My French Bulldog Walks Sideways – Must Learn This!

My French Bulldog Walks Sideways - Must Learn This! 1

My French Bulldog Walks Sideways: The last time you took your French Bulldog out for a stroll in the park, you may have found that they suddenly appeared to be running or walking sideways. Or maybe you were observing your Frenchie play in the backyard, and you realized the very same thing. Should you be concerned? Do you need to take your Frenchie to the Vet! Most likely not.

While there are occasionally medical reasons for your Frenchie to walk sideways (often referred to as “crabbing“), there are also far more common explanations for this unusual behavior.

Make sure you take your Frenchie to the Vet to get examined a smart idea. But here are some of the non-medical reasons for sideways walking and some solutions.

They Learnt It or Born Like That

Occasionally French Bulldogs grow up learning to walk on two side legs at a time. Most begin this as a puppy and never grow out of it.

Many dogs are more susceptible to crabbing, particularly if they have a compact body size than certain dogs, such as your Frenchie. This often causes their rear legs and front legs to get in the way of each other.

You most likely have seen somebody walk with dominance towards one foot, on their toes, or with their foot turned outward? During their walk, your Frenchie may show these types of behaviors as much as people do, which in their case is side walking.

There’s no need for concern in most situations – it’s just who they are.

They Have A Dominant Side

You may know of someone with a predominant leg or arm, which means that one limb is stronger or even more versatile than the other. That is true with most dogs and your Frenchie.

This occurs when your Frenchie is walking or running. Their dominant side lifts off the floor with a greater force then turns their body sideways, making it appear like they’re moving sideways or crabbing.

This is natural. The dominant side should not be as pronounced when they slow their pace down, and your French Bulldog’s stride will begin to function normally.

My French Bulldog Walks Sideways

They Could be Still Growing

It may be that your Frenchie legs are still developing if they are still a puppy. Like children can be partially uncoordinated as their body keeps developing, so does your french Bulldog.

Dog breeds that have short bodies legs (including your French Bulldog), as a puppy’s when developing, their legs can often get in the way of one another.

To try and stop this, they will try to shift their back legs away to avoid stumbling over their own feet, which looks like crabbing (side walking).

This is most likely the origin of your Frenchies’ side walking. Hopefully, this will diminish as they mature and learn to gain more control of their legs. There is always a chance that they do not grow out of this habit, and it could be just their quirk for the rest of their lives.

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Ear Problems Can Cause Sidewise Walking or Crabbing

Your French Bulldog walking sideways can signify that they are suffering from some ear problem. Your Frenchies’ ears and their sense of balance are closely linked.

Balance lets your Frenchie run and walk without stumbling and is controlled by signals transmitted from the eyes, inner ear, and other sensory organs into the brain. Specifically, your Frenchies inner ear contains unique “sensors” that can sense the head’s rotational motion.

Infections of the middle ear or the inner ear could impact their vestibular system. Causing your affected Frenchie to become dizzy and sick. It can cause your French Bulldog to tilt, spin and walk sideways from becoming dizzy.

Your Vet can diagnosis this disorder using an MRI or CT scan. However, high costs associated with such treatments make many Vets opt to symptomatically evaluate their French  Bulldog to see if the symptom resolves.

Your veterinarian can recommend anti-nausea medicines, as well as a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs if there is an infection in the ear.

My Frenchie Walks Sideways

Undetected Pain Looks Like Sideways Walking

Maybe the discomfort is localized to your Frenchies neck, impacting the cervical area, or the problem could arise from the vertebrae, probably due to disc herniation.

Your Frenchie will not display discomfort in the way we think they should. Walking sideways maybe your dog’s method of trying to compensate for pain that stems from someplace else. For example, in the event of pain caused by strain, torn ligament, or bruise, it could make your French Bulldog walk sideways.

Other sources of discomfort that may cause your Frenchie to walk in a crabbing or side-wise motion can include Their knees, hips, spinal column, rib cage, and even your French Bulldogs anal glands.

Sometimes the anal glands of a dog may be affected, causing them to feel unpleasant pain as it keeps filling up and growing. This soreness could cause your Frenchie to walk in such a strange way.

In Closing

At the end of the day, French Bulldogs show quirky behavior.  Although they can’t tell you what’s happening, their bodies instinctively try to overcome or find comfort — often in humorous-looking forms. Without an expert assessment, it is difficult to tell what the cause of the issue could be.

If your Frenchie seems to be side walking, particularly if it occurs all of a sudden, take them to your veterinarian.

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Marshall Newton

Marshall Newton stands as an authoritative figure in the world of dog care and training, enriched by over 40 years of hands-on experience. His lifelong journey with dogs has seen him own over 20 canines from a diverse range of breeds, making him a versatile expert in the field. Marshall's expertise doesn't stop at general dog care; he's also a specialist when it comes to French Bulldogs. As the founder of "Little French Dog," Marshall provides invaluable advice and resources for both new and seasoned Frenchie owners. Whether it's understanding breed-specific traits or discovering new care tips, Marshall is the go-to resource in the Frenchie community. Interested in learning more? Feel free to connect with Marshall on LinkedIn for a deeper dive into his professional background and a wealth of canine insights.

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