Dogs have stood on their back legs since the dawn of time as they used them to balance themselves during hunting, chasing after prey, and even walking.
It’s normal for dogs to stand on their back legs, but there are several reasons why you might notice your dog doing so.
Why Do Dogs Stand On Their Back Legs?
Standing on your dog’s back legs is just one way he can show you that he wants your attention.
Sometimes, your dog will use this behavior to stretch his muscles.
Your dog might also be trying to reach an object in the distance, such as a toy or food bowl.
There are other instances where your dog might stand on his back legs.
Dogs often do this when they’re nervous, anxious, or excited.
1. Why Does My Dog Stand On His Back Legs When I’m Not Home?
If your dog is only standing on his back legs while you’re at home, there are a couple of reasons why.
First, he may not like being alone in his kennel.
Second, it could mean that he has found another person or animal to play with.
However, if your dog is constantly standing on his back legs, then it’s possible that he’s feeling threatened or is bored.
2. Does My Dog Stand On His Back Legs Because He’s Nervous?
It’s common for dogs to stand on their back paws when they’re nervous.
This happens because the front legs are usually used for balance when your dog walks, runs, jumps, or plays.
While your dog might be acting nervous, it’s important to remember that standing on his back legs does not indicate that your dog is aggressive toward you.
3. Is My Dog Standing On His Back Legs Because He’s Anxious?
Some dogs may stand on their back legs because they’re anxious.
This behavior is quite common among huskies, golden retrievers, and other breeds that are known to be active and energetic.
The reason behind this is simple: dogs don’t want to miss anything!
They’ll keep moving around until they’ve exhausted all options.
4. Do Dogs Stand On Their Back Legs to Reach Things?
Your dog might stand on his back legs to reach things.
If this happens, it’s likely that he’s looking for food or toys.
Some dogs love to chew and will go through their entire day chewing on everything from shoes to furniture.
Others prefer to eat their meals or toys instead.
5. Can Dogs Get Licked Off With Their Front Paws?
Puppies are notorious for licking themselves off with their front paws.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for puppies to lick their front paw before going outside.
This is actually a good habit to learn because it helps prevent them from getting dirt on their paws later on.
However, if your dog stands on his back legs while he licks himself off, it means that he doesn’t want to be touched.
This is especially common in older dogs or dogs that were previously abused.
These dogs may feel uncomfortable having their paws touched by humans.
The History of Dogs Standing On Their Back Legs
If you’re wondering why your dog stands on her back legs, you can thank our canine ancestors who first began standing on their back legs millions of years ago.
Dogs were one of the first species to stand upright on two legs, and they’ve been able to do that ever since.
Humans and other primates use their front limbs for running, climbing, grasping, and reaching.
But dogs weren’t born with those abilities — they had to learn how to walk.
And in order to walk properly, they needed their four limbs to work together.
That’s when dogs began using their back legs to help support their weight while walking.
The front legs would become more specialized over time, but the use of the back legs was always important.
One of the most famous examples of dogs standing on their back legs is found in the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
In 1858, she claimed to hear God speaking through her.
She said he told her to go to Lourdes, France, where she’d see an apparition of Jesus Christ.
When she arrived at the site, she saw a vision of Mary Magdalene, which caused her to cry out “Oh Lord, I believe.” The Virgin Mary then appeared before her, and she heard the voice of God telling her to build a chapel in honor of Jesus Christ.
This was all done while she stood on her back legs.
She also stood on her back legs while praying, and this inspired others to claim similar visions from God.
After hearing about these events, Pope Pius IX gave permission for the shrine to be built, and thousands of pilgrims came to visit every year.
Today, the shrine attracts visitors from around the world.
How Dogs Stand On Their Back Legs
Dogs can stand on their back legs in three different positions:
1. Standing on their back legs with their front paws off the ground
This position is called “stand-on” and happens when your dog is playing around.
You’ll also see this position if your dog is trying to stretch his muscles while he waits for you outside.
2. Standing on all fours with his front or rear paws off the ground
This is called “all-fours”, and it’s what most people think of when they hear the term “standing on its hind legs”“.
When dogs do this, they’re usually trying to stretch their muscles or look at something interesting.
3. Standing on all fours with one paw off the ground
This is called “one-footed” because it only has one leg off the ground.
Your dog will do this when he wants to walk up stairs or jump over something.
The Benefits of Dogs Standing On Their Back Legs
Standing on your dog’s back legs can help your dog stretch his muscles, improve his posture, or just give him a better view of what he wants to see in front of him.
- It helps them walk more easily. When your dog stands up straight on his back legs, he has more control over his body weight, allowing him to move forward with greater ease than when he’s sitting down.
- It improves their posture. Standing on your dog’s back legs gives them a better balance and posture, which is great if they’re prone to falling over.
- They can see better. By standing up on their back legs, they can see farther ahead, giving them a better sense of where they need to go.
- They can reach higher things. Some breeds of dogs like Chihuahuas and Pekingese, who are small enough that they don’t have much room to grow, find it difficult to climb stairs or other tall surfaces. Standing on their back legs allows them to get closer without having to lift their entire bodies off the ground.
Your Dog Will Be Better Able To See You
If your dog is constantly standing on his back legs, it means something is bothering him.
He might be uncomfortable because he’s not able to stretch properly, or he could have an injury that needs to be addressed.
You should never ignore your dog’s behavior.
If you think he’s hurting himself, take him to the vet immediately.
They will examine him and determine whether he needs to be treated by a specialist.
The Risks of Dogs Standing On Their Back Legs
There are many benefits to your pet when he stands on his back legs.
However, if your dog starts standing on his back legs regularly, there are some risks that you should know about.
Here we’ll explore what those risks are and how you can help him overcome them.
How to Train Your Dog to Stand On His Back Legs
If your dog stands on his back legs frequently, it’s important to first determine if there’s anything wrong with him physically.
The most common reason for your dog to do this is because he has arthritis in his joints.
Arthritis is an inflammation that can cause pain and swelling in the affected area.
When your dog stands on his back legs, he may not realize he’s doing it, thinking he’s just standing up.
Another reason that your dog may stand on his back legs is due to stress.
A stressful environment can make your dog anxious, which can lead to him standing on his back legs.
Another possible reason is if your dog is old and getting stiffer, causing him to stand on his back legs more often.
It’s also possible that your dog is just curious about how to stand on his back legs.
This is especially true for puppies who haven’t been taught how to walk properly yet.
You should always take your puppy outside every day when he goes outside to eliminate, and try to keep him from running around inside.
By teaching him to stand on his back legs at an early age, you won’t have to worry about him standing on his back legs later on.
There are ways to train your dog to stand on his back legs without having to resort to using a leash.
Read on to learn what steps you need to take to help your dog stand on his back legs.
Troubleshooting Tips for Dogs Who Won’t Stand On Their Back Legs
If your dog won’t stand up on his four paws, he likely has one of these three problems:
- He’s not getting enough exercise.
- His joints aren’t working properly.
- He’s having trouble with balance or coordination.
If you think your dog may have any of these problems, consult your vet immediately.
They can perform physical exams and tests to help determine the cause of your dog’s problem and recommend treatments.
1. Is There Too Much Exercise?
Exercise is important for all dogs, including those who don’t stand on their back legs.
But if your dog is constantly running around like crazy, he’ll tire quickly.
If this is the case, take him outside in short bursts to give him some rest between runs.
2. Are His Joints Working Properly?
Another reason your dog may not stand up on his back legs is that he doesn’t have good joint function.
This could be due to arthritis or other conditions that prevent proper movement.
Consult your vet about specific treatment options for your particular dog.
Is He Having Balance Problems?
Another common issue with dogs who don’t stand up on their back legs is that they’re having
trouble maintaining balance while moving.
The most common causes of this are vestibular disease (a disorder affecting the inner ear) or
cerebellar atrophy (a condition that affects the part of the brain that controls motor skills).
Vestibular disease is caused by damage to the nerves that send messages from the inner ear to
Cerebellar atrophy happens when the cerebellum shrinks over time.
Both conditions make it difficult for dogs to maintain balance while walking, running, jumping,
climbing stairs, and performing other similar activities.
If your dog is showing signs of any of these problems, consult your vet right away.
They can perform diagnostic tests to find out exactly what’s going on with your dog.