All dog owners know that taking your pup out for a walk every day is a critical part of your dog’s well-being. Some dogs are not good walkers on the leash, while other dog owners complain their dog walks very slowly. Have you wondered, why does my dog walk so slowly?
Your dog is walking slowly because they are uninterested or attempting to cut the walk short. Older dogs may walk slowly due to an underlying health condition or due to age. Younger dogs with behavior issues will walk slower.
If your dog is walking slowly, there’s plenty of ways to figure out why its happening. Once you have an idea of why, then you can begin working on some strategies to get your dog help if they need it.
Seven Reasons Your Dog Walks So Slowly
- Your dog has a thorn or something in their paw pad, making it hard for them to walk.
- Your dog is getting older and cannot walk long distances anymore.
- Your dog has become lazy due to inactivity or excessive weight gain.
- Your dog dislikes its collar or harness.
- They have arthritis, and it is increasingly painful on their joints to walk.
- Your dog has slowed down because they are particularly interested in a smell and want a more extended sniff opportunity in that area.
- Some dogs slow down at the end of their walks to prolong the experience because they do not want to go back inside.
Why Does My Dog Walk Slowly Towards Me?
If you come home one day and find your dog is walking slowly towards you or around you, that is often a sign that your dog has gotten into trouble.
Dogs are smart and often know when they have done something they are not supposed to, whether eating food off the table or using the bathroom in the house. Sometimes they will subconsciously walk slowly or tread lightly around you with the hope that you won’t notice their indiscretion.
Your dog also might walk strangely around you if they were recently frightened by something you did. Some dogs are easily spooked, especially as they get older, and their senses become more sensitive.
For dogs sensitive to loud noises, sounds like a loud pan dropping or someone yelling can cause them to get scared. They might give you a wide berth or tread lightly around you until they feel the danger has passed.
Why Is My Dog Walking In Slow Motion
Your dog is walking in slow motion because of the strange phenomenon of dog trancing. Dog trancing is when your dog seems to be in an almost meditative state, walking slowly, with a blank expression on its face.
During dog trancing, your dog appears to almost be in a state of hypnosis, and this will last for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.
This behavior can seem quite odd, but you do not need to worry that there is something wrong with your dog if you see them doing this. Sometimes this strange slow-motion walking occurs when a dog is passing under a plant or curtain or another object that tickles its back.
Dogs also walk in slow motion if they are on the hunt. If your dog has spotted a small animal or bird, they often will walk very slowly to try and stealthily approach their prey without the animal noticing. This behavior is more prevalent in dogs with a hunting and retrieving background.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Walks In Slow Motion?
While strange to witness, slow-motion walking and catching your dog in a trance usually does not have a deep meaning. This behavior can be troublesome as a dog owner, but it is harmless for your pet. It also can be hard to get a dog to snap out of its trance, so it’s better just to let the moment run its course.
At this point, a scientist cannot pinpoint why this happens, but they know that it is not caused by anything you, as a pet owner, have done.
If it bothers you to witness this, go around your home and move any objects at your dog’s height, such as curtains, house plants, or table runners. This should prevent your dog from having the opportunity to fall into dog trancing.
What Causes Dog Trancing?
Dog trancing is not something that has been closely studied, but it is believed to be a neurological tic.
There is evidence this phenomenon happens more often for certain dog breeds, and while the behavior is unusual, dogs will snap out of their trance on their own. Sometimes dogs need a moment of meditation too!
Why Has My Dog Suddenly Slowed Down?
While most dogs slow down with age, it is a very gradual process that you might overlook right away. If you see that your dog is acting differently or is more lethargic very suddenly, there is likely a more pressing reason for their behavior change.
Most dogs live for their walks or exercise time and have high pain tolerance, so a dog that has suddenly had a behavior change is a cause for concern.
A dog that is suddenly moving slowly may be suffering from a parasite, infection, or an underlying disease. In this situation, it is advisable to consult with your dog’s veterinarian to ensure they get the care they need to feel better again.
At What Age Do Dogs Start Slowing Down?
The age your dog starts slowing down depends a lot on the breed of your dog. Larger dogs hit their senior years around seven years old, while a smaller breed like a dachshund is not considered senior until around ten years old.
Every dog will act a little differently as they start aging, but you can look for signs like fur turning white or gray, having more difficulty going upstairs, and moving slower getting around. You may also notice new “old age spots” or various lumps and bumps that were previously not there on your pet.
How Can I Make My Dog Walk Faster?
The biggest tip for getting your dog to walk faster is to ensure that they follow the proper walking technique. It is best to keep your dog on a shorter leash and encourage your dog to walk beside you. This prevents them from wandering off to sniff and forces them to keep up with your pace while walking.
If your dog walks slowly simply because they get distracted and want to sniff, allow them some designated time to explore an area. Make sure that this exploration is on your terms to remind them that you are the alpha and control the walking experience. Once a dog senses that you have lost control, they will take advantage of having the upper hand.
If your dog has started walking slowly, spend some time getting them back into a good walking routine, whether that means treating any injuries or working on their walking etiquette. Dog walking is a great time to bond with your pet, and you want to ensure you both are getting the most out of the experience!