If your dog has been walking slowly, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog walk so slowly? Possible reasons why your dog walks slowly are that it wants to smell things, old age, encouraging the behavior, injury, or a lack of energy.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog might be doing it and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog walks so slowly

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

It wants to smell things

The reason could be that it wants to interact with things. This would be more likely if it tends to stop and sniff things a lot when it is walking behind you.

Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans do and they can gather information about what other animals have been around based on the scent that they have left behind.

In the past, knowing about what other animals have been around recently would have been very helpful for the survival of the dog or its ancestors. It is likely that dogs have kept this urge to know about what else has been around recently which could be why your dog is always lagging behind you.

In this case, it would help to train your dog to come to you when you call it so that you can call it when it starts lagging behind. It would also help to reward it when it walks beside you as you want it to.

Age

Another possible cause is that it is old and it is not able to walk as fast as it used to. This would be more likely if your dog is an elderly dog and it has gradually walked slower as it has gotten older and it does not seem to be walking slowly to sniff things.

Encouraging the behavior

Another possible cause is that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded. This would be more likely if you tend to give your dog things it wants when it walks slowly such as treats or extra attention.

Injury

Another possible cause is that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

A lack of energy

Another possible cause is that it is feeling fatigued. This could be due to an illness which would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly and it has been showing other signs of being ill such as vomiting. It could also be due to an issue with its diet which would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its diet.

Things to consider about your dog walking slowly

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when your dog first started walking slowly

If your dog did not always walk slowly, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as injury or illness.

What is different when your dog doesn’t walk slowly

If your dog does not always walk slowly, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not walk slowly. For example, if it does not walk slowly when there are not many things for it to smell, it might walk slowly because it wants to sniff things.

What to do about your dog walking slowly

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Get help

If your dog has started doing it suddenly and it seems like it might be due to injury or illness, the best option would be to get help from a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to see if injury or illness is the cause.

Avoid encouraging it

It might be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it walks the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Training

Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging it to behave the way you want by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.

To use it to get your dog to walk alongside you, you would reward it with treats when it walks beside you and stop rewarding it when it lags behind.

You could also train it to come on command so that you can call it whenever it starts lagging behind.

Why does my dog walk slowly on walks?

If your dog walks slowly on walks, but it does not around the home, it would be more likely that your dog wants to sniff things or that it has leared that it gets rewarded for walking slowly.

Why does my dog walk slowly with its head down?

If your dog walks slowly with its head down, it might be because it wants to sniff things. It could also be because it is being submissive which would be more likely if it does it when you get annoyed with it. Another possible cause is that it has an injury which would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly.

Why does my dog walk slowly with its tail down?

If your dog walks slowly with its tail down, the cause could be that it is being submissive. This would be more likely if it does other submissive things such as to roll onto its back or to keep its distance from you. Another possible cause is that it is fatigued. It could also be the case that it has been doing it due to an injury which would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.