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Guide to Observing Your Dog's Gait

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

In this segment of walking with compassion, we will talk about how to properly observe your dog’s walk. This will allow you to look for inconsistencies and awkward movement that may indicate some sort of discomfort or issue. If you noticed your dog is pulling unusually or displaying resistance or abnormal pulling throughout your walk, they may have some sort of pain that is causing them discomfort.

Check to see if the dog is stepping on all four legs. Notice any discrepancies. Your dog must be using all four legs when they walk and here is a little guide to figuring that out:

1. Be at a 3-4 foot distance from behind your dog.

2. Sit or crouch at their eye level to check their leg positions. Behind the dog is the best angle so as to not make any mistakes when recording what leg may be affected. If your dog is small, we recommend sitting down to the closest level. You will have a birds' eye view, but this is ok. In this case, you will always be taller than your furry friend.

3. Let the dog walk in front of you if that is allowable. We recommend doing this in a safe space like a backyard or a trusted area, especially if you have a dog that’s a bit more curious of the natural world around them.

4. Check their back legs to see if they are stepping on all four. Repeat observation with front legs.

Once you have observed and verified the position of your dog’s legs, you are ready for your walk. If you noticed an issue with your dog’s leg position, we recommend taking them to the vet to get it checked out. Chances are your dog may have some sort of injury or sprain that is causing them discomfort during their walk. This may cause them to pull or put up some sort of resistance throughout their walk.

We hope this guide helps you in your daily walking routine. We look forward to seeing you in our next article on choosing the right gear for your adventure. See you soon!

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