You may have seen a dog suddenly start walking solely on its front legs and wonder why are they doing that.
Dogs walk on their front legs for a variety of reasons that can include not wanting to get their feet wet or dirty. Some dogs may even form the habit of walking on their hind legs as a way to mark during urination.
Why Do Dogs Walk On Their Front Legs
- They Don’t Want To Get Their Feet Wet
- They Don’t Want To Get Their Feet Dirty
- Some Dogs Don’t Like Certain Surfaces
- They Prefer To Pee With Their Hind Legs Up
- Your Dog May Have An Injury
- Your Dog May Have A Medical Condition
Dogs Walk On Their Front Legs To Keep Their Feet Dry
You may have a diva dog on your hands that doesn’t want to get its feet wet.
Many dogs do not enjoy getting wet, especially their feet, and may come up with clever ways to avoid it, like walking on their front legs only.
I’ve witnessed this a bunch of times with my Pomeranians, although they can’t possibly keep all of their feet dry they try their best to keep their hind feet off the ground.
They almost look like a wheelbarrow doing a handstand as they walk around the yard.
My Pomeranian will set their hind feet down for only seconds before moving ahead on their front legs only.
Dogs That Don’t Want Dirty Feet Walk On Their Front Legs
These dogs are in the same category as the dogs they don’t want to get their feet wet.
You may have a dog that doesn’t like getting its feet dirty.
Some dogs do not like feeling the texture of dirt or mud on their feet and between their paw pads.
If you have a dog that is sensitive to these situations you may catch him or her lifting its hind legs and traveling along mostly on its front legs to avoid getting dirty.
Some Dogs Do Not Like Walking On Certain Textures
There are many dogs that do not enjoy the texture of certain surfaces.
Some surfaces that are offensive are rocks, gravel, hot pavement, tough grass, and sand.
Your dog may be unfamiliar with a certain surface or not be comfortable walking on certain surfaces.
Hot pavement is a concern for many in hot climates or during a warm summer day. Pavement can quickly become so hot that it can burn your dog’s paw pads.
Here in Florida hot pavement is a big concern, another rough surface is the thick, spikey St. Augustine grass that we have.
My dogs are used to it but, if your dog isn’t it may not be a huge fan.
Beach sand can also be an interesting texture for a dog.
The first time we brought our puppy Duke to the beach he immediately put his brakes on and stopped walking when he felt the soft sand.
Surprising, odd, or offensive walking surfaces can cause your dog to walk on its front legs.
Some Dogs Like To Pee With Their Hind Legs Up
We’ve all seen a male dog lift one leg when it pees but, some like to lift up both hind legs while peeing.
It may just be a habit that your dog has formed or a unique way that they prefer marking its territory.
Every dog is different and will have its own personality and behaviors, lifting loth hind legs while peeing may be one of them.
This behavior is more often found in male dogs compared to female dogs that squat while peeing.
Your Dog May Have An Injury Causing It To Walk On Its Front Legs
If you notice that your dog has become hesitant to put weight on one or both of its back feet or legs, you should check for a possible injury.
Your dog may have a cut or injury to its feet or paw pads.
Another possibility is a hip, leg, or knee injury.
Pomeranians are susceptible to luxating patellas which are basically a slipped knee cap.
When your dog experiences a luxating patella it will not put weight onto the leg, hopping around on its other legs and feet.
If you have noticed any of these behaviors look at your dog closely and consider having a consultation with your vet.
Dogs That Walk On Their Front Legs May Have A Medical Condition
Beyond an injury, your dog could be suffering from a medical condition that could be causing it to walk on its front legs.
Some conditions that could cause weakness in a dog’s hind legs include.
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Wobblers Syndrome
- Herniated Disk
- Spinal Cord Mass
- Affects of Knuckling
Can Dogs Walk On Their Front Legs
Dogs can walk on their front legs when needed but, it isn’t normal behavior for most dogs.
Why Is My Dog Doing A Handstand
Dogs will walk in a handstand for a variety of reasons including wet or dirty feet, injury, or for territorial marking
Can You Train Your Dog To Walk On Its Front Paws
As with many things you can train your dog to walk on its front paws for a period of time.
Some dogs you can even train to skateboard.
Every dog is different so I wouldn’t expect that you could train every dog to do such advanced tricks.
Start with basics and go from there.
Mainly, enjoy the time you have with your furry friend.
If you have ever caught a glimpse of your dog suddenly walking around on its front legs only, it can be quite a funny sight as long as there isn’t an injury or medical condition causing the behavior.
Dogs are funny creatures that we love spending our lives with, each with its own unique personality.
I have one who happens to be the biggest male of my pack that also happens to be the biggest diva, he avoids going outside in the rain and getting dirty if he can.
Our little female, on the other hand, loves getting wet and digging holes in the dirt.