried on, but the other week I actually sat and thought about it for a moment and had a bit of an epiphany.
The penny dropped. The lightbulb came on. I knew suddenly got why dogs try and come with us to the loo.
I think that dogs come with us for a couple of reasons actually; one is sentimental and one is more instinctual. (For them, not for me.)
Don’t Leave Me!!!!
Firstly, I think one of the reasons dogs will sit and wait for us while we are in the bathroom is because they feel like we are going to do a runner and leave them forever and ever and ever amen.
Dogs have that ‘feel-sorry-for-me’ puppy-eyed look when they want something or want us to feel guilty don’t they? We’ve all seen it and given in to it! They use it to their advantage practically every second of the day – including when you go to the toilet without them, they’ll sit outside pulling ‘the face’.
I reckon the puppy-eyes is sometimes a genuine feeling our dogs our having, I think they are genuinely upset and worry we’re going to ditch them and never come back.
Dogs are the most loyal animals on the planet and they truly love us so much they are desperate to be near us as part of our pack.
Some dogs are even soooo desperate to be near us that they genuinely suffer from separation anxiety and it can make them quite stressed and ill – sometimes they are even rehomed because of it (sob).
We had an issue once with a dog with separation anxiety and it was hard and upsetting, but that’s another story.
We Pack. We Wee.
The second reason – and the instinctual one – is that in nature pack animals tend to literally do everything together.
It makes sense really, if the pack is travelling somewhere and one of the pack needs a piddle-stop it takes up time and leaves the pack vulnerable. But then 5 minutes later another one of the pack needs to stop, taking more time and more causing even more vulnerability.
Now, if you have kids you know full well that as soon as you go out anywhere they need a wee. Then ten minutes later the next kids needs to go, then another, then another when you are paying for your shopping and on and on it goes. You don’t get anywhere or get anything done. (You also get pissed off…)
Imagine that as a pack of 10-20 dogs or wolves or squirrels or something (I don’t know anything about packs of squirrels), it’s bad enough when I go out with my 6 kids nevermind a truckload of rabid squirrels.
So I reckon a dogs instinct is for everyone to go at once. I always encourage (force) my kids to use the loo before we go out and then if one needs to go while shopping they all go, whether they like it or not. 🙂
It must be the same for dogs. They have somehow realised through evolution that it makes sense for all dogs to relieve themselves at the same time, it saves constantly stopping and only leaves the pack at risk for 1 time rather than 36.
Quite smart when you think about it.
So what happens when they all go to the loo at the same time and a predator comes? Well, they have one or two of the pack standing guard. (I’m assuming they get their turn at the end??)
So this is what our dogs are doing when they follow us to the toilet.
I reckon that their instincts kick in, they know you should both be going together to save time and be safe, so they go with you. They follow you and stand guard outside the bathroom door to keep you safe while you are at your most vulnerable.
Cos you never know when a predator is gonna turn up at your house while you go for a wee…