My Dog Is Walking Slow With Head Down – [Details Explained]

If you’ve noticed that your dog is strolling with their head down, it could be a sign of several potential issues. One possible Reason for this behavior is pain or discomfort.

Dogs may exhibit this type of behaviour when dealing with chronic pain or an injury. Another probable cause could be depression or anxiety, making your dog feel lazy and disinterested in their surroundings. Suppose you notice any other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or loss of appetite, along with the slow walking and head down posture.

In that case, it’s essential to consult with your vet immediately. Someone might think strolling with their head down can be due to a submissive dog.

But that’s not the case. There are numerous reasons for a dog to pull off such behaviour. The primary cause may be a head hit, resulting in tilting down a dog’s head to some certain angle. Also, ear infections, neurological problems, or vestibular disease can cause tilt. Scroll down to know why my dog is walking slow with head down.

My Dog Is Walking Slow With Head Down

Signs And Symptoms

If you notice any of these symptoms besides your dog’s slow walking and drooping head, it is essential to take them to the vet as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate a severe health issue such as arthritis, infection, or organ failure. By seeking prompt medical attention, you can help ensure your furry friend gets the care they need to recover and live a healthy, happy life. If your dog strolls with their head down, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Here are some other signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Rejecting to take the weight
  • Not able to walk normally
  • Climbing stairs seems difficult
  • Signs of discomfort can be noticed
  • The affected area may show a loss of muscle
  • Walking very slowly
  • Keeping head down
  • The placement of the paw cannot be done properly
  • Abnormality and swelling in jaws can be seen

Possible Causes Associated with This Problem

If your dog is strolling with their head down, it could indicate several issues. One possible cause is pain or discomfort, possibly due to an injury or an underlying medical condition such as arthritis.

  • Infection in internal parts
  • Arthritis
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Elbow or Hip dysplasia
  • Vestibular syndrome
  • Insect sting
  • Ear infection
  • Weight load on the neck

Possible Reasons For Strolling With Head Down

Possible Reasons For Strolling With Head Down

There may be several underlying and unwanted reasons that may cause this problem. It may be for any injury or yield any abnormal anatomy. As a pet owner, being concerned about your dog’s health and wellbeing is natural.

One common behavior that can cause concern is when a dog walks with their head down. Many pet owners may wonder whether this is bad for their furry friends. While it’s not necessarily a cause for alarm, there are a few reasons why a dog may walk with their head down. Some possible reasons why your dog might suffer from this problem are:

1. Vestibular Syndrome

This syndrome is caused due to the dysfunction of the inner part of the ear. These symptoms usually don’t show up at any particular time. This can happen anytime, so people mix this symptom with stroke. Along with falling off the head, there may be other problems that your dog might face.

With a tilted head, your dog may face more problems, such as working in circles, nausea, and frequent vomiting. Tilting the head is the primary thing; secondary issues such as dehydration may occur too.

2. Infection In-Ear

An ear infection is the most common reason dogs can stroll and lose balance. Other symptoms may be scratching, flickering in the eye, and shaking the head. It is seen that the dogs may have redness, discharge, and odor. Other than that, swelling may also happen as it is associated with the affected ear.

One of the primary and potential reasons dogs have trouble walking is disc disease. This disease can cause a dog to walk wobbly and also cause paralysis or paresis. It is noticed in recurring episodes of IVDD. There are some intervertebral discs present in dogs that get deteriorate due to IVDD.

Moreover, the spinal cord of dogs gets damaged due to this disc disease, and they cannot walk properly. Treatments are there for getting dogs rehabilitated to get rid of IVDD. There is a particular process, such as physical therapy. It can help the dog to get its feet functional again.

4. Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is not a typical case for dogs. This problem happens when a dog loses its internal spinal cord connection with its brain. This causes the dog to have a breakdown in its motor function.

Initially, a dog can experience a significant issue, such as dragging its toes and crossing its legs while walking due to this problem.

There is no significant pain associated with this problem. But here, pain is unnecessary because it can cause a terminal breakdown for your dog and may become permanent if not addressed immediately. Sudden ways exist to eliminate this problem; stopping it initially won’t have any long-term effect.

Proper diet and regular exercise is the primary key. Besides, enough nutritional supplements are necessary to keep the dog walking at an average pace for a long distance.

5. Fibrocartilaginous Embolism

The FCE problem is similar to a human stroke. Most of the symptoms are similar to the stroke of a human being. However, it is common for most breeds. The main reason causing FCE is when an internal disc breaks down and clots into the blood vessels connected to the spinal cord of a dog. As soon as a blood clot happens, it blocks the area.

When the blood does not flow through, the affected area dies slowly. There may be permanent damage if not treated timely. FCE can essentially attack a dog’s hind leg. It is not possible to anticipate this problem immediately.

But when noticed, it becomes an emergency to go to the vet and start the treatment as soon as possible. There is no long-term pain associated; the dog only experiences initial pain. If your dog goes down yelping, it might indicate FCE.

6. Dysplasia And Arthritis

Older and much older dogs are more likely to have this problem. It occurs in the hips and knees of dogs and for which their head may tilt down. They may experience slow or stopped walking and become non-responsive at that time. Dysplasia and arthritis are common conditions affecting dogs, especially as they age.

These conditions can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty with movement, which can impact a dog’s quality of life. Strolling with their head down can be a sign of discomfort or pain, and it’s important for pet owners to recognize this behavior and seek veterinary care if necessary.

7. Traumatic Injury In The Spinal Cord

This incident can happen when your dog is uncertainly hit by a car or into intangible fights. Even the impactful sound from a gunshot can cause injury to the brain and spinal cord. The giant breeds can get traumatized after such sudden sound waves and may suffer from disc rupturing.

It will cause damage to their spinal cord, and soon they may get down to stroll with their head down. Your pet needs proper physical therapy to recover from this problem.

Top Reason For Dogs Moving Slowly

Top Reason For Dogs Moving Slowly

The top reason a dog moves slowly is if the animal is aging. When this is the case, the dog may not have much energy or strength to play or run as fast as it used to. Aging can be a natural process for all animals and, in many cases. Here is some reason:

  • Dogs that are slower than usual may have an injury or illness.
  • If a dog is moving slowly, this might indicate that the animal may have an injury.
  • The dog’s diet may be affecting his behavior.
  • Inflammation of the joints can also contribute to dogs moving slowly.

Behavior Changes And Pain In Aging Dogs

Behavior Changes And Pain In Aging Dogs

Dogs experience many of the same conditions as humans, like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Diet or lifestyle changes can control some pains, while others are unavoidable. Pain in dogs has a direct correlation with age.

The older a dog gets, the more difficult it is to view the act of maintenance; this is compounded by the fact that elderly dogs often become “masters” of hiding their discomfort or discomforts from their owners. Many factors contribute to this pain, including decreased mobility, increased sensitivity to pain and chemicals, loss of or reduced appetite due to medications, and incontinence.

The Meaning Of A Dog Turning His Back Or Butt

The Meaning Of A Dog Turning His Back Or Butt

A dog turning his back or butt to someone is an aggressive and confrontational signal. Dogs exhibit this behavior when they guard possessions, protect territory, or keep an intruder at bay.

When a dog directs this behavior towards a family member, such as the owner, people typically interpret it as a sign of dominance. The dog feels he should be in charge of the household and sees you not following his lead as a challenge. Possessiveness of toys, food, bones, etc., is another reason for this type of “back off” gesture from the dog.

Symptoms Of a Pinched Nerve In a Dog’s Neck

Symptoms Of a Pinched Nerve in a Dog's Neck

Several symptoms may be present when a dog experiences a pinched nerve in their neck. These can include limping or favoring one side of the body, decreased mobility or range of motion, weakness or paralysis in the legs, and pain or discomfort when touched in certain areas. If you see your dog exhibiting any of these behaviors, it may have a pinched nerve in its neck:

  • It tilts its head to one side.
  • It holds its head tilted up or down.
  • Its body can be seen shaking from time to time.
  • Its eyes blink excessively and don’t seem focused on anything.
  • The dog is limping or just dragging its legs.
  • It keeps its face up, and its ears are forward.
  • The dog is panting heavily, and it has difficulty breathing.
  • It keeps its head upward with some tension as if sticking out of deep sleep.
  • It has trouble swallowing.
  • The dog’s gums are white or chewing on its legs or feet.
  • It feels stiff, achy, and painful to move the neck in any direction, especially on the left side of the neck.
  • Its eyes are dull from lack of blinking.

Why is My Dog Staggering And Falling Over

Why is My Dog Staggering And Falling Over

A dog’s balance and motor skills improve through exercise, while an older or overweight animal may have vision problems that contribute to the problem. A tired, overloaded dog has trouble stepping up to take a step, which exposes them to the risk of falling. If the dog’s gait becomes uneven, it may be more likely to fail.

One possible cause is arthritis in the legs, which has weakened the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the dog’s weight.

“Parkinson’s disease also can be a problem for dogs as it causes a similar loss of balance. It is therefore important to identify movement abnormalities to get your dog treatment,” according to Veterinarian Stuart Chapman in “Your Dog: A Complete Veterinary Guide.

Practical Solution To Why My Dog Is Walking Slow With Head Down

Caring for your dog is a crucial duty sometimes; it may be stressful. But these solutions will not create any stress for you. It will be typical to do all of these and recover your dog. So below are some solutions that can help you in why my dog is walking slow with head down problems:

1. Lugging During The Walk

Dogs usually don’t walk; they go for a run. So when you take your dog out for hiking, leave it free so it can run at a full pace.

You can put a collar on the most vital part of your dog’s neck and pull it from behind. They want to go forward against the resistance, but that will increase the strength in their legs. In this process, the dog is the one that will pull you.

2. Distraction In Walk

A common habit in dogs, when they go for a walk or run, is stopping after some time and smelling grasses or roses. This stopping repeatedly happens as a dog’s natural behavior stops. But to prevent this from happening, what you can do is you can shorten the dog leash.

Make sure to keep the head of the dog upwards. Maintaining assertiveness, calmness, and focus on the destination would be best. You will not give the dog break, but it will depend on your choice, and it will be for the dog to relieve itself. It is not a reward for your dog but for controlling the dog’s nose and smelling habits.

3. Taking A Break During The Walk

After much running and exercise, it is normal for your dog to get overtired and exhausted. Ta dog walking and running are for keeping the dog fit and not for bringing more pain to your dog. Dogs running and pushing for running depends on the dog’s age.

Make sure your dog isn’t suffering from any health issues. You must consult a vet first, then apply the technique to keep it back on track. For this, you need to tug the leash on from the front side—this time, you need to force your dog to run and take it back to its pace. Further, it would be best if you continued doing this constantly so that it doesn’t become lazy.

4. No Interest In Walking

One of the common problems which are primarily seen in puppies is they have no interest in walking. They either stay in their place or always keep sitting down. The thing you can do is you can pick up the puppy and take it away from its house so that it doesn’t find a home again initially. But for a puppy finding its home is expected. So it will eventually walk and search for the paths and return to the place.


That being said, there are some situations where walking with their head down could become a problem. For dogs to face difficulty in walking with keeping their head down, there are a lot of reasons that can be the cause for why my dog is walking slow with head down. It is essential to take time to analyze all the problems and adequately give them medication.

Most importantly, visiting a vet and getting your dog’s diagnosis is safe. Your dog’s mobility can get disrupted for it and cause more problems. So, for this reason, the more this problem gets addressed, the faster your dog will recover. We hope you know what to do when your dog is strolling with its head down.


1. What To Do If Your Dog Doesn’t Want You To Touch Its Butt?

If your dog doesn’t want you to touch its butt, keep your distance and watch. It may also mean your dog is sick or has something wrong with it.

2. Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?

Although it can vary from dog to dog, typically, dogs sleep with their bum facing the person they trust most—you. If your pup feels safe and secure when sleeping, it’s likely because you’re next to them.

3. Can You Get Along With A Dog If You Turn Your Back On Him?

The answer is yes. But a dog that has never had to learn this lesson might not understand and react accordingly. When faced with the same situation, some dogs will show aggression, others will turn their head away but otherwise not respond, and others will walk away if given the opportunity.

4. What If I’m Not Sure My Dog Has Pain?

It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Some dogs may exhibit outward signs of pain, while others do not.

5. What Should I Do If My Dog Has Slowed Down?

You will have to take them for a walk or run on the treadmill, which can help get the blood pumping again and wake them up. Your dog may be bored and need new activities during their free time.

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