Why Is My Dog Walking Sideways?

The fact is that older dogs tend to exhibit a sideways gait whenever they are having a vestibular syndrome that affects a dog’s balance. There are some different causes to this problem. This condition may be caused by an infection of the middle ear or brain, parasitism, cancer, poisoning, or an immune system disorder.

This condition normally comes on suddenly and reduce gradually over time. A dog’s balance may lead to dizziness. Once your dog’s vestibular system is affected, he can lean to one side and walk in circles around. Check out this article to learn about the reasons why your dog is walking sideways.

Reasons for Crabbing

There are some reasons a dog might walk sideways. Here are some common reasons you should know:

It’s just who they are

It’s true although it seems to be a little nonchalant. Just like the human, your dog also has its own specific way of walking. Have you ever seen someone walking with dominance on their toes? Maybe they own a heavy arm swing. Just like you, some dogs are known for unique characteristics in their walk. In most situation, you needn’t worry since it’s just who they are.

The body is still growing

Some dogs are walking in sideways because they have just too long legs so they can coordinate properly. Don’t forget to consider the way dogs walk. If his front left leg is moving forward, his right leg surely moves in unison. This is to keep your pet balanced.

The fact is that a developing dog with lanky legs that’ve not yet grown into often step on their front feet when walking. In order to fix it, your pet can step his back legs to the side in order to prevent tripping on himself.

Their dominant leg is taking over

Just like you, your dog also has a dominant arm or leg. Although all 4 of your dog’s limbs work together, sometimes it may appear more obvious.

When the sidestepping is caused by side-dominance, it normally occurs when your pet is at a trot. When 1 of your pet’s back legs is dominant, it can push off the ground a little harder when compared to the other. And, it will become normal when your pet slows down since the force lowers.

Other Causes

Most of the time, crabbing is not a big problem. Indeed, it may be simply a growth-related thing. In fact, we have no reason to leave it unchecked. There are some other factors including structural imbalances, nutrition deficiencies, neurological disorders, orthopedic problems, and anal gland issues.

Encouraging the Behavior

Walking sideways is a common problem for younger dogs and puppies. However, if there is more going on than crabbing, you need to talk to your vet. Then, you can get an overall assessment on body structure from your vet so you can know if there is a more serious issue or not.

If you suspect the crabbing or walking sideways is caused by an issue like a dominant leg, look for some chiropractic help. You may have to spend 2 or 3 sessions with a dog chiropractor in order to remedy the issue.

If it is a real problem, you can ask a chiropractor to help train your pet to use his leg properly. The fact is that most dogs can fix it themselves. However, it’s important to get your dog evaluated if it’s a medical issue. It’s a good idea to be on the safe side with things like this.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Remember that sometimes it may just be an ear infection that leads to a decrease in your dog’s balance. This may happen when a harness is rubbing the wrong way. As a result, your dog will walk sideways to avoid a harness rubbing as well as irritating his skin.

The solution for this sometimes may be an easy fix. And. Sometimes, you just need to give your pet some medical attention. However, it’s best to determine if there is a medical issue or not. To do this, you need to take your pet to a veterinary professional early once you see weird behavior.

When to See a Vet

Your dog may lose its balance because of many reasons such as stroke, injury, infections, and poisoning. Indeed, these factors are dangerous or even life threatening to your furry friend. Once you notice your pet is falling down, you should contact your vet right away.


As a pet owner, you need to be patient with your four-leg friend as well as his awkward running gait. Sometimes, time can fix it. However, it’s not always true all the times. In fact, some dogs just walk sideways naturally, and you can’t fix it. Always look for help if there is a medical issue. Overall, it’s not essential to fret too much over this unusual behaviour because it’s just a common issue with dogs.