My dog Bongo isn’t the most active of dogs but even on his laziest of days, he would still come up to me for some playtime.
Dogs are generally active and adventurous and love a good walking session more than their owners. However, if your dog just stands in one spot without moving much, it could signal that something could be wrong.
If you find that your dog just stands in one spot, it could be due to a couple of reasons. It could be that your dog is feeling some level of boredom or could be distracted by something. Other more serious health problems could be due to seizures or bodily pain.
In this article, we will be taking a deeper look at what could be causing your dog to exhibit this strange behavior. We will also be sharing the best treatment options for your dog.
My Dog Won’t Move All Of A Sudden
Having your dog standing still like a statue out of the blue can leave most dog owners scratching their heads in confusion.
Some dogs might remain rooted to the spot despite their owners calling them or tugging on the leash.
If your dog just stands in one spot for no apparent reason, it could be due to the following reasons.
A dog that is suffering from sudden paralysis is having problems with its nervous system. It can make your dog just stand still on the spot.
The dog is no longer able to consciously control and coordinate its own movement. Paralysis usually affects the dog’s rear legs but other parts of your dog can be affected too.
Any condition that can have the potential to disrupt the communication between the dog’s brain and body is a grave cause for concern.
Here are some other possible causes:
There are some dog breeds that are more prone to paralysis due to their body shapes like the sausage dog (Dachshunds), Corgis or any dog breed with long bodies that sit close to the ground.
There are other signs and odd behaviors that could signal an onset of paralysis.
- Dragging rear legs
- Pain in spine and neck
- Unable to blink
- Unable to control bowels and bladder
If you do notice any of the above signs, please bring your dog to the vet right away to assess your dog’s condition. You do not want a temporary condition to become permanent.
Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
A dog standing still and unable to move can be suffering from intervertebral disk disease. The disk in your dog’s back or neck could be damaged, slipped or herniated.
This can cause pain and discomfort in the dog’s legs and back which makes walking or evening standing difficult.
Such pain and discomfort can cause your dog to yelp out randomly in pain.
It can also cause sudden paralysis in your dog if the spinal disc is damaged to a large degree.
Dogs that are very active and boisterous are more at risk of getting IVDD. These dogs tend to jump and run a lot more than your average house dog which puts more stress on their back and spine.
If you have a senior dog, you need to be more careful when it comes to putting too much physical strain on your dog. Their joints and bones aren’t as strong as before.
Dogs that have this condition need to recuperate at home and not engage in strenuous activities. Take your dog to the vet for a checkup and pain meds.
Hip dysplasia is a common issue in older dogs and large dog breeds like the Great Dane.
This condition happens when the dog’s hip joint becomes deformed and weakens, which makes standing or walking seem more painful.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia:
- Cracking sounds from joints
- Trouble standing
- Have trouble getting on and off elevated places
Canine obesity is also a frequent cause of hip dysplasia in many dogs.
A study has shown that puppies that are allowed to eat as much as possible when young, had a much greater chance of getting hip dysplasia as they got older.
How To Treat Hip Dysplasia?
The best way to treat hip dysplasia in dogs is to catch it early. Early detection can help prevent long-term arthritis.
Your vet might recommend surgery along with pain relief medication to help with your dog’s condition.
Surgery might seem more expensive up front as compared to medication but it is definitely a much more affordable option if the surgery is done when your dog is still young.
Get the vet to go through the long-term costs of medication vs surgery before you make up your mind.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
As we get older, there is a risk of having a mental condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Our senior dogs are subjected to the same diseases that can affect their cognitive functions.
Dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome will show these symptoms:
- Getting lost in familiar settings
- Dog staring aimlessly at things
- Unable to carry out normal tasks
- Doesn’t respond when called
- Difficulty sleeping
- More anxious than usual
Treatment For Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
The unfortunate aspect of such degenerative diseases is that there isn’t any cure.
Modern medicine isn’t able to reverse the damage but your dog’s condition can be managed to give it a better quality of life.
Dogs with this condition require more mental and physical stimulation to slow down the rate of degeneration. and strengthen its cognitive function.
Engage your dog in games that allow it to think more. Interactive toys can also help your dog get more involved during its playtime.
Another important aspect to take note of is your dog’s diet. Stop feeding your dog dry food or kibbles which has little nutritional value.
Get your dog started on canned food or a raw meat diet which can do wonders for your dog.
Dogs are carnivores which means that they need a high-protein diet from animal meat. Feeding your dog food that is high in carbohydrates and sugar will only do more harm than good.
Supplements that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil can also be beneficial for your dog.
Your Dog Is Being Stubborn
I’ve been a cat person most of my life until I adopted my dog a few years ago. I always thought that my cat has to be a mule in its previous life until I met my dog.
My dog makes my cat look like an angel.
Bongo loves going to the dog park to hang out with the other dogs and run his heart out. He gets about an hour there before I have to get him out.
This is the part that I dread the most because trying to get him out of the dog park feels like pulling teeth.
He’s smart enough to know that when I try to get him out of the gate, it means going home time. He will show his displeasure and disapproval by sitting there and not moving an inch.
Regardless of how much I tug at his leash, he just refuses to budge. He’s not really a big dog but it does feel like trying to move an elephant due to the dead weight.
It usually ends up with me carrying him back to the car on my shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
There are a number of dog breeds that tend to have a stronger will compared to others.
- Shiba Inu
- Jack Russell Terrier
If you have a dog as stubborn as mine, you’ll get what I mean.
Your Dog Is Scared
Fear is another reason why your dog stands in one spot and doesn’t want to move. Similar to humans, dogs can have phobias and PTSD based on certain unfortunate events from their past.
If your dog has fallen down the stairs or had its paw stuck on the escalator before, it could have developed a phobia of going up or down anything that has stairs.
The poor dog will just come to a standstill at the top of the bottom of the stairs and refuse to move.
This isn’t normal behavior and can be overcome with behavioral therapy.
If your dog just stands in one spot near a certain object and starts to whine and whimper, it could be more out of fear than a medical reason. Some dogs might also be afraid to move to an injury to the body.
If you have accidentally stepped on your dog’s paw and it doesn’t want to move, it could be due to its injured paw which is swollen and tender.
Your Dog Is Senses Something That You Can’t
There is no denying that dogs have much better senses than us humans. this makes them perfect for certain jobs that we as humans would fail terribly in.
Let’s take a deeper look at a dog’s senses.
Smell is basically how dogs interact with the world and other dogs. They can decipher so much information just by analyzing a scent.
A dog can have up to 300 million scent glands as compared to 5 million in a human.
In fact, a dog’s sense of smell is said to be close to 100,000 times better than ours. We can gather some information from what we smell but nowhere as in-depth as our dogs.
Another amazing feature of a dog’s nose is that it can move its nostrils independently to figure out where the scent is coming from
Not many people are aware that dogs are born deaf and can only hear after a few weeks old.
They tend to rely more on their sense of smell as a newborn just like cats, who are born both deaf and blind.
Dogs can hear over a wider frequency range, picking up higher frequencies that we humans can’t detect.
Not only do dogs have sensitive hearing, they can also hear sounds four times further than humans.
Similar to their noses, dogs can also move each ear independently to ascertain where the sound is coming from.
Imagine how cool it is to have two radars on top of your head.
The dog’s sense of vision is the poorest out of the three. Dogs can see better in low light conditions compared to us but we have a better overall vision.
We can see things better at a distance and up close. Dogs can see colors too but their color spectrum isn’t as wide and detailed as ours.
So finally, there is one sense that humans can claim victory in.
It can be distracting for your dog if its senses are being bombarded by so many external stimuli simultaneously.
If your dog just stands in one spot and refuses to move, it could be sensing something nearby.
Your dog might have gotten the scent of another dog or cat in the neighborhood and is trying to figure out the smell.
Some dog breeds are more prone to such behavior, especially hunting dogs who have much more sensitive senses.
Here are some common hunting dog breeds:
These dogs are trained to stop and look in the direction of the prey to help the hunter locate it. This isn’t considered abnormal behavior from a dog but it can be a hassle at times.
The best way to deal with this is to train your dog to come to you regardless of what’s happening in the surroundings.
It is important that your dog has its focus on you and your voice rather than get easily distracted by something in the bushes.
Attention Seeking Behavior
Have you been giving your dog adequate attention lately?
Unlike cats, most dogs do not like being cooped up at home the whole day with any sort of human interaction.
Dogs need their playtime and walk to feel energized and mentally stimulated. Dogs that do not get sufficient exercise and attention tend to develop abnormal behaviors.
This can be made worse if your dog has separation anxiety.
All that pent-up frustration in your dog can cause it to act out in strange ways.
Make sure to spend at least an hour a day playing with your dog. Some energetic dog breeds require more than that.
Even before getting a dog, you need to be honest about the amount of time that you have. Don’t get one if you can’t commit to giving it enough attention and affection.
Seizures are a common symptom for dogs that suffer from a neurological condition. This is when the dog will go into a temporary convulsion or fit due to involuntary muscle spasms.
Seizures in dogs can also be caused by other health problems like:
- Kidney failure
- Brain tumors
- Liver disease
When a dog is having a seizure, the dog just stands in one spot while looking dazed and staring aimlessly. It can also be trembling a little.
If the seizure is more serious, the dog can topple over and start moving its legs uncontrollably with its head thrown back.
A canine seizure isn’t painful but it can be rather disorientating and confusing for the dog. The best thing that the dog owner can do is to make sure the dog doesn’t hurt itself if it falls to the ground.
Unlike humans, dogs do not have the tendency to swallow and choke on their own tongues. Please do not place your finger or a foreign object in the dog’s mouth. You run the risk of being bitten by your dog’s sharp teeth or injuring your dog.
Dogs that have frequent seizures need to be treated by the vet and given appropriate medication.
The most common medications for seizures are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. One important thing to note is that once your dog is on anti-convulsion medication, it has to be for life.
Stopping the medication without the vet’s approval can cause more serious seizures in the future.
Why Does My Dog Just Stand And Stare At Noting?
It can seem a little creepy to walk into the room and find your dog standing at one spot and staring at nothing.
If you find your dog staring at the wall or ceiling, it could be sensing a pest infestation that we can’t detect.
See if your dog follows the sound with its eyes and ears.
Some say that dogs can sense and see paranormal activity. However, it is mostly hearsay and no scientific proof of dogs being able to detect ‘ghosts’ in the house.
Dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease are also prone to such behavior.
Why Is My Dog Acting Strange All Of A Sudden?
We as dog owners are very aware of our dog’s day-to-day behaviors. Even though dogs might not be as structured as cats, they too are creatures of habit to an extent.
If you do notice that your dog is acting strangely out of the blue, do not panic and think that the sky is falling.
Sometimes, it can be normal for dogs to be ‘abnormal’ at times.
The majority of symptoms do resolve themselves after some time without any medical attention. However if the behavior persists together with more symptoms like vomiting, head pressing, diarrhea, lack of appetite and energy, you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible for a physical examination.
I hope that this article has given you better clarity if your dog just stands in one spot without moving.
There isn’t just one cause that can result in such behavior. Anything from being distracted to having a medical condition is a possible trigger.
When in doubt, it is always best to consult your vet to see what can be done about your dog.