Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me?

When I take my dog out for walks, he loves to go, but why does my dog walk behind me, instead of in front or by my side like other dogs? The answer to this common pet parent question is coming up in the article below.

Your pupper is your best friend. Spending time with your furry friend is one of the most enriching moments of the day. You find time from your busy schedule to play, feed, and even take him out daily for a daily walk. 

Walking is quite essential for your furry friend. He will have exercises which are quite beneficial for his health. Moreover, walking enables your dog to learn social skills or behave with other animals on the way. 

Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me

But you might observe that your dog is always walking behind you rather than walking with you or in front, like other dogs. If you are wondering why your dog behaves this way, there are many possible reasons. 

For instance, he might be slowing down his pace because he loves to explore the sights and sounds. Sometimes, if he is new to your house, your pup might be afraid of you or showing acceptance of your dominance over him.

What you need to understand is that it is not bad behavior. If you are still concerned, you can teach him commands and train him to not do this. We will talk more about other reasons that your dog is doing this in the article below.

Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me?

Dogs exhibit different behaviors depending on the environment, their mood and sometimes even how hungry they are. You might observer behaviors like panting, jumping, digging, and barking. 

These behaviors happen both indoors and outdoors. Understanding them takes time and a lot of work. I am listing below a few reasons for this particular behavior.

#1. Fear

Perhaps your dog is afraid of you, especially if he is new to the house? Some dog owners think of themselves as masters rather than parents. Through their behavior, they show their dog that they expect them to follow behind.

Now, you might not even know you are doing this. For instance, if you have ever punished or scolded your dog for walking in front of you (for whatever reason), then he will learn that he is expected to follow you instead of walk with you.

Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me

Another factor could be strange noises (such as traffic) or fear of strangers. If your dog show anxiety and nervousness towards these things, then he might just be walking behind to hide from them.

#2. You Might Have Trained Your Dog

If you have given treats or his favorite snacks when your dog starts walking behind you, it might have become a habit for your dog.

#3. Your Dog Is Showing Respect

Dogs exhibit alpha behavior and expect someone to lead the pack. When they accept you as the alpha of the pack, it is natural for them to walk behind you.

#4. Your Dog Is Naturally Comfortable

Some dogs are naturally comfortable seeing their owners in the front. They don’t always want to have to turn their head and look at their owner.

#5. Your Dog Is Exploring Things

Dogs possess nearly 300 million olfactory sensory receptors in their nose, whereas humans have only six million olfactory receptors in their noses. So they are always attracted towards something and interesting odors. 

When you take your dog outside, he likes to sniff everything around everything in his environment. His nose enables you to catch a whiff you cannot even detect. 

That may be the reason for which your dog starts walking behind you. Your dog’s nose will most probably be on the ground. He sniffs, investigates, and analyzes various things.

Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me

#6. Your Dog Likes Your Shadow

Sometimes your furry friend walks behind you while you go to the kitchen or living room. It is because he like your shadow and wants to be involved in everything you do. It is a sign of love and affection towards you. So, you don’t need to worry about it.

#7. Your Dog Is Wearing Uncomfortable Gear

Your furry friend may be wearing gear that is making him uncomfortable. So, he might start falling behind you as you walk. 

If you think this could be a reason, you should check his collar and leash. The collar may be choking your dog. Just insert one finger in the collar. If you cannot do it, it indicates that the collar is too tight.

A harness may also make your furry friend uncomfortable. If your dog has worn the wrong size harness or has grown a bit and the harness he is wearing is now too tight, making him uncomfortable while walking. 

It may also chafe the skin of your dog and may create rashes. It may also put unnecessary pressure on the body of your dog. Moreover, if the harness is made from cheap materials, it will produce discomfort to your dog while walking.

Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me

#8. Your Dog Is Tired

Dogs are usually bouncy and energetic when you take them outside. When you take them out, they run around everywhere and have fun. 

But sometimes, they might be tired too. If your walk is just walking slowly and falling behind, just observe signs like drooping energy levels.

I Want My Dog To Start Walking beside Me. What Should I do?

#1. Train Him

You should use some command language like come on or watch me when your dog starts walking behind you. You can reward him with his favorite snacks when he starts walking beside you. 

But don’t give him treats when he walks behind you. Your pooch will require some time to master in walking beside you. But don’t punish or scold your dog if he does not obey your command.

#2. you Can Give A Sniff Break

Dogs love to sniff various things. But when you take your furry friend for walking, give him a sniff break after walking a few feet. You can give the command to your dog ‘Go Sniff” and allow him to sniff within the radius that the leach allows. 

You can stand still and wait for a few minutes. After some time, your dog “let’s go” and continues walking. Try to practice such things for a few days. Your dog will learn the pattern and start walking beside you.

Why Does My Dog Walk Behind Me

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Should my dog walk behind me?

Yes, your dog can walk behind you. 

Most dogs walk behind the owner while walking because of submissive behavior, or they are tired or sniff various things around their environment. But that does not mean that all dogs will walk behind you. You need to train such dogs by using some command language. It takes time and effort to make youch pooch master in it.

#2. How do you tell if your dog respects you?

Your dog starts walking behind you
Your dog does not go away when you speak to him
Your dog listens to your command
Your dog, don’t steal your food.
Your dog starts following you everywhere
Your dog does not wake up while sleeping.

#3. Why does my dog walk behind me instead of beside me?

He thinks you are the leader of his pack.

Your dog thinks of you as his leader and wants to follow your directions. So it can be one reason why your furry friend starts walking behind you instead of beside you.

A Few Final Words

Dogs walk behind you because they want to show respect to their owner. So you don’t need to be panic for this reason. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on your dog while walking. 

If he walks behind you when other dogs approach him, he is scared of those dogs, and you need to find ways to reduce his fear. Again check the gear of your dog from time to time. If they are tight, it makes your dog uncomfortable while walking, and he starts walking behind you.

Thank you for reading, we hope we have covered everything you wanted to know. You might also like to read about: Why Does My Dog Lay Behind Me?