Why Is My Dog Curving Their Body To One Side

Why Is My Dog Curving Their Body To One Side?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

There are a number of reasons why your dog may be walking sideways, including hip dysplasia, having one dominant leg, excitement, an ear infection, or even just pins and needles after waking up.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Is My Dog Curving Their Body To One Side?“.

The 5-month-old golden retriever I have is a real mix of fun frustration hard work and just plain oddness.

Why Is My Dog Curving Their Body To One Side

Flos name is Flo.

On the right you can see her playing “piggy in the middle” with my other two goldens.

She has an odd habit of bending her body to one side when certain situations arise.

There are two older golden retrievers I have who do not seem to curve at all.

However after some research and thought I realized that they also move their body into a “U” shape but it is a little more subtle.

You can tell there are more subtleties to life than a puppy do not you think? 

Reasons Dog Curving Body to One Side

Therefore I thought that I would do a little research to find out why this is the case. 

A curved body is a sign of submission

My days of strolling through parks with my head in the clouds are long gone. 

My two very well-behaved adult dogs mean that I can go for dog walks and switch off because I know that they will never be more than a few meters away from me.

Dogs and people are not really interested in each other. 

When Flo started going out in public two months ago everything changed.

She took her a few trips to warm up but now she is on the lookout for any dog within 100 meters.

After a joyful sprint she approaches the dog at a rapid pace and begins to…

Her body spins sideways.

She curled her body before.

Rolling over before falling on the floor.  

This is not just pure excitement by a dog that can not control her body; the curved and sideways positioning is a sign of submission. She wants to play with the other dog not attack it. 

  • Not Sylvie with a smaller dog but Sylvie with a bigger one. 

A curved body is a sign of an apology

Also I have seen Flo adopt this body shape when she apologizes to someone.

My older dog Sylvie gets along extremely well with Flo.

Playing with each other takes up a lot of their day.

Flo may be Sylvies favorite but there are limits to their love.

Sadly they are usually in the shape of sticks or balls.

There are times when Sylvie gets jealous over these things and if Flo yanks her chain too much when there is a ball or stick close by then Sylvie will snap at her.

Sylvie does not threaten to hurt Flo and does not warn her to do so she just needs to be told “Enough already!”

The reaction of Flo is to leap back and adopt a C or U-shaped body position. 

A curved body is a sign of excitement

Sylvie and Flo play a lot as I have already mentioned.

Whenever they move around and play their bodies are slightly curved sideways as they face each other.

Because these animals run at pace diagonally its an incredible sight to watch in an open area.

There are two people looking at each other but they are not looking where they’re going. 

Why do puppies have curvy bodies?

Especially down a hill puppys bodies swagger with their bums swaggering. 

The bodies of puppies often “curve” when they run or jog. 

They seem to run diagonally at times and this reminds me of a bendy bus- one of those long buses with two halves and a flexible middle.

If its a coordination issue is it because the front legs of a puppy are stronger than the back legs or vice versa and because they move at different rates causing the puppys body to bend?

The next example illustrates nicely how old dogs have “u” shaped bodies.

A curved body can be a sign of old age

In the same way that puppies can experience coordination issues so too can old dogs.

My golden retriever Bumps who is 15 years old has done the same thing.

Over time her back legs are becoming weaker which means that her front legs are more powerful which creates an imbalance.

It isnot noticeable on flat ground but on a slope her back legs do not stay aligned with her front legs.

Her body is curled into a “U” shape as they swing left and right. 

Among many signs of aging in dogs this is one of the more painful ones. 

With this melancholy theme in mind in the next section I hope to examine why dogs with ear infections tend to hold their bodies to one side. 

A curved body is a sign of an ear infection

You may notice that your dog bends and curls his body if he has an inner ear infection.

This is particularly important if your dog has a severe ear infection.

The inner ear of a dog plays a crucial role in maintaining balance.

Dogs’ inner ears contain tubes containing fluid that inform their brains where they are and in which direction they are facing. 

It is possible for your dog to lose this communication if they suffer a severe infection. Dogs do not just hold their backs by bending them to one side or holding them in a C shape.

The dog can also arch their back in this position

A curved body is a sign of a physical injury

In addition to old age dogs may also bend their bodies for other reasons.

Injuries or illnesses are the reason for that. 

Any number of diseases or injuries can appear as curved bodies. 

When a dog arches its back it minimizes pain and discomfort.

They are trying to change the position of their back. 

Among the most common are back pain spinal pain and abdominal pain. 

Its not just pain that makes dogs arch their backs.

There are some breeds of dogs with arched or curved backs.

Some breeds have this deliberate physical trait not a birth defect 

Breeds with arched backs

Arching the back of a dog is a very distinctive feature.

What is the purpose of dogs having arched backs?

Speed is the issue. 

When combined with other traits such as long legs an arched back provides a dog with incredible speed.

I have listed below a few dog breeds with arched backs which are some of the fastest dog breeds on the planet.

Compared to Eliud Kipchoge they are more Usain Bolt.

They can run all day long but only over a few hundred meters at a blistering pace. 

If we consider the shape of a dog with an arched back it is shaped like a spring.

 In addition springs have incredible acceleration – they are designed to go from closed to open in a blink of an eye

You probably know a few of the breeds on my list but you might be surprised by a few.

  • Greyhounds
  • Greyhounds from Italy
  • Whippets
  • Boaz
  • Clough
  • Saluki
  • Deerhounds of Scotland
  • Hound of Pharaoh

Dogs shaping their bodies in strange ways aren’t the only weird movements that we might see with our dogs.

And in the final section I want to briefly discuss another one.

Why is my dog walking with her tail sideways?

Looking at a dogs tail can tell us a great deal about how he is acting just as looking at his whole body can. There are a few different reasons why dogs walk with their tails sideways as I have written another blog post about that. 

Among them are:

  •  Checking the anal sacs of a dog
  • When a female is in heat
  • A dog that is extremely happy or extremely scared 
  • Dogs that have physically injured their tails.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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