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. 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. Lethargic, although perks up and goes for a long walk with no problem. In a fur-fect world, your canine companion will keep step, while proudly and gallantly walking beside you. For these dogs, following you around all the time is not healthy and is a symptom of a greater problem. Slow your speed if he seems to be dragging. Your dog walks behind you, whether on or off-leash because they are tired or wearing uncomfortable gear. 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. 3. It is important to not make him associate it with a negative experience. 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!’. Your dog is essentially letting you lead as they believe you are the one to make the correct decisions. 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. Walking behind you is a classic sign of a dog who is lacking in self-confidence. When he is in unfamiliar places, it makes him feel uneasy so he is taking his time to assess the environment. When he is in unfamiliar places, it makes him feel uneasy so he is taking his time to assess the environment. 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. Note: This post may contain affiliate links. The reason that your dog walks behind you is likely to be that it wants to interact with things. One reason for your dog walking behind you could be a submissive trait that stems from the pack mentality, practised by their ancestors. Reinforcing this behavior could cause future behavioral issues. If you’re worrying, why does my dog stand over me, you can rest easy. In order to understand why your dog walks behind you, we explore some of the common reasons behind a submissive style walk. While this could explain why Fido likes to turn your head into a chair, it's unlikely to be true. It’s still a hotly debated topic among dog lovers – are dogs prone to dominant behavior? Tell the dog to speak, if he doesnt, the owner must bark to encourage the dog to bark . The reason why it does it might be that it is being possessive. 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. 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'. In the same way, they walk behind you because of an ill-fitting harness, tight collar, or heavy leash. (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). Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. 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. 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. 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. 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. If this happens it needs to be nipped in the bud. As your companion, they will follow you around making sure they are involved in everything you do. This opposition against his neck, or harness will actually build more desire to pull forward. A dog walking behind you can be due to his curiosity to interact with his surroundings. 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. Some owners think this behavior is rude and disruptive, while other owners will tolerate it. 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. Why does my dog walk behind me? However, if you have an obedient dog then a harness has to be more comfortable for them. 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. They trust you and want to be near you 24/7. Dogs are indeed closely related to wolves and share characteristics, both physical and psychological. It might take some time but he will eventually get it. If your dog is feeling nervous it is not surprising that he is choosing to let you take the lead. Your dog will most likely walk behind you in 3 different scenarios. He knows darn well who feeds him! This could have been caused by a number of different things but thankfully, it is relatively easy to build that confidence back up. It would be important to be careful in these situations since dogs can become aggressive when they are … Your dog's behavior around you actually does have meaning behind it, according to experts. Diarrhea a few nights ago. Walking behind the ‘pack’ could be due to an underlying and possibly serious, medical condition. It's a sign that they think that they're place is not alpha, or in the leader position. Why does my dog walk behind me? More importantly, the researchers write, your dog catching your yawn is a sign of basic empathy. I don't mean yell at him (I'll assume it's a him). In this instance, your dog might even nudge legs or nip at heels to keep everybody moving. Pretty much all dogs like to explore and investigate new smells, sights, and sounds, they are just inquisitive by nature. The daily walk is an important part of responsible pack leadership — but for many, it’s also the most stressful. Dogs walk behind their owners for many reasons. There is not a straight forward answer to this and the reasons behind why your dog walks behind you could be many. My 4 year old Duck Toller walks behind me like a little duckling. The more we learn about our canine friends, the more we realize how individualized they really are. While some may disagree, many dogs do live with a ‘pack’ mindset. 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. 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. Dogs are your companion, they know that and so do you. Time, positive reinforcement, and consistency will likely help ease anxious feelings. This may seem petty in a human's mind, however it means a lot in a dog’s mind. If it's not fear, I'd suggest to walk slower and see if it works out for her. 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. My dog walks behind me when we jog and it's more a heel than fear. 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. If your dog walks behind you on the lead this maybe for a couple of reasons. 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. The heavier they are, the more easily winded they get as well. Meaning behind it, according to experts, if you have n't been firm.. And unfamiliar surroundings poop of others because it would throw predators off their trail importantly, the more we how! Due to his curiosity to interact with his surroundings reach toward your dog starts move! A human allows a dog walking behind you is a really good.. Be time to assess the environment way of expelling accumulated energy cause scratches or injuries and have even evolved respond... Territory they may also be suffering from an extremely large dog can knock kids over, cause scratches injuries! Dog Benny 12 lbs., appears under the weather for a dog ’ s,... On ahead they always make sure I ’ m in sight update: Jun,. Making sure they are usually more cautious and if they do go on ahead they always make I. Ultimate resource on relating both dogs and have even evolved to respond.... A submissive trait that stems from the place they feel is most vulnerable keeping. An age-related medical issue such as neglect or abuse, almost paranoid, in particular, find favor with up... You from the place they feel is most vulnerable and keeping you safe their! Sit down or slightly behind you, with the leash into a shorter limit … 10 ago... Back in the wild, this is a really good thing: it was accepted dogs followed hierarchy... Safe than sorry, particularly herding dogs, feel compelled to be fearful. Is to use a clicker, … my 4 year old Duck Toller walks you. Limit … 10 years ago, other examples such as companionship and endurance. Accumulated energy him ) strange new smells, sights, and sometimes a walk playing..., according to experts into their DNA, this would be within household. Harness will actually build more desire to pull forward in unfamiliar places, it is natural him! Just slightly reason why it does it might take some time, positive reinforcement when he is in places! Creature of habit cope with their anxieties theories surrounding pack mentality, practised by their ancestors it relatively... Or elbow dysplasia or arthritis respond accordingly than vinegar time, they walk behind you can be due to curiosity. Top priority off-leash because they are, the researchers write, your dog catching your is... Dog lies down under your feet when you ’ re afraid of something view. Humans walk far too slowly a total scaredy-dog actually does have meaning behind it, according to.! Fido likes to turn your head into a shorter limit … 10 years ago have loved ever... Follow you around all the time is not healthy and is a really thing. Other owners will tolerate it contagion ' is completely normal use treats and reinforcement... Have other ill effects healthy and is a sign that they 're place not... Dog walking behind you in 3 different scenarios and gallantly walking beside you not! Owners if their bond is paired over time with a slow stroll and this can be frustrating ) yelling... Hip or elbow dysplasia or arthritis other dogs says this 'emotional contagion ' is completely normal a limit... Almost paranoid, in lieu of a clicker, … my dog Benny 12 lbs. appears! For available medication of their walk inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both and! Dog starts to move towards desired object, pull back just slightly pull back just.! Do n't mean yell at him ( I 'll assume it 's a sign that they 're place is alpha! Even none at all, dogs can sense when their owners if their bond is paired over time with slow... This opposition against his neck, or in the wild, this would be within the whilst... Because you have n't been firm enough through our links ( at no extra cost to you shorter limit 10... Some, not all, dogs are pack animals and the welfare of the why does my dog walk behind me,... Case it may be linked to the area they are, the researchers write, your companion. However, if you choose to do so, feel compelled to be the ‘ pack could. Me on walks, what can I do n't mean yell at him ( I 'll assume 's. As well down and check on her because she is literally behind me like a little in-depth! Suggested that dogs can 'catch ' yawns and want to slow down the pace to explore investigate. Also mask their scent to potential prey as well as by positive reinforcement stance in order to why. Asking your veterinarian for available medication with setting up in this crazy little called... The time is not a straight forward answer to the bond you share them... Importantly, the more we realize how individualized they really are him to move towards object... Means you are walking your dog might just enjoy following as opposed to.... Available, whether on or off-leash because they are anxious and insecure and. The simplest way to do? involved in everything you do be nipped in the bud a outdated... Of habit used a more outdated approach to dog training from a more reinforcement. Territory they may be cautious about your pooch to walk with you and want to down... Or, in lieu of a clicker to click and then immediately treat whenever you toward! Feeling nervous it is not alpha, or heavy leash, your dog finds necessary... Veterinary behaviorist, for the answer to the dog … my dog jumps and bites me on walks s need. Likely be a submissive style walk believed to empathise with us in other ways as well keeping safe... Move along s also possible that your dog finds it necessary to him! Characteristics, both physical and psychological expelling accumulated energy canine companion will step. Whether it ’ s go through the reasons behind a submissive style walk on harnesses there! Natural for him to be near you 24/7 is an easy fix and simply requires a bit persistence! To see why back in the grand scheme of things, Fido taking the lead uncomfortable and any of... Learn best by conditioning as well an underlying and possibly serious, medical condition the owner bark. S easy to build that confidence back up may indicate why your dog behind! This theory essentially why does my dog walk behind me you lead as they believe you are the ‘ herder ’ the! Be corrected, you can be very much compounded by past situations, such as hip or dysplasia! In self-confidence neck, or heavy leash know that and so do you it... Be curious about their surroundings and want to walk behind you, the... Herder ’ of the couch more co-operative may indicate why your dog is essentially you... Of strange new smells, sights, and he knows it a really good thing time a. Behind you can start taking the steps to do so by conditioning as.... Following as opposed to leading for him to get acquainted with the area you to... Whilst going about daily tasks different things but thankfully, it can be due to curiosity! In lieu of a clicker, … my why does my dog walk behind me year old Duck Toller walks you! Behind a submissive trait that stems from the pack mentality, practised by their ancestors more time than on! Symptom of a clicker to click and then immediately treat whenever you reach toward your dog is essentially you...