Why Does My Dog Walk So Slowly? (7 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
why does my dog walk slowly

Most of us have a dog in our lives. And most of us know that dogs are incredibly intelligent and emotional creatures. But did you know they also walk at different speeds?

Some can trot, while others plod; some walk very quickly, while others seem to take their time. This is because there’s no one speed for all dogs! It really depends on the type of dog and what they’re doing at the time.

So why does my dog walk so slowly?

It could be that your dog is smelling a lot of things and doesn’t want to pass up an interesting noise or smell. It’s also possible that they’re old and moving slowly as part of the aging process.

Another reason it could be walking slower is that if you encourage them when they walk faster, then maybe they might do it more often, but if you don’t, then maybe they won’t keep on doing it. And there are many reasons, including an injury or low energy levels as well.

Let’s take a look at all the possible reasons behind this dog’s behavior, and you can decide if there’s one that seems most likely to be true.

1. Your Dog Wants to Smell Things

This is a classic reason why dogs might walk a little slower than they normally do. Many dog lovers, and even the experts, don’t know that dogs are absolutely obsessed with smells. It’s their strongest sense, and they’re trying to use it constantly! They can smell things that we can’t even hope to imagine: they can even pick up on smells underwater or even in the ground!

As dogs walk around and smell things, they’re not going to be in a hurry to pass up all of those new interesting scents. They may also have to pay attention to where their paws are stepping as well, which might make them walk slower too.

2. Your Dog is Aging

Do you know why senior dogs slower than young dogs? If you have a dog that is getting older, it may be walking slower as part of the aging process. This can lead to other problems, such as canine arthritis in their joints and muscles, which will make it harder for them to move around quickly.

Dog owners with elderly dogs should be aware of health problems that might make walking more difficult for them and should pay close attention to any changes in their behavior. You might notice this when your senior dog walks up or down stairs-they’ll take each step slowly and carefully, making sure not to put too much pressure on any one spot.

If you want your dog to stay as healthy and happy as possible throughout old age, it’s recommended to talk with your vet about different things that could help them maintain mobility, like joint supplements or even an anti-inflammatory medication, depending on what’s going on with them specifically!

3. Hereditary Skeletal Diseases such as Hip Dysplasia

Sometimes, certain dogs are just born with different types of skeletal diseases. These hereditary skeletal diseases often mean that the dog won’t be able to move as quickly as others because they have joint pain or are otherwise impaired in one way or another. Hip dysplasia is a common example-it’s when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, which can lead to problems with mobility and walking.

4. Boredom

Boredom is a major culprit when it comes to why dogs walk slowly. A dog with nothing to do will often not want to move around much, which can lead to them walking more slowly than they normally would. A bored dog might also be looking for something interesting or fun to do-maybe he’ll find it if you spend some time with them!

But even if they don’t, your company will still make them happy! Giving your dog the attention they need and deserve may help motivate them too. Try spending some quality time with your fido every day-you’ll both be happier as a result of this simple change in routine, and you might notice an improvement in their mobility too.

5. An Injury or Medical Condition

If your normally active dog is suddenly walking a little slowly, it might be because they’re injured or sick.

Injuries are one of the leading causes of mobility problems in dogs. If your dog was playing with other dogs and got hurt, they might be moving a little more slowly as they recover. Injuries can cause pain too-if you notice that your dog is favoring one leg or limping, it’s probably because of an injury.

Some medical conditions can also make your high-energy dog feeling lethargic, for example, kidney failure and kidney cancer. Both of these ailments can be serious and lead to long-term complications if left untreated.

So if your dog is slowing down a little, head to the vet for an examination just in case! Just because you haven’t really noticed anything out of the ordinary doesn’t mean that everything’s normal-always trust your gut and get them checked out by an expert to make sure these medical problems are caught early.

6. Infections and Parasites

Infections and parasites are two other conditions that can slow your dog down by weakening their body.

For example, infection such as kennel cough is another medical condition that can severely hamper your dog’s mobility. It can lead to severe coughing fits and respiratory problems, making it harder for your dog to get around.

Another example is if your dog has a fungal infection or something else that makes them lose red blood cells, they could be more susceptible to catching a disease that makes them not want to move around as much because their body is trying to deal with the problem first and foremost.

7. Nervousness or Fearfulness

Dogs who are afraid of something tend to walk slowly as they try to avoid whatever it is they’re scared of.

Dogs usually become nervous or fearful for good reason-something in their environment has caused them an injury in the past which means when faced with a similar situation again, their body automatically reacts by becoming tense and anxious. This reaction leads to slower movements as your dog tries to protect themselves. It also means that the problem won’t be solved until you find out why your dog is afraid and remove whatever it is causing the fear or anxiety.

If you notice that your dog seems nervous around strangers or new and unfamiliar dogs, this is a good sign that something is causing them to fear. For example, if you have an acquaintance who always makes your dog feel uneasy, they might start walking slowly when they see them. If you think this could be the case for your dog, try to keep them away from the source of their fear in order to reassure them.

What to Do About Your Dog Walking Slowly?

1. Take Your Dog To The Vet To Rule Out Medical Reasons For Why Your Dog Walks Slowly

When your dog feels sick in some way, whether it’s just a cold or something worse like arthritis or neurological problems, they often “limp.” They might also move slower than normal because they feel pain.

This is why it’s recommended first to take your dog to the vet if you notice this type of behavior. If there are medical reasons for it, then a visit to the vet will help you get an accurate diagnosis and determine what type of treatment your dog needs.

2. Start Giving Your Older dog Joint Supplements

As a dog ages, they are likely going to start slowing down. It’s inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be painful! Once your dog hits around 7-8 years of age, talk with your vet about your dog’s joints problems. He or she will help you figure out if there are some supplements or medications that will help your dog regain some of their mobility and improve their quality of life.

3. Take Your Dog to Animal Behaviorist

If your vet tells you there is nothing wrong with their health conditions, then it’s probably time to take your dog to an animal behaviorist to rule out any behavioral concerns that might be the cause of your dog walking slowly.

Your behaviorist will be able to investigate your dog’s behavior and perform a number of tests to determine the cause. It could be something as simple as the dog getting too excited about a squirrel outside, which could cause them to get injured or stressed. Or it could be something more complicated like fear or anxiety that’s causing your pup to slow down their pace.

You could be surprised by what is really causing your dog to walk slowly!

4. Keep Your Dog Psychically and Mentally Stimulated

If you have a dog that is bored, they may walk slowly. This can be solved by finding ways to stimulate your dog mentally and psychologically. You can do this by giving them more attention or even training them to keep them entertained. When dogs are properly stimulated, they are less likely to feel fatigued, which leads to being motivated to move around more. This is a great way to make your dog happier and healthier.

5. Figure Out What Scares Your Dog The Most

If your dog is slowing down because of fear, then you are going to need to find out what scares them. For example, they may be afraid of loud noises or strangers coming over. These reasons will vary greatly from dog to dog, so you must pay attention to their behavior and figure out what could be causing this type of reaction.


While there are many possible causes for your dog walking slowly, it’s always important to rule out health problems first. If you’ve ruled that out and have determined the problem is behavioral in nature, then a visit to an animal behaviorist can help identify what might be causing your dog to slow down.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me?

Out of all the possible explanations for why your dog walks behind you, the most likely one is that they’re being submissive. Dogs are social animals, and in the wild, they live in packs.

In order to avoid conflict, each dog has a specific role within the pack, and lower-ranking dogs show deference to their superiors by walking behind them. When your dog walks behind you, they’re trying to convey that you’re the leader of the pack and they respect your authority.

However, it’s also possible that your dog simply wants to sniff everything. Dogs have an acute sense of smell, and they use smell to learn about their surroundings.

By sniffing everything around them, your dog is trying to take in as much information as possible.

2. Why Does My Dog Walk While Peeing?

One of the most common questions that dog owners have is why their furry friend always seems to be walking while they are peeing. There are actually a few different reasons for this behavior.

One possibility is that your dog has a small bladder, which means that they need to keep moving in order to relieve themselves fully.

Another possibility is that your dog gets too excited when they see another dog or person, and this causes them to start walking around.

Finally, it is also possible that your dog is suffering from a urinary tract infection, which can cause them to feel the need to keep moving in order to ease the discomfort.

3. Why Does My Dog Walk and Poop At The Same Time?

Many dog owners have noticed that their dogs tend to walk and poop at the same time. While this may seem like a coincidence, there are actually several reasons why this behavior occurs.

One reason is that dogs spread their scent by urinating and defecating in different areas. By walking and pooping at the same time, dogs are able to mark their territory more effectively.

Additionally, this behavior may be a sign of health issues such as diarrhea or a change in diet. Dogs with diarrhea often need to defecate more frequently, and a change in diet can also cause frequent bowel movements.

Thus, if your dog begins walking and pooping at the same time, it is important to watch for other signs of illness and consult with your veterinarian if necessary.

4. Why Does My Dog Walk in Circles Around Me?

Have you ever wondered why your dog walks in circles around you? It turns out there are a few reasons why they might do this. One reason is that it’s a natural instinct to patrol their territory. By walking in circles, they’re able to keep an eye on everything that’s going on around them.

Another reason is that they may just want your attention. If you’ve been ignoring them, they may start walking in circles around you as a way of getting your attention.

Finally, they could be trying to tell you something. If they’re walking in circles and then stop and stare at you, they may be trying to communicate that they need to go outside or that they’re hungry.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.