Dogs sometimes do some confusing things, and this includes blocking their owner’s path. This can occur when on a leash and going for a walk or when your dog is off their leash. However, it is relatively common, and most dog owners have experienced this at least once. This will likely leave many dog owners wondering: why do dogs block your path?
Generally, dogs block people’s paths accidentally. However, it can be a sign that a dog is attempting to assert dominance or that its eyesight is starting to worsen in some cases.
In this article, we will explain all of the reasons your dog is blocking your path. In addition, we will also be answering some other commonly asked questions and providing you with some other things to consider about this topic. Let’s get into it!
Reasons Dogs Block Your Path
There are five common reasons why dogs sometimes block people’s paths. Possibly the most common cause of this situation is the dog being distracted by something, and they did not notice you.
However, this can also occur when a dog has not been adequately trained to walk on a leash or to attempt to assert its dominance. In addition, this can also be a sign that a dog is starting to develop poor eyesight. Here are the five reasons dogs block your path.
Your Dog Isn’t Paying Attention
Dogs can be in their little world sometimes, and getting distracted can easily lead a dog to block its owner’s path by mistake. This is commonly the cause if this situation only occurs every once in a while.
However, this can still occur often if your dog is easily distracted. When a dog is blocking your path because they are distracted, they will likely be looking away from you, and their body might be turned away from you as well.
The only thing you can do to reduce this behavior is to get your dog’s attention by calling them when you notice that they are off in their own world.
Your Dog Is Fixated On Something Else
Sometimes dogs can become fixated on things that make them fearful or very excited. Although this can be more common in particularly fearful or excitable dogs, any dog could be affected by this kind of behavior at one time or another.
If your dog is fixated on something, he will likely stare at the exciting or stress-inducing stimulus and have difficulty looking back at its owner.
An excited dog may start to jump around, bark excitedly, and maybe even lunge toward the exciting distraction.
On the other hand, a dog who is afraid may stare with its tail between its legs and have stiff body language. In addition, fearful dogs may try to run away, and in some cases, they may react aggressively toward the fearful stimulus.
You will likely benefit from some desensitization training and training that involves getting your dog to focus on you during exciting or scary situations from a qualified dog trainer.
This is a common reason why your dog sometimes blocks your path. This is especially true if your dog is extremely reactive, fearful, or aggressive. It is also a good idea to take your dog to the vet and even an animal behaviorist in these cases.
Your Dog Hasn’t Learned How To Walk On A Leash Politely
This cause of a dog blocking your path is specifically when he does so while out for a walk on his leash. Sometimes a dog that has not learned how to walk properly will stop in front of you or dart back and forth in front of your path.
If this is the case for your dog, it could be beneficial to teach your dog the heel and let’s go cues. You may benefit from some help from a qualified dog trainer if you find walking your dog to be particularly difficult.
It Can Sometimes Be A Sign A Dog Is Trying To Assert Dominance
Sometimes a dog may block your path as a way for them to assert their dominance over you, other people, or even other pets.
Although this cause for a dog to block your path is not as common as some of the other reasons on this list, it is not unheard of for a dog to try to do this. We will go over some other signs that a dog is trying to assert dominance a little later on in this article.
Your Dog’s Eyesight Could Be Starting To Go
Sometimes a dog blocking your path could be a sign of vision loss in dogs. This is especially true if your dog is in his senior years or if your dog’s breed is particularly prone to vision problems.
Other signs of worsening eyesight will likely also be present if this is the cause behind your dog blocking your path. Some common signs of vision loss in dogs include but may not be limited to:
● Bumping into things like walls and furniture
● Not being able to find things like their bed, food, water, and toys
● An increase in stress and anxiety due to feeling vulnerable (This could cause a dog to suddenly be clingy, have separation anxiety, or even act aggressively)
If you suspect that your dog is blocking your path simply because he is developing poor eyesight, visiting a vet can help. They will be able to give you some tips and advice on how to keep a blind or low-vision dog safe and comfortable.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Block Your Path
It is normal for dogs to block your path due to being distracted, not knowing how to walk on a leash properly, or because they have poor eyesight. However, blocking due to reactivity, extreme fear, or asserting dominance are not normal behaviors in dogs.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Trying To Dominate You
In addition to blocking your path, there are some other things that a dog may do when they are trying to assert their dominance over you.
If you believe that your dog is trying to dominate you, then seeking help from a qualified dog trainer that you are comfortable with working with can help. Some other common signs of a dog who is attempting to assert dominance include but may not be limited to:
● Behaving aggressively towards you and others
● Guarding things like food, toys, and specific areas such as your couch or bed
● Being possessive towards you or others
● Getting on furniture without permission (and sometimes marking these areas as well)
● Ignoring your cues or commands
Things To Consider
There are some other things that you should consider when it comes to your dog blocking your path. These include when you should see a vet and when you should hire a professional dog trainer. Let’s get into it!
When To See A Vet
There are some situations where seeing a vet could be beneficial for this kind of behavior. Here are the situations that we have mentioned in this article that we recommend you take your dog to the vet.
● Extreme anxiety
● Aggressive behavior
● Vision loss
When To Hire A Trainer
Although not all of these problems require that you take your dog to the vet for them, this does not mean that your dog could not benefit from some training from a professional and qualified dog trainer. Here are some of the causes for a dog to block your path that may need a professional’s assistance to correct.
● Help with a dog learning to walk on a leash politely
● Help with an overly excitable dog
● Help with a fearful dog
● Help with a reactive dog
● Help with a dog who is trying to dominate you