Why Some Dogs Keep Pacing and Won’t Lie Down?

Why Some Dogs Keep Pacing and Wont Lie Down

It is sad to watch your pooch pacing around restless.

It is even more heartbreaking when you do not know why he is doing it or what to do about it.

Fortunately, there are ways to find out why your dog is pacing and how you can tackle the problem


It is normal for a dog to pace around if they are trying to find a comfortable resting portion. But repeated pacing and not lying down can be a sign of a deeper physical or psychological issue. A vet could help rule out sickness and provide solutions to minimize or completely stop your dog’s pacing.


“My dog is restless and won’t sit still” is a common complaint that most vets receive.

Pet parents want to know if their dog’s pacing is normal or it could be something worse that needs to be addressed immediately.

Read on to discover the possible reasons why your dog is pacing around.


A dog may pace around and refuse to sit still due to;

  • Physical issues
  • Psychological issues




If you notice your dog pacing and won’t rest. Rush them to a vet doctor right away. The first thing you want to rule out is sickness.



My dog is pacing and won’t lie down, what can I do?

dons wont lie down

A little pacing around is normal if your dog is trying to find a better sitting or lying position.

But if they pace around without sitting or laying down, you need to find out why.


Your dog could be pacing around restlessly because;

  • They are pressed
  • They want attention
  • They want to go for a walk
  • They are injured
  • They are in heat
  • They are being territorial
  • They are anxious


VIDEO: How to prevent a dog from Pacing


Potty break

If a dog is feeling pressed, it will be restless.

One of the tell-tale signs of a pressed dog is pacing around and refusing to sit.


You might notice the following;

  1. Your dog paces around the door and scratching it, a sign they want to go outside
  2. Your dog paces around a specific room, possibly where the puppy pad is
  3. The dog makes whimpering noises, a cry for your help
  4. The dog paces around occasionally assuming a squatting position

All these are signs your dog wants a potty break.

Respond to your dog immediately to avoid cases of potty training regression.

Let the dog go out or bring out their puppy pad.


Attention seeking

Like humans, dogs too cry for attention when they feel ignored.

Dogs are social beings and want to spend their time in the company of their humans.

One of the signs to seek attention is pacing around and refusing to be calm.


You will notice your dog pacing around next to you or right at your feet.

He only wants your attention and sometimes a simple petting would do the trick.


This attention-seeking behavior presents itself in dogs that are warm and affectionate.

Always schedule a time to spend with your dog.


In most cases, the problem of pacing restlessly subsides.


Time for a walk

Leash walking is another way of your dog wanting to spend time with you.

If your dog is already used to a routine, they know that early morning or late in the evening is walkies time.

So they will pace around restlessly near the door indicating it is time.

Smart dogs would even bring the leash to throw more hints at you.


Painful injuries

An injury to the leg or hip could cause your dog to be restless and pace around.

A wound on the rib or back could also cause your dog to lie down awkwardly.


Pacing around may provide temporary relief or maybe your dog’s way of saying they are in pain.

Tend to any injury your dog might be having. Some wounds may be concealed deep inside the dog’s coat.


A broken limb or rib could also cause pacing and restlessness.

Take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment of any injuries.


Your vet can prescribe pain medication that will help your dog rest or sleep better.


Heat season

Yep, when love is in the air, dogs are bound to be restless.

A female dog would pace around because they need a mate.

A male dog would pace around and whine when they sense a female nearby.


Dogs have a strong sense of smell and can detect the pheromones of other dogs in the air.

Spaying or neutering your dog helps tone down the restlessness.


Guarding their tuff

Dogs are territorial and get aggressive when they feel their space is intruded upon.

The dog will pace around restlessly to guard its favorite toys, resting spot, or an entire space.

Pacing around is often accompanied by mean stares, snarling, and a warning bark.


A dog will only be territorial in the presence of another dog or pet.

Early socialization can teach your dog to coexist with other pets.


Anxiety in dogs

Anxiety is one of the psychological causes of restlessness in dogs.

A worried dog will pace around in circles and to and from a door.


Anxiety in dogs can be caused by;

  1. Sudden changes to their routine
  2. Inability to cope with a new environment
  3. Feelings of fear for their safety
  4. Feelings of neglect by their owners

An anxious will whimper or yowl continuously at night.

They may also whimper, tremble or shiver especially if they are leashed.

Some dogs opt to avoid eye contact or distance themselves from their owners.


Other symptoms that may show include;

  • Trying to leave or avoid a certain area
  • Lack of sleep
  • Refusing to be petted.
  • Severe aggression



Dog pacing around and not sitting down is not always a sign of trouble.

Your dog can pace around out of the excitement of seeing you or when they anticipate something.

If you dish out a treat or hint to leash walking, a dog would pace around, wag its tail, and back in excitement.



There are many reasons why your dog is pacing around.

If you suspect sickness or injury, take your dog to a vet for diagnosis or treatment.

Watch out for other symptoms like pain, whining, aggressiveness, or joy to best tell what your dog is communicating.


See Also

Frequently Asked Questions

In senior dogs, pacing around restlessly could be a sign of mental illness. It could also be a sign of discomfort as their old bodies are failing them.

Your dog might have spotted an intruder and are trying to alert you. During heat season, dogs get restless at night as they try to locate a mate. Your dog may also be asking for a potty break.

First, you want to check if your dog is injured or sick. If not, try exercising and giving your dog attention. Canine massage therapy can help calm down a restless dog as well.

Some dog breeds are more likely to suffer from anxiety than others. n others. Breeds that are vulnerable include;

  • German Shepherd
  • Labrador retriever
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Greyhound
  • Cocker spaniel
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Bichon Frise


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.