11 Reasons Behind Why Does My Dog Lay Down On Walks

Dogs are widely known for their love of walks. But have you ever wondered why your dog likes to lay down when you’re out walking?

If you’re one of them, then you aren’t alone; many pet owners have the same question: why does my dog lay down on walks?

There are many reasons and factors that contribute to this behavior but the most common one is that your dog is trying to conserve energy or he may be tired.

When a dog lays down during a walk, it’s often an indication that he is no longer interested in continuing on.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the psychology and different reasons behind why dogs like to lay down on walks, and we’ll offer some tips on how to get them moving and stay active and engaged.

So read on to find out more!

Why Does My Dog Lay Down On Walks?

There are a number of reasons why your dog likes to lay down on walks, It can be annoying but it’s worth noting that your dog is actually very clever, and has this behavior down to a science.

Some of the most common reasons behind a dog lying down on walks include:

  1. Exhaustion
  2. Hunger
  3. Boredom
  4. Mental stimulation
  5. Physical stimulation
  6. Stress or Anxiety
  7. Injury Or Illness
  8. Distraction
  9. Environment
  10. Your Dog Is Not In A Mood For Walk
  11. Attention Seeking


Dogs, like humans, get tired out from exercise and need a break. So if you’ve been walking for a while, your dog might get tired and decide to take a break.

If you are still in the early stages of your walk, take a break with your dog and let them have a nap at the side of the road.

Then you can resume your walk in a minute or two when they’re feeling refreshed.


If your dog’s getting hungry mid-walk, their natural instinct will be to find something to eat! If this is happening to you, try putting some snacks in your pocket to have on hand if they get hungry.

You could also skip a meal before going for a walk so that you don’t have the same problem.


If your dog is lying down and looking at you with sad eyes, then it’s possible they’re getting bored. Try getting some party snacks and making a game out of it.

We know that if we’re feeling bored, then getting up and doing something is far more fun than just sitting there.

So get your dog on their feet and see how long they can keep the food in their mouth for!

Mental Stimulation

If you’ve been on the same walk in the same place for a while, your dog might be getting bored.

If you want to change it up and make their walks more enjoyable, try to take them somewhere new; they’ll love exploring new places with you!

why does my dog lay down on walks

Physical Stimulation

If you’ve been on the same route for a few weeks or longer, your dog might be getting a bit bored of it all. At the side of the road, they’re probably going to get more exercise sniffing around than actually walking.

To stretch their legs and have some fun, try taking a different route every day or at least every alternate day.

If you’ve just moved to a new area or changed homes, then this could be the cause of your dog’s boredom or difficult home life.

So take them on some long walks to get to know their new area and surroundings, and they’ll love you for it.

Your Dog Needs A Bathroom Break

If they’re whining at the side of the road and looking around, then it’s possible they need to go to the bathroom.

If you’ve been doing a lot of walking, your dog could be getting antsy because they really want to relieve themselves.

Stress Or Anxiety

Some dogs become stressed and anxious when they’re on or around busy and bustling streets.

It might be that your dog is just not used to this environment and the sounds and smells of the city are bothering them.

If you think this could be happening to your dog, try to take different routes until you find one where your pet doesn’t lie down and get stressed.

You may want to avoid streets like these if possible, but you could try using a muzzle for your dog during the walk on these kinds of streets.

Injury Or Illness

If you think your dog might be lying down due to injury or illness, then it’s important that you don’t make them move; they need time and rest in order to recover.

If this is the case with your pet, try taking a shorter route home and make sure you check their health before going on a walk.

Also, some dogs get startled easily on walks and lie down as a defense mechanism.

To make sure your dog doesn’t do this, try taking them out on quiet and more secluded routes first to avoid startling them on the walk. Moreover, always use a comfortable flat collar, finest leash and a walking gear that is just right for your dog’s size.

Moreover don’t forget to give them lots of praise when they get there!


If your dog is getting distracted mid-walk, run over to them and let them sniff the interesting smell they’re following.

Keep an eye on them as you walk to make sure they don’t follow the distraction any further. If it’s something dangerous, then you can pick up their leash once they’ve lost interest in it.

Age If you have an old dog that’s getting less energetic, then they might be lying down mid-walk because they’re tired.

Try taking them on shorter walks or take breaks more often to let your dog rest for a while.

If this doesn’t help, then it could be due to age related health problems. Talk to your vet about what can be done to make your dog happier and healthier during walks.


If you live in a hot or cold environment, then it’s possible that you’re walking in an area that doesn’t suit the weather.

If this is happening, try changing up which way you walk (for example: if your dog does well on cooler days but not on hot days, then start the walk on a cooler day and end it when it’s warmer out).

Obviously you don’t have control over weather conditions but by following your dog’s lead, you can make sure the walk is comfortable for both of you.

Your Dog Is Not In A Mood For Walk

Sometimes, dogs just aren’t in the mood for a walk or they are in a classic avoidance behavior and you might not know why.

If this is happening to your pooch, try playing with them for a bit of time before going on the walk so they get used to being with you and having fun.

This way they’ll be more excited about going out with you when it’s time for that.

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Attention Seeking

It’s possible that your dog is lying down while you walk because they want more attention. If this happens, try not to give in and spend more time with your pooch.

Instead of stopping and playing with, or cuddling them, call out their name so they get up and walk over to you.

Also, try not to give too many treats during a walk as this can also be a sign that they’re just trying to beg for more food from you.

These are just a few of the reasons why your dog might be lying down on walks, a couple of times but there are some other possibilities.

If none of these reasons apply to your dog’s behavior, then you should think about taking them to the vet just in case there is a genetic predisposition, or an underlying health condition that’s causing this problem.

At the end it all comes down to body language- and it’s not just your dog who uses body language!

Dogs use their bodies to communicate with each other and humans.

If you want proof, watch a dog communicating with another human- you’ll notice that they use their bodies to tell us what they want.

How To Stop My Dog From Laying Down During Walks?

If you want to stop your dog from lying down during walks, then it’s important that you first identify whether this is happening because they’re tired or if it’s something else.

Keep a close eye on your dog and figure out what could be causing them to lie down mid-walk as there could be variety of reasons behind this behavior.

Taking the time to understand your dog’s behavior any the common reason dogs lie down on walks will help you figure out how to stop it and make walks more enjoyable for both you and your pet

The are some things you can do to make sure your dog stays happier during walks.

Reward Them With Their Favorite Treats

If your dog knows that some treats are only given while they’re walking, then this can be a great way to motivate them.

Make sure you pick a treat that’s small and isn’t too messy, so you don’t have to deal with cleaning up after your pooch has finished eating.

By doing this you shouldn’t only be stopping your dog from lying down, but also encouraging them to walk without pulling on the leash.

Take Shorter Walks

If your dog is getting tired, then it might be that they just need a break. Take them for shorter walks or see if you can find some shade to sit under together.

This will not only give your dog a chance to rest, but it’ll also make them happier for the next time you go out.

Consider Changing The Type Of Walk

Some dogs might not be used to the type of walk you’re currently taking them on.

If this is the case, then it’s best just to switch things up a little bit. Instead of going for long walks every day, try doing some more shorter ones with different routes instead.

Increase The Time Between Treats

If your dog is just begging for treats [or more food] while you’re walking, then try not to give in.

Put some toys or a stick on the ground and let them play with it instead of giving them a treat.

This way they’ll stay occupied and you can get back to focusing on where you’re going.

Remember what we said earlier- dogs use their bodies to tell humans what they want.

Their favorite toys will be an example of this, so let them play with that instead of begging for more food or cuddling on your walk.

Take Them On Walks When They Are Most Active

Dogs are most active during the morning and evening hours, so try taking them for walks during these times.

This way, your dog will get plenty of exercise and you can play with them when you get home.

Ignore Them Completely

If you’re 100 percent sure your dog is lying down on walks because they’re trying to get your attention, then stop giving it to them.

If you ignore their behavior and begin walking again without saying anything, they will eventually learn what the problem is.

At first they might be confused, but after a while they’ll get used to the fact that you’re ignoring them.

Use Specific Commands To Get Your Dog’s Attention

Dogs are great at learning commands, so you can use this to your advantage if your dog insists on laying down during walks.

Use a command- such as “lie down” or “down”– and wait for them to follow it before continuing on with the walk.

If they do lie down, reward them by continuing on with the walk and giving them a treat.

A circular walking pattern in a customized walking range may also help to keep your dog from lying down. You can do it by a treat scatter that will make dogs circle around you while walking.

It will not only improve their walking skills but also make them more focused on you.

Don’t Reward Bad Behavior Or Punish Good Behavior

If your dog starts walking again after you’ve told them to lie down, don’t reward their bad behavior by petting them or giving them a treat.

This will confuse them even more and they won’t know why it’s ok for them to walk again.

If your pooch continues to follow orders, then continue with the walk and give them praise when they get back home.

By giving commands, ignoring their behavior and rewarding good behavior you should be able to stop your dog from lying down during walks.

The key thing is that you need to use this strategy every time your dog disobeys your commands.

If you only use it every now and again, then they won’t get the message and will continue to do what they want.

Take Your Dog To The Vet

If none of the tips above work, then you should take your dog to the vet. They might have an underlying health condition, a joint pain, an injured nail causing chronic pain or may be a spinal cord injury behind this type of behavior that is causing them to lie down during walks, so they need to be examined.

This way you make sure that there’s nothing wrong with them and can get back to enjoying your time together without any avoidance behaviors.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Active And Engaged During Walks

Keep your dog active and engaged while walking by encouraging them to sniff, use their sense of smell.

Dogs tend to naturally want to be aware of what is going on around them and may get anxious or scared when they cannot do this because of a leash.

Allow them enough time during walks to stop and investigate smells while you hold the retractable dog leash attached to his comfortable dog collar so they do not pull away.

You can also give them a small treat or toy to keep their attention and you’ll find that they will focus on the task at hand much better!

Another way to help your dog stay active is to offer them the opportunity and plenty of time to play with other dogs while walking.

If there aren’t many dogs around, substitute toys or a tug toy to increase the excitement and engagement level. Playing with another dog is a great way to have fun while increasing your dog’s physical activity and a normal behavior for dogs.

Other than that

  • Use treats when training your dog
  • Walk with a friend so that when your dog gets distracted you have someone to walk them back over to you
  • Play with your dog when you get home from walking instead of giving them more food or attention
  • Walk at different times of the day when your dog is most active
  • Teach your dog to heel by making heel work fun with food or toys


Your dog’s movements are an important part of their communication with you which is why it’s important to become familiar with their behavior.

If your dog stops walking all of a sudden, make sure to check out if they are okay or do something about the issue before continuing on.

If they continue to stop walking every few feet, then it could be a health issue that you need to take them to the vet for.

Keep an eye out on your canine behavior during walks so you know when they are being stubborn or want to stop and rest. Also, be mindful of what kind of treats or toys have worked in the past for training purposes because these may help with your stubborn dog as well.

Above all, be patient with your dog when they are being stubborn because it can be a frustrating experience for both of you if they continue to refuse to move.

If you try your best, with a bit of training and right equipment for obedience training then eventually they will get used to the new rules and stop with their disobedience and abnormal behaviors.

I hope after reading this blog post now you know why does my dog lay down on walks and if you still have any question about your dog’s attention-seeking behavior then please ask in the comment box.

Thank you for reading

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dog lay down on walks when other dogs approach?

Dogs have different opinions on what is fun. Some will be overly excited to see other dogs, some wary and others will want nothing to do with it.

If your canine companion gets over stimulated by other dogs approaching them, they may try to avoid the situation or stay as still as possible until the other dog leaves.

If your dog does not like other dogs or wants to avoid them, make sure you do your research on how to train a dog with this issue.

It is important that you teach your furry friend not to behave in a defensive manner because of a stimulus they cannot control.

Conversely, some dogs may get over excited and want to play too much which can lead them to try and pull away from you.

Why Dog Lays Down And Refuses To Move?

There are two reasons for this undesired behavior.

The first reason could be that they are very tired and need time to rest after having played for so long.

When dogs get really excited, it takes a lot of energy out of them which means by the end of the walk they will most likely be tired and want to lie down.

The second reason is that your dog wants to show you that they are in charge, or in other words trying to assert their dominance over you by refusing to move.

It may seem like a silly concept but it’s true in most cases! When your dog lays down and refuses to move, it is their way of telling you that they are the leader and you should be following them instead of the other way around.

How Can I Make My Dog Move Who Refuses To move?

To resolve these behavioral issues, pull up on your canine friends leash so that they are forced to stand up straight again.

If they try to do this, praise them for standing up straight by giving them a treat or speaking in an excited tone of voice.

You can also use an electronic collar, prong collar or a chain collar for this avoidance behavior issue with causing any pain in dogs.

If they continue to ignore you, give them a firm “no” and then try again.

Repeat the process until your dog walks with you instead of trying to go against you.

Why does my dog keep sitting down suddenly?

If your dog suddenly sits down for no apparent reason, they could be trying to avoid something that they do not like on their walking route. This can be anything from the wind to an oncoming car.

Or may be he is refusing to move because he doesn’t want to go where you are trying to take them, or may be they are having some weakness or a medical condition,

When you see your dog sitting down out of nowhere, give them a chance to check out what’s going on first and then continue on if they seem okay or stop and calm down if they do not look okay or if they show signs of pain or fatigue.

If you have used delicious treats or toys in the past to train your dogs anxiety on walks, then try that method again when they are being stubborn.

Why does my dog lay on her back when I walk up to her?

When you walk up to your dog and she rolls over onto her back, it may seem like an act of submissive behavior. However, there are a few different reasons behind this behavior

For one thing, it could simply be a sign of affection. By exposing her belly, your dog is showing that she trusts you and feels comfortable in your presence.

Alternatively, your dog may be trying to tell you that she wants a belly rub.

Finally, some experts believe that rolling over onto the back is a throwback to a dogs’ ancestral instinct to expose their vulnerable underbellies as a sign of submission.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that when your dog roll over, she’s trying to communicate something to you.