Why Do Dogs Run Into Walls and Barriers? [5 Causes, 4 Solutions]

Why Do Dogs Run Into Walls

Have you ever wondered why your dog suddenly runs into walls? It’s a strange and concerning behavior to witness. Can they not see the obstacle in front of them? In this article, we’ll explore five common causes of this behavior and seven approaches to solving the problem.

A dog may run into walls or other obstacles due to vision problems, vestibular disease, neurological issues, screen doors, or simply not paying attention. To address this behavior, you can seek the advice of a veterinarian or neurologist, provide video evidence of the behavior, maintain good eye and ear health for your dog, and consider using a halo loop.

It’s important to identify the exact cause of this behavior to address it effectively. While it may seem unusual, there are solutions available to help your furry friend overcome this problem and stay safe.

What influences a dog to run into walls or any other objects?

If a dog runs into obstacles, absolutely, it’s not a normal thing. When we investigate this carefully, we can see 5 main reasons.

Besides that, we will look into a few other minor reasons for this under the “Things to be aware of” section.

1. Vision problem.

A dog with vision problems may manifest that in many different forms. Running into walls or any other obstacles is one of them.

However, in this case, your dog may not be completely gone blind, and you will have a chance to work on the treatment.

Here are some common causes for dogs to become blind.

  • Old age.
  • Diabetes.
  • Injuries.
  • Infections.
  • Some specific breeds are more likely to go blind.
  • Glaucoma
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Retinal degeneration.

Apart from running into walls, let’s observe some of the other symptoms of blindness in canines.

  • Usually have cloud eyes.
  • Tend to avoid stairs.
  • White spots appear on the eyes.
  • Tend to avoid your presence or eye contact.
  • Restlessness, anxiety around new environments.
  • Less interest in playing

By the way, here are 7 things you need to know about Dobermans and their eyesight.

2. Vestibular disease.

If a dog runs into walls, another common reason is the vestibular disease. Basically, this vestibular system maintains the balance of your dog.

By the way, here are the common symptoms of vestibular disease in canines.

  • Disorientation.
  • Balance loss.
  • Jerking eyes.
  • Head tilt.
  • Vomiting
  • Staggering.
  • Circling.
  • Rapid eye movements.
  • Refuses to eat.
  • Legs spread wide when standing.

Here are the common causes.

  • Ear infections (This is the major one)
  • Tumors.
  • Hypothyroidism conditions.
  • Perforated eardrum.

If a dog runs into walls and other obstacles, an inner ear infection is a significant cause, resulting in affecting its balance and overall equilibrium.

Dog Breeds Experts

Note: Sudden dizziness and lack of orientation can happen even after excessive vomiting. Even though there are hundreds of reasons why dogs vomit, read this article to understand why dogs gulp, vomit, lick excessively, and swallowing.

3. Neurological issue.

If the problem is not with the ears, eyes, or balance, the next most suspicious cause is neurological issues.

Most likely, these dogs don’t have much of a problem with vision. But they face a difficult time when perceiving orientation, walls, depth.

Simply, their legs/body are not going as expected.

The brain of a dog with neurological problems cannot rely on its vision signals as some neurological issues affect dogs to operate on a few seconds delay.

Specific congenital defects or illnesses may affect dogs’ coordination and balance. The first thing to do is see a veterinarian.

Dog Breeds Experts

Suggested Reading: Why does your dog stare at the floor?

4. Due to a screen door.

Some dogs cannot see a screen door, especially puppies that aren’t socialized.

This could often happen in the morning when your dog is super excited to go outside. Once, one of my friends said that her dog waits for him to open the regular door but forgets to wait for the screen door.

By the way, here is why do some dogs run into glass doors?

5. Not paying attention.

If your dog runs or walks toward walls, another cause could be not paying enough attention to what’s happening around them.

I have heard occasional THUD many times when my dog hits on a wall or furniture, especially when the dog catches an exciting scent. It keeps down its head close to the ground, sniffing and moving forward.

However, it resolved automatically as the dog grew and well socialized.

What to do if a dog is always running into walls?

The first three causes out of the five causes above are certainly something to worry about.

However, regarding the fourth and fifth ones, they tend to resolve automatically as the dog grows, with proper socialization and obedience training.

So, without further ado, let’s observe what to do if your dog runs into walls.

1. First meet a vet or neurologist.

We’ve discussed earlier the common symptoms of weak vision in canines.

If this running into obstacles thing happens regularly and the dog has vision problems, have your dog go to a veterinarian for an eye examination. Your veterinarian will perform a clinical evaluation of the dog.

After performing an eye examination, the vet will decide if everything seems fine with the vision. If so, it’s time to perform a neurological test to determine if the dog has issues with its inner ears or eyesight.

If your vet finds a superficial infection, you may be given some antibiotics to solve the problem.

If the problem seems more permanent and until the dog gets cured, your dog may need some additional time to adapt to the changes that are taking place until the dog recovers.

Keep in mind that urine and blood may be needed for testing. If a tumor is suspected, an MRI is prescribed by your veterinarian.

These conditions can also be caused by a central injury, such as a brain tumor. Since a neurologist can easily manage circumstances like this, ask your vet to refer you to a neurologist.

Dog Breeds Experts

2. Get a halo loop.

If your dog always runs into walls and gets hits, invest some money on a halo loop and attach it to the dog’s collar. A halo loop can keep your dog from hurting itself.

Wearing this for a long time also has terrible consequences. Because this gadget constantly warns your dog if there is an object in front of the dog and the dog is going to bump.

3. Keep your dog’s eyes healthy.

Consider following the advice below in order to keep your dog’s eyes healthy.

  • Keep the eyes clean.
  • Keep his head inside while traveling by car.
  • Always look for the symptoms of vision problems in canines. (discussed earlier)
  • Provide foods that promote dog’s eye health, including carrots, eggs, pumpkin, tomatoes, blueberries, sweet potatoes.
  • Protect its eyes during bathing time. Lack of care while bathing is another reason why do most dogs sleep after baths.
  • Cut the hair around its eyes.
  • Schedule regular eye examinations.

4. Keep your dog’s ears healthy.

As I mentioned earlier, ear infections cause Vestibular diseases in canines, resulting in losing coordination and balance. So, that can be another cause why your dog runs into walls.

That’s why it’s so vital to maintaining good ear health in your dog. Here are some of the essential good practices that are worth considering.

  • Clean ears regularly.
  • Schedule regular ear examinations.
  • Regular grooming is essential.
  • Regularly check for parasites inside the ears.
  • Be aware of the warning signs including odor, discharge, swelling, redness, hair loss around ears.

Things to be aware of.

You now seem to have a better understanding of why your dog runs into walls or other barriers. After reviewing the solutions, there are a few more essential things to know.

Take a video: Be sure to record your dog whenever it manifests this unusual behavior. It is very helpful for your veterinarian to diagnose the problem.

Slippery floor: This can also happen due to the slippery floor in your home. So, consider increasing the grip of the floor.

It can be just an accident: We have to accept the fact accidents can happen while running and sliding along the floor. Therefore, If it doesn’t often happen, hearing a thud might be just an accident. But, you need to make sure that your dog is okay after the bump.

Dog used to open doors: Does your dog often bump on doors? If your dog runs into doors because he realizes that most doors “pop” when he hits them hard enough.

Doggy door: If your dog always bumps on doors, another suspicious cause could be the dog thinks there is a doggy door with the door. This can often happen with adopted dogs. Just find out about your dog’s former life, and see if they have a doggy door.

Socialization: Consider providing proper socialization and make him familiar with the surroundings.


Many dog parents are curious why some dogs run towards walls or other obstacles as if they didn’t see it. Well, this can happen for both normal and unusual reasons. We discussed the 5 main reasons and 4 solutions along with other important things you need to know. Hope you found this helpful.

Note: Please be kind to share your experience with your dog and what you tried in the comment section down below. It will definitely help future readers.

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