Do you have a dog that has a weird gait you can’t explain? Is your dog running “sideways” and you don’t understand why? Have you been trying to get deep down to the core of the issue without any success? Is the way your dog runs driving you crazy? I promise that this informative article will shed new light on the problem. We will also offer you a simple fix. So, keep on reading…

Crabbing can be caused by many reasons. A dog with poor conformation may have a bad gait. A hard-pulling dog may be trying to go faster than you allow. An injury may cause the dog to compensate by running at an angle. A poorly fitting harness may be hurting the dog. Even being mentally stressed out can cause a dog to run funny and turn into a bad habit.

Your simplest solution will be GOING FASTER. Try to speed up your run so that your dog lopes, and stretches out nicely. If this does not help (or if your dog is a trotter), switching out your harness design can be a good tool to help a dog run straighter. Dogs find it easy to crab in a regular X-back harness. They use the side straps of the harness to lean into – especially if they are trying to pull hard and run faster than the pace you set. Using a half-harness style will take away that “crutch” and the dog will run straighter. Another option is to use the Wheel Dog Harness. The side straps at the rear of the harness sit on the dog’s thighs. The force from the tugline is lower than the hips so the harness can’t be pulled off to one side, thus keeping the dog in line with the harness.

Try our Distance Harness or our Wheel Dog Harness.

CONTACT our gear advisor Ami should you need help with harness selection or sizing.


  1. Good article , presenting possible causes and some remedial options. Short, direct to the point an immediately useful article.

  2. Alas, my spaniel wants to speed everywhere when my poodles do not.
    Equally he’s a really weird shape and we’ve yet to find a harness that truly fits him, the wheel dog harness was one of the worst we tried.

    1. Harris, the Wheel Dog Harness will fit to lean dogs with a long body, such as Alaska Huskies and similar breeds. Unfortunately, it is not the best fit for a Spaniel. We are not showing a Wheel Dog Harness purchase in your name, so perhaps you tried on a second hand harness that was too large for your dog. Should you decide to purchase a harness from us, the sizing chart on each harness page should give you a good guidance. Keep in mind we are always here happy to advise you on the best harness type/harness fit for your dog. Unlike the Wheel Dog Harness, the Distance Harness is a great fit for a spaniel. Feel free to give it a try.Distance Harness

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