Making dinner in the kitchen, I must have tripped over my dog at least three times. She was constantly underfoot and in my way. Each time, I did a little off-balance, helter-skelter dance, trying desperately not to step on her little paws. Why? I wondered. Why does my dog block my path?
In this article, we’re going to talk about just that – why your dog might block your path. You might be surprised by all the different possible reasons your dog is in your way. Let’s get started.
Your dog may block your path because they want your attention, are protecting you, are interested in something, or have a health problem.
In fact, if your dog is blocking your path, you may want to have their eyesight and hearing checked. You may also want to look around for any actual or perceived dangers if they won’t get out of your way, or maybe your dog needs a little training because they need to learn to walk on a leash better, are acting aggressive towards you, or they are just being very stubborn. Generally, though, I think dogs block your path because they are feeling lazy, yet they want to be as close to you as possible.
1. Your dog wants to be with you.
Your dog loves and admires you to the point that they want to be near you all of the time. But, unfortunately, your dog might just be blocking your path because that’s the closest way to get to you!
2. They want to know what you’re doing.
Perhaps your dog is just feeling extra curious and wants to know what you are doing. So they’ll stand where they think you’re going to go so they can get a better look at your activities.
3. You have delicious treats.
My dog always knew when I opened the refrigerator – and suddenly, there he was, right in my way because he wanted to see what I was eating and if I was willing to share. He wasn’t just trying to block my way, he wanted to know what good stuff I had to eat!
4. Your Dog Is Tired.
My old doggo would just get tired and plop wherever it was she felt like – oftentimes, that was right in my way. She wanted to be close, but she was too tired to follow, so she found a comfy spot where she could keep an eye on me. She just didn’t care if I had to step over and around her.
5. Your dog enjoys lying in his favorite spot
Dogs are creatures of habit, of course, and they have their favorite resting spots just like you do. But if your dog loves sleeping in your doorway – perhaps because of a cool breeze or a nice view – you might feel like they’re just trying to block your way.
6. Maybe your dog is just a stubborn breed.
Bulldogs can be incredibly sweet, but they’re also incredibly stubborn. And if they don’t want to move, they probably won’t! Even if they’re in your way. They don’t have to have a reason, they just do it.
7. Maybe he wants your attention.
Your dog will do anything to get your attention. But, unfortunately, you’ve unwittingly trained your dog to lay directly in your path – because he knows when he does, he gets your attention! So, whenever he wants a few pets or a loving hello, he’ll plop himself right down in your way and wait for the snuggles to begin.
8. They just like to nuzzle your hand.
Yep, your dog is waiting for a doggy hug. She’ll hang out right where she knows you’ll walk by so she can convince you to pet her head on your way. But that means she’s right in your way, blocking your path, until you give her that attention she craves.
9. Your dog simply isn’t paying attention to what’s going on.
If you’ve ever had a day when you were distracted and forgot what you were doing, then you might know your dog can too. If your dog was walking or playing and got distracted, they may have just forgotten what they were doing and happened to be right in your way. If your dog is easily distracted, it might even happen a lot!
10. Your dog is trying to protect you from something.
There are countless stories of dogs trying to protect their owners by blocking their path. Perhaps a seeing-eye dog stops their owner from walking out into a busy street. Other times, a smart dog will get in between its master and a venomous snake.
The perceived threat might not actually be dangerous, but if your dog thinks there is danger, she might be protecting you if she’s in your way! Even if it is just a dust bunny or an old lost sock, if your dog is blocking your path, you might want to be on the lookout for something dangerous and evil. Check out this video about a dog who got in its owner’s path to protect her!
11. Your dog is engrossed in something else.
Maybe your pooch is in your path because they’re just engrossed in something. If your dog is particularly anxious or upset or perhaps very fearful, this might be a common occurrence. If the dog sees something scary or upsetting, it will get ‘stuck’ staring at the great big scary thing, and this might just happen to be right in your path.
Be on the lookout if this happens because the dog might be getting ready to lunge, run away, or attack whatever it is that is upsetting them. It might not be something that’s actually dangerous – it could just be something that bothers your dog. On the other had, the dog may be watching out for the first sign that you need to be protected.
12. Your dog is having trouble seeing or hearing.
If your dog is blocking your path, it might be because they’re having trouble seeing or hearing, and they don’t know where to go next. If they can’t respond to you calling their name, or they seem to stumble or not know where to go, you may need to take your pooch to the vet for a checkup.
The AKC shares some additional symptoms and tips here if you think your dog can’t see. They also have some tips for living with a dog who is losing its vision.
13. They’re trying to figure out what you’re doing.
My golden retriever always wanted to know what I was up to. He was always watching, trying to figure out my next move and where I was going to go next. He would run ahead, then stop and watch me to see what was happening. He just wanted to know what I was doing! It didn’t matter if he was in my way, he was determined to find out what I was about to do.
14.Your dog is having a temper tantrum.
Perhaps your dog is a little bit out of sorts because he didn’t get his way! Watch this dog block the hallway because he didn’t get the gravy he wanted. If your dog is like this one, he might be blocking your way as a protest for not getting enough delicious treats.
15. They don’t want to share.
Perhaps your dog is in the way of something else – like another pet – because they don’t want to share your affection and attention. If your dog is blocking your path, make sure to peek around the corner to see if another one of your pets is trying to get to you. If this happens a lot, you might need to intervene to make sure your other pets are getting their needs for food, water, and attention met.
16. They’re hiding something.
Maybe your dog has a secret. For example, perhaps she’s hiding her favorite dog bone or a forbidden treat and refuses to move because you might take it away. If you suspect this is the case, call your dog and get them to come to you, and just maybe, you’ll find out what they’re hiding.
17. Your dog is just plain tired.
Your dog doesn’t want to move out of the way and blocks your path – but maybe he’s just dog tired! Perhaps your doggy is just so worn out he can’t be bothered to move, like this guy! Now that’s tired!
18. Your dog needs to learn to walk politely.
Does your dog only block your path when you are out on a walk with a leash?? This may be a sign that your dog hasn’t learned to walk politely on a leash. The dog may stop because they don’t like the feeling of the collar or harness and just stand in your way, or they may run back and forth in front of you, preventing you from walking normally.
A trip to a dog trainer or even your vet might be in order to help you and your dog have a better leash experience. Sometimes a little bit of training will go a long way to help your dog walk nicely on a leash.
19. Your dog is trying to assert its dominance.
Perhaps your dog is blocking your path on purpose because they want to assert its power over you.
According to Sit Means Sit, signs of asserting dominance include blocking your path, mounting behaviors, lunging, snarling, and protecting sleep areas and food. If your dog is asserting dominance or is aggressive, you’ll need a trainer to help you. You may also need to spay/neuter your dog because this can help with behaviors, as well.
20. Your dog just doesn’t know any better.
Maybe there just isn’t a reason. Sometimes, you don’t need a good reason to block your human’s path. You just do it because you can.