If you find your dog walking in a sideways position, he does it for certain reasons. Getting to know the causes will help you to correct his slanted stance.
Your dog will be more likely to walk in a slanted posture if he has a “square built” physical structure with a shorter body and longer legs. Overweight and vestibular disease could have led to his crabbing behavior. He is still learning how to coordinate his body or to prevent stepping on his loose leash.
Due To Physical Body Structure
Not all breeds of dogs will walk in a slanted position.
You will see this happen in dogs who are of “square built” body structure, such as boxer, doberman or standard schnauzer.
They often have a shorter body and longer legs and that makes their hind legs interfere with their front legs when they walk.
So they tend to walk with a slanted body to compensate for this shortcoming.
If your dog belongs to these breeds, that could explain his sideways walking behavior.
This is not good for him as he will not be able to walk straight once he is used to walking in a slanted manner.
You have to correct this behavior so that he does not develop any habit of crabbing.
In this case, you need to work with your dog to get his walking posture back to normal.
It’s always better to start from the very beginning and correct your dog’s walking posture right from the very first day.
You can seek help from a trainer or veterinary surgeon.
They will recommend the best exercise for your dog to keep him healthy and to make sure that his walking posture is corrected.
He Is Overweight
If you are observant enough, you will see obese people tend to walk in a slant posture because they have a very heavy load on their legs.
This applies to your dog as well.
If he is overweight, there is a tendency for him to move his hind legs slightly behind his front legs.
This happens when he has too much weight on his rear end.
The extra weight at the back makes him carry himself in a sideways position.
It is important to keep your dog from getting overweight as obesity can lead to lots of health issues and can shorten his life.
It is also possible that his crabbing action is due to a hip or joint problem.
When the hip joint is in pain, your dog will be unable to balance his body correctly and will move in a slanted position.
So, if you notice your dog walking like this, and he is not overweight, it is a good idea to take him for a visit to the vet for a checkup.
Vestibular Disease Affecting His Body Coordination
When your dog has vestibular disease (inner ear inflammation), he may not be able to walk well.
He may lose his balance and walk in a sideways manner, as well as tilting his head to the side.
The vestibular system of your dog’s inner ear sends signals to the brain about the position of your dog’s body in relation to gravity.
If these signals are not received correctly, your dog’s brain will be unable to send accurate signals to his muscles.
This will cause your dog to walk in an unstable manner.
This is why you might see your dog leaning on one side. He may even fall down if he does not have his balance.
He Is Still Learning How To Coordinate His Body
You will often find a puppy walking in a slant posture as his body is still not fully developed.
He has not mastered the ability to balance himself and is liable to fall at any moment.
So, if your dog is still in his puppyhood (less than 18 months old), then you should supervise him during his walks so that he does not fall.
Once he has passed the puppyhood stages, he will be able to walk and run in a normal manner.
Or it could be the case that your dog’s body is developing much faster than he can handle.
If you notice that your dog is always sideways walking and keeps falling frequently, then it is better to take him for a check-up with a vet.
He might have a condition called hip dysplasia, and it is very important to get it treated as early as possible.
To Prevent Stepping On His Leash
Do you have a habit of letting your dog run around with a leash dragging behind him?
That could possibly explain why he is walking in a crabbing manner.
You see, he is trying to avoid stepping on the leash that is pulling on his collar.
By running in a slanted posture, he would be unlikely to step on the leash and lose his balance.
What you should do is to always remove the leash from your dog whenever you are not taking him out for a walk.
If you are letting him roam freely in a secure enclosed premise such as your backyard or garden, remove the leash from him so that he can run in a straight posture without worrying about falling over.
Probably Just A Bad Behavior Picked Up
If your dog is not suffering from any of the above-mentioned causes, it could probably be just bad behavior that he has picked up somewhere.
He could be playing in a dog park and see another dog sideways walking and feel that it is fun walking in this way.
He would then start doing it whenever he sees you as he wants you to know that he has picked up a new skill.
So, if you see your dog is walking sideways, try to correct him or make him sit and walk straight. This will eventually break his habit of crabbing.