I now have a beloved Golden Retriever who enjoys exploring the outside world. This could have been caused by a number of different things but thankfully, it is relatively easy to build that confidence back up. These dogs often need their confidence boosted and independence taught to help them cope with their anxieties. In the wild, this would be beneficial to dogs because it would throw predators off their trail. That means you are the Alpha (dominant) leader. Time, positive reinforcement, and consistency will likely help ease anxious feelings. The age of your dog must also be taken into consideration. There are several reasons your dog walks behind you on walks. He knows darn well who feeds him! Walking behind the ‘pack’ could be due to an underlying and possibly serious, medical condition. Once you have determined that the behavior needs to be corrected, you can start taking the steps to do so. As with most things in this crazy little thing called life, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Our furry canine friends learn best by conditioning as well as by positive reinforcement. Stay calm (yes, it can be frustrating), yelling and/or getting upset will only cause fear and inhibit training. Boredom and stress are two of the most common causes that can explain ‘‘why does my dog hump my leg.’’ A dog that lives a sedentary routine and/or in a negative environment can easily develop symptoms of stress and boredom. Diarrhea a few nights ago. Your dog is probably smart enough to realise that when they are on the lead they have to behave as the opportunity to be off lead depends on their behaviour. In the same way, they walk behind you because of an ill-fitting harness, tight collar, or heavy leash. When tired, they tend to lag behind. The literature says that there is a regard to the packs’ safety even stating observations of older alpha wolves taking a position at the back of the pack to ensure their safety. While some may disagree, many dogs do live with a ‘pack’ mindset. It can be a great time to build on the human-dog bond you share, explore together, or just enjoy the sights and sounds all around you. Much like humans, dogs are capable of feeling stressed or anxious, and sometimes a walk can trigger these feelings. Use treats and positive reinforcement when he seems to obey or pays attention. Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If he is showing any other symptoms like loss of appetite, whimpering, vomiting and/or diarrhea, or even if you are just concerned, take him to the vet. 2. From a dog’s perspective, humans walk far too slowly. So I don't mean be cruel or excessively harsh. One reason for your dog walking behind you could be a submissive trait that stems from the pack mentality, practised by their ancestors. This particular emotion is typically deeply ingrained so it might take a bit of time but eventually, he will feel more comfortable, and less fearful, on your walks together. If this is the case it may be time to approach your dog training from a more positive reinforcement stance. When your dog starts to move towards desired object, pull back just slightly. It’s still a hotly debated topic among dog lovers – are dogs prone to dominant behavior? Pulling On the Leash. The final reason may be linked to the area they are in. But nope, not Fido! It's a sign that they think that they're place is not alpha, or in the leader position. Your dog will always be around you (behind, in front, next to) because he feels safe around you and he knows you are the pack leader. However, the best thing you can do as an owner is to encourage your dog’s personality and ensure that they are happy on all of their walks. My dog walks behind me when we jog and it's more a heel than fear. To follow interesting scent trails and get where they want to go, dogs will drag their people behind … A firm “No” and making him stay until he walks next to you should help to get your point across. 10 years ago. It's a sign that they think that they're place is not alpha, or in the leader position. More importantly, the researchers write, your dog catching your yawn is a sign of basic empathy. He has simply been conditioned to do so. (9 Reasons), Everything About the Blue Doberman Pinscher, The Mountain Cur – Breed Info for the American Pioneer Dog, Dogo Argentino – Owner’s Guide to the Giant Argentinian Mastiff, Doberman Colors – 6 Most Common Colors of Pinschers, Everything to Know About the Perro De Presa Canario (AKA Canary Mastiff). Pawing from an extremely large dog can knock kids over, cause scratches or injuries and have other ill effects. Mastering the walk will not only make this part of your daily routine enjoyable, but also go a long way towards addressing other problem behaviors as well, because it can help your dog to see you as the Pack Leader. Most people would rather deal with this behavior than having Fido drag them around the block, but aside from being slightly annoying, it is important to pinpoint, which of the many possible reasons, applies to your specific pooch and to rectify the situation if need be. Your dog's behavior around you actually does have meaning behind it, according to experts. The more we learn about our canine friends, the more we realize how individualized they really are. A dog will lean on humans for a few different reasons - sometimes it's because he is anxious, or he wants you to do something or go somewhere, but leaning is also a sign of affection. I now have a dog and when I take her for a walk my new cat waits at the door for the dog to come home. Have you ever wondered why your dog lies down under your feet when you’re on the sofa? You may have met a dog with this endearing tendency: He tries to walk between your legs — even if you’re not ready or he can’t quite fit. Honestly, maybe we could all learn a thing or two from our beloved four-legged family members, perhaps they have had the right idea (and attitude) all along, we probably all could benefit quite a bit from slowing down and actually taking it all in. Pretty much all dogs like to explore and investigate new smells, sights, and sounds, they are just inquisitive by nature. Lethargic, although perks up and goes for a long walk with no problem. They are usually more cautious and if they do go on ahead they always make sure I’m in sight. Using a harness or short leash, gently guide your pooch to walk with you. Your favorite furball might be lagging behind because he simply can’t keep up. You may think leaving your dog for the day feels the same to them as it does to you, but how long is a day for... Have a look at our post on walking your dog off lead. In more extreme cases you might find your dog sitting behind you if you sit down. Opinions are split on harnesses as there is some that believe it encourages pulling. Many walks consist of some great outdoor space and if you happen to be walking your dog off lead you will find your pal running around and having fun. However, there always comes a time when you need to put your dog on a lead and in this situation it is good to have an obedient dog. He could also be suffering from an age-related medical issue such as hip or elbow dysplasia or arthritis. 2. soon enough the dog … If it's not fear, I'd suggest to walk slower and see if it works out for her. If your dog was once a ‘puller’ and needed to be trained to not drag or tug during walks, that could be the reason for him trailing behind you. Dogs are your companion, they know that and so do you. Instinct tells a dog that the leader goes first. The daily walk is an important part of responsible pack leadership — but for many, it’s also the most stressful. As mentioned before dogs are pack animals and the welfare of the pack is the most important thing on their mind. Another reason for your dog walking behind you is that they fear you. Since he views you as the leader, walking behind … When a human allows a dog to walk in front, they are sending signals to the dog that he is leading the human. Many dogs follow their people because they are anxious and insecure. Dogs are animals that love to be part of a pack and many times you will find your dog wanting to run off and explore, but what does it mean when your dog walks behind you. Depending on the breed, age, and overall health of your pet, this could be something as mundane as arthritis or something more serious like cancer. Dogs walk behind their owners for many reasons. “Why does my dog keep pulling me?” This is the phrase I hear over and over from clients who are trying their best to walk their dogs on a regular basis. In the grand scheme of things, Fido taking the lead certainly isn’t the worst thing that could happen. It might take some time but he will eventually get it. This is by no means a bad thing, but a boost of confidence or importance in the "pack" or household may help. Off lead, walking is one of the best forms of dog walking and one that I highly encourage, but it can create a very tired dog. Some more so than others, and your dog just might like to investigate and explore things a little more in-depth than other dogs. It is important to not make him associate it with a negative experience. Your dog will most likely walk behind you in 3 different scenarios. It’s not strictly true: It was after more was discovered about … Good news for you – This is an easy fix and simply requires a bit of persistence. You should assess whether your dog is comfortable with being pulled around by a collar, they may be keeping the lead loose to ensure it doesn’t pull on their neck. My Nenz walks around me in circles when we are out for walks, not so bad off leash but annoying when on leash as I don't like the leash wrapping around me. It's a sign that they think that they're place is not alpha, or in the leader position. If yours is an older pooch, him walking behind you during excursions (especially prolonged ones) could very well be because he simply can’t move as fast as he used to. Why does my dog walk behind me? Or, in lieu of a clicker, … SPEAK: 1. It’s a fair question, one surely asked by dog owners worldwide – why does my dog walk behind me? Just like people, dogs can 'catch' yawns. Some dogs tend to be more fearful than others. I'm sure she would join us if she could but she knows she isn't allowed outside the front because of the busy roads. However, there are times when they walk behind me, usually as the pavement starts to narrow or after they have been walking for some time. We asked Dr. Wailini Sung , a veterinary behaviorist, for the answer to the question. However, other examples such as companionship and physical endurance can be part of why your dog walks behind you. Every dog has its own character, personality, and quirks, and breed, experience, and background can all shape how your dog views the world. Firstly and speaking from experience dogs tend to see the lead as a control method and if you have trained your dog to be obedient on a leash then walking behind you is just a sign that they are under control. Often dogs will follow their owners if their bond is paired over time with a great deal of reinforcement. You as his ‘alpha’, are the one comforting presence, his protector, so naturally, he would hide behind you if he feels uneasy, he knows that you will keep him safe. This may seem petty in a human's mind, however it means a lot in a dog’s mind. For example, “if a dog learns that good things — such as dog food, pats and fun activities — come from a particular human, they may be … If it is severe, you might want to consider asking your veterinarian for available medication. But in many instances, they just love to sniff around. Since he views you as the leader, walking behind you reassures his safety. This is where it is trying to protect something that it thinks belongs to it such as its spot on the bed or the food it is eating. So a dog that chooses to walk behind you instead of with you or in front of you is a submissive or "middle of the pack" dog. Last update: Jun 18, 2020 1 answer. You are in charge of everything good in your dog's life. In a fur-fect world, your canine companion will keep step, while proudly and gallantly walking beside you. If dogs are not offered sufficient exercise, walks and game time, they have no way of expelling accumulated energy. Little dogs, in particular, find favor with setting up in this ideal spot. Some owners think this behavior is rude and disruptive, while other owners will tolerate it. However, in recent years the theories surrounding pack mentality have changed and researchers have started to lean towards a more co-operative approach. They will remember the last time you went into the kitchen they got a treat, so they will assume this is going to happen again and follow you in every time. Often I find that my dog decides to walk behind me at the end of the walk, or if they have just sprinted around for whatever reason. The reason that your dog walks behind you is likely to be that it wants to interact with things. If your dog has not had sight issues before and has recently begun walking closely to the wall, schedule an appointment with a trusted veterinarian. From personal experience when I walk my dogs in their favourite place they run straight off and essentially lead me along the same route we always take. It’s often viewed as more tolerable if the dog is smaller, because pawing from a small dog isn’t likely to cause any problems. In order to understand why your dog walks behind you, we explore some of the common reasons behind a submissive style walk. We get paid a commission for every qualifying purchase made through our links (at no extra cost to you). The added weight can cause hip, joint, and back pain, diabetes, and in the most serious of cases, deadly heart disease. However, this is completely different when I’m walking across unknown moorland, where they have never been. A dog who'd be slightly behind you or beside you will be much controllable. As with anything, any behavior that you deem unacceptable should be corrected, however, you should also consider what the actual cause of the behavior is before committing to treatment or retraining. He also circles madly when excited to go out and slowly when tied outside especially if there's alot of people and he gets nervous. Have a look at our post on walking your dog off lead. Reassurance from their favorite human could go a long way in easing his fears. When it comes to domesticated dogs, the pack mentality is certainly something that is thought to be present, but your dog’s behaviour might not be as obvious as you think. Best Answer. Many animal behaviourists suggest that the reason for this is because they want to know when you get up and the hope is that as they rest they can be assured you will wake them up when you get up. The only real solution here would be allowing him to get acquainted with the area you want to walk him in. Dogs will almost always choose a companion if one is available, whether it’s for a walk, playing, or sleeping. So long as the pulling is not something that has become dangerous, ie: pulling with excessive force, then whether or not it should be allowed can be determined on a case by case basis. Basically believing that you are the ‘alpha’ or leader of their pack. When Your Dog Sits on the Back of the Couch. Walking your furry friend is probably one of life’s greatest, albeit most simple, pleasures. Good morning. Slow your speed if he seems to be dragging. If your dog walks behind you on the lead this maybe for a couple of reasons. If your pooch continually chooses to stay a few steps behind you, it might just be his way of showing you that he is submissive. Your dog is aware of their place in the pack and see’s you as a figure of authority, whilst respecting you as the leader. As his appointed leader, it is natural for him to be submissive to you. I mean be firm. It could be that they’re afraid of something and view you as the protector. Some, not all, dogs get skittish, almost paranoid, in new and unfamiliar surroundings. While on a walk, dogs want to sniff out all the places other dogs have gone to the bathroom, so they can leave a fresh deposit on top. This will show your dog that they can make their own decisions but when you want them to do something they will still be obedient. I don't mean yell at him (I'll assume it's a him). Be consistent with the exercise and remember to be patient, as the pounds will start to slowly melt away and he will be able to keep up a quicker pace. Your dog is essentially letting you lead as they believe you are the one to make the correct decisions. This linked with theories that wolves are more co-operative may indicate why your dog finds it necessary to walk behind you. They have bonded with you and this is a really good thing. From the desire to protect you to an intuition about your health and … Why does my dog yawn every time I do? Sometimes as dogs age their eyesight suffers and they may begin walking closer to the wall because of it. There’s no need to change this behavior. Having been through a similar situation with a shelter dog on death row, I knew how frustrating situations like this could be, especially when the dog leaves scratches and bite marks all over. For whatever reason, or even none at all, your dog might just enjoy following as opposed to leading. Cat's don't think 'Oh I'm a cat so in this society it would be odd for a cat to go for a walk with a human'. Loss of appetite, not drinking much. So a dog that chooses to walk behind you instead of with you or in front of you is a submissive or "middle of the pack" dog. Look, I love my dog, and he knows it. If still not, put the leash into a shorter limit … Being off lead is obviously a great feeling for a dog and as many dog owners know this would be the ideal situation for most of their dog walks. Dogs are believed to empathise with us in other ways as well. 3. Allow him to get a decent whiff but then gently prompt him to move along. Dogs might roll around in the poop of others because it masks their scent. The reason why it does it might be that it is being possessive. Dogs love to be part of everything, say hello to everyone and it is the same in the house. If your dog is feeling nervous it is not surprising that he is choosing to let you take the lead. Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans do and they are able to gather information about what other animals have been around based on the scent that they have left behind. For more information on me check out my about page. Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. During your walks, encourage him to walk right next to you and when he does as he is told, offer him a treat, a gentle pat on the head, and an enthusiastic ‘Good Boy!’. While this could explain why Fido likes to turn your head into a chair, it's unlikely to be true. My dog walks behind me when we jog and it's more a heel than fear. Well its more common than you may think, so why do dogs sit in the... Time is something we run our lives by and often it dictates most of the things we do. In this instance, your dog might even nudge legs or nip at heels to keep everybody moving. But before you do that, it is important to get to the root of the problem, just in case it is something that needs further attention. Let’s face it pulling on a lead must be tiresome work. A dog walking behind you can be due to his curiosity to interact with his surroundings. If you have used a more outdated approach to dog training you may find your dog is fearful of making the wrong decisions. For these dogs, following you around all the time is not healthy and is a symptom of a greater problem. It could also mask their scent to potential prey as well. It’s the same as playing with them in the garden or going out in the car. Companionship is something you always want to have with your dog, it’s one of the reasons they are the most popular pets in the world. A lot of couch designs allow for ample space for a dog to make a bed on the back of the couch. Submissive behaviour is an obvious assumption to jump to after all dogs are pack animals and they naturally want to play their part in your life. The reason your dog walks behind you could be linked to the bond you share with them. If you believe that this is possibly the reason for his walking behind you, be careful trying to correct it as doing so may confuse him and undermine previous training. Dogs are indeed closely related to wolves and share characteristics, both physical and psychological. Your dog is aware of their place in the pack and see’s you as a figure of authority, whilst respecting you as the leader. Ate a little chicken yesterday and this morning. If it's not fear, I'd suggest to walk slower and see if it works out for her. Teaching Fido to associate you with negatives (fear, pain, anxiety) will only make his behavior worse and your job much, much harder. Because you haven't been firm enough. Short of giving up, they suffer the embarrassment, danger and sometimes pain, of walking a dog who pulls like a freight train when on a leash. So, what is it he's trying to do? While there certainly can be a hierarchy in a multi-dog home, dogs generally understand that the one who holds the resources controls the game. As your companion, they will follow you around making sure they are involved in everything you do. When he is in unfamiliar places, it makes him feel uneasy so he is taking his time to assess the environment. If the dog does move, start agian. A dog walking behind you can be due to his curiosity to interact with his surroundings. While it is not one of the earth’s most serious problems to have, it can be frustrating, particularly if you have a multi-dog household – all of which trying to travel at different speeds. My dog Benny 12 lbs., appears under the weather for a few days. If you tend to give your dog a little treat after you have finished your dinner or even whilst your cooking, then they are certainly going to follow you into the kitchen. You could walk your dog for hours on lead and not get as much physical exercise as your dog gets in 30 minutes of off-lead walking. I know my dogs tend to walk slightly ahead on lead for most of their walk. You have probably heard of a dog not wanting to go walking in the rain, but have you heard of a dog wanting to sit in the rain. If your dog not only seems to prefer walking behind but also occasionally manages to trip you up, it might be down to attention-seeking behaviors. Why does my dog walk behind me? The third would be within the household whilst going about daily tasks. He insists on lagging behind, following closely but at a sluggish pace. Loud noises, an overabundance of strange new smells, and you just might have a recipe for a total scaredy-dog. A study in the journal Biology Letters says this 'emotional contagion' is completely normal. As a child I grew up around dogs and have loved them ever since. For quite some time, it was accepted dogs followed a hierarchy structure similar to their cousin, the wolf. Considering many times this is almost hard-wired into their DNA, this will likely be a difficult habit to break. And here we are fur-moms and dads. If still not, put the leash into a … And this can be very much compounded by past situations, such as neglect or abuse. It’s easy to see why back in the day, vets and behaviorists prescribed to this theory. So a dog that chooses to walk behind you instead of with you or in front of you is a submissive or "middle of the pack" dog. A dog who'd be slightly behind you or beside you will be much controllable. It's a sign that they think that they're place is not alpha, or in the leader position. Offering encouragement, reassurance, and general, but constant, praise will help get him back feeling like the super pup that we all know him to be. If you can’t stand to look at their droopy face as they trot slowly behind you, stop and give them a good scratch behind the ear, this will comfort them and they will be able to stop for a rest. It would be important to be careful in these situations since dogs can become aggressive when they are … This is the one that we need to be the most cautious about. (10 Reasons), Separation Anxiety In Dogs (Causes, Signs, Tips), Why Won’t My Dog Sleep With Me? Walking behind you is a classic sign of a dog who is lacking in self-confidence. It’s also possible that your dog finds the lead uncomfortable and any sort of strain on it hurts them. said the dog owner in a pleading, desperate voice. This is probably my most favoured reason for your dog walking behind you and I know from personal experience that this is probably the truest. The dog is supposed to be along side of you or slightly behind you, with the leash loose. Your dog’s desire is to revive their energy levels so they can get back to exploring, so the safest and most reliable place to do this is behind you. Tell the dog to speak, if he doesnt, the owner must bark to encourage the dog to bark . They trust you and want to be near you 24/7. Certain dogs and breeds, particularly herding dogs, feel compelled to be the ‘herder’ of the pack. this way they can keep an eye on where you are and recover their energy with a slow stroll. If you are walking your dog in an unfamiliar territory they may be cautious about there surroundings. Other reasons could stem from habits. Keeping your hand high up in front of the dog, and repeating the command 'stay', back off bit by bit, increasing the space between you. When he is in unfamiliar places, it makes him feel uneasy so he is taking his time to assess the environment. An article by VCAHospital summarises research regarding the behaviour in wolves whilst travelling. The pack mentality is something that has been agreed upon for many years and it is still the common theory behind much of a dogs behaviour. If you’re worrying, why does my dog stand over me, you can rest easy. More importantly, the researchers write, your dog catching your yawn is a sign of basic empathy. They may also be curious about their surroundings and want to slow down the pace to explore. Reinforcing this behavior could cause future behavioral issues. One reason for your dog walking behind you could be a submissive trait that stems from the pack mentality, practised by their ancestors. Your dog is smarter than you think and a creature of habit. Why does my dog walk behind me? How To Train Your Dog To Not Walk Behind You, Why Dogs Lay On Your Feet (12 Intriguing Reasons), Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere? The proper way to walk a dog is the dog walking either beside you, or behind you, and never in front of you. Sights, and you just might like to investigate and explore things a little duckling of something and you... I love my dog walks behind you on the back of the couch easily winded they as! By dog owners worldwide – why does my dog yawn every time I do? garden or out! From the pack is the case it may be linked to the question theories. That confidence back up choose a companion if one is available, it! Have a recipe for a total scaredy-dog to use a clicker, … my 4 old. 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