Why Do Dogs Crawl On Their Belly

Why Do Dogs Crawl on Their Belly?

Do you know how to spot the difference between an aggressive dog and a submissive one? If you’re meeting a dog in person, it can be difficult to tell if he is acting aggressively or submissively.

A dog that crawls on his belly will usually do so as part of his submission. There are many reasons why dogs may crawl, but one of the most common reasons is because he feels threatened or insecure around other dogs or people.

As such, it’s good to remember that when you see a dog crawling, it does not necessarily mean that he wants to bite you! However, this could be a behavior that’s related to submission or simply just pleasure.

When dogs belly crawl it shows that they aren’t challenging other dogs and this act shows the dominance in relationships.

The three types of dog crawls

There are three types of dog crawls that you’ll see most often, and it’s important to understand what each one means. The first type is called a down crawl, where your dog lies on his belly with his back legs stretched out behind him while his front legs move forward.

A variation of that is called a forward down crawl, where your dog moves forward while keeping his belly low to the ground.

The third type is a simple walk on all fours—no crawling involved. All dogs can do these walks, but how they do them differs depending on their age and size.

When do dogs tend to crawl

All dogs crawl, but some tend to do it more than others. Experts say that puppies and dogs with short legs tend to be belly crawlers more often than others.

Another reason could be due to an injured leg or hips since crawling is easier for them than walking. The other main explanation for a dog’s tendency to crawl is fear.

For example, if there are loud noises outside such as a thunderstorm or fireworks, your dog may go underneath furniture and on its belly because it’s scared of what’s going on outside

The benefits of crawling for your dog

One of our favorite dog behavior specialists, Josh Davis (of Animal Behavior Services), once told us that he recommends crawling to every dog owner. Crawling, he says, gives your dog an outlet for all kinds of impulses: to interact with you, to play and get silly, to be a ‘pack leader,’ and more.

With these benefits in mind—and after consulting with several other experts in dog behavior—we put together a guide that helps answer why dogs crawl. Let’s take a look at what we found!

How and where did it originate

It’s believed that dogs became domesticated roughly 15,000 years ago. Humans likely started interacting with dogs after we had been hunting for some time, as early dog remains have been found in caves used by human hunters.

It seems probable that humans would have noticed early on that wolves had a pack mentality—and thus realized it might be beneficial to have canines around. More specifically, pet dogs are derived from wolves through domestication—the process of selectively breeding specific animals for particular characteristics (like friendliness).

Domestication likely began when humans started following wolf packs and feeding off their kills, which tamed some of them over time.

The various terms and names used for crawling behaviors in dogs

This post will break down what some of these behaviors are, how they’re related to one another, and when and why your dog might exhibit them. Let’s start with a general description of dogs that crawl on their belly.

These dogs tend to use an alternating gait pattern (two legs down, two legs up), in which each limb is advanced as it touches down. They’ll hold their body low and move at a faster rate than standard walkers do.

This is also sometimes referred to as scent slinking because it allows dogs to keep all of their limbs off of the ground, reducing interaction with odor molecules left behind by other animals and potentially staying ahead of predators like cats or coyotes who hunt using scent.


We hope you enjoyed our post about why dogs crawl on their belly. This is a weird question that a lot of people have, and one that we took the time to research and write a post about. We love to help people who have questions, and we also love dogs, so we were very excited to be able to do both with this post! If you have any other questions about dogs or any questions related to this post, then contact us anytime at _. Thank you for reading, we are always excited when one of our posts is able to provide useful information on a topic like this!


When my dog crawls on its belly, what should I do?

Your dog will show different behaviors depending on its state of mind and the body part it uses to cope. For example, if a husky jumps, it means that it is happy. If a GSD is fully lying down, it might mean that it is tired. Newborn babies crawl on their bellies because crawling puts less strain on the neck muscles as they are still weak. This behavior has now become a reflex and your dog keeps doing this even when it is already strong enough to walk because of its natural instincts

How can I get my dog off its belly if it’s crawling?

There are many reasons why dogs exhibit aggressive behavior, ranging from suppressive medical conditions, such as anemia or diabetes, all the way to physical pain from an injured limb. Regardless of the underlying cause of your dog’s aggression, examining his lifestyle schedule and being proactive about creating problematic behaviors will go a long way towards restoring calm in your home and ensuring the safety of yourself and your family.

Do I need to be worried when my dog crawls on its belly?

If your dog crawls on its belly, there are several factors behind this behavior. As seen above, this could be due to medical conditions such as spinal issues that require specific treatment. If you are uncertain if your dog needs to see a veterinarian for crawling on its belly, take a look at other signs of a potential medical condition beyond guttural noises.

How does a dog crawl on its belly due to a disease?

If a dog makes most of its movements by crawling on its belly instead of standing upright, you may be living with a dog that has any one of many medical conditions from orthopedic problems to neurological disorders . It is vital to get your dog checked out by a vet immediately if you see any issues with the way it moves.

Leave a Comment