How To Draw A Walking Dog

Or from bandy-legged Basset hounds to perfectly pawed pooches.


Shelley was somewhat frustrated. Her dogs weren’t exactly turning out the way that she hoped. She could get the heads and bodies okay, but when she came to draw them walking they didn’t quite turn out right.

Maybe you’ve had similar problems yourself.

Well, today we’re going to look at how to draw a walking dog.

By the end you will be able to...

…draw a variety of different dogs walking in a natural pose.


You’ll soon realise that dogs have a certain way of walking and what would look unnatural - like this chap here.


First of all, before we get started drawing, let’s take a look at how a dog actually walks. Of course you could immediately google it, but it’s fun to try and observe in real life first.

If you’ve got a dog of your own, then you have plenty of chances to observe how a dog walks.

If, like myself, you don’t have a dog, then start paying attention to people in your neighborhood as they’re out walking their pooch. It’s a good way to get to know people as well, as dog walkers are often a friendly bunch, provided of course that their dog actually likes you.

Now if you can’t do that, then try a YouTube video, but don’t go shown the YouTube sinkhole of clicking on video after video!

The stages of a dog walking

Now let’s have a look at all the stages of how a dog walks.


This old illustration of a Fox Terrier helps tp show how it walks in nine simple diagrams.

Let’s get drawing! First of all, find a picture of a dog you like.

Alternatively, you can use this one.


We’re going to follow the set of three principle.

1. Trace the picture.

First trace it nice and slowly, pay attention while you are tracing.

Now trace it again, this time do it more quickly.

Trace one last time, doing it as quickly as possible.

2. Copy the picture

Next copy the picture.

Again, start off nice and slowly, take your time.

Now draw it again, this time more quickly.

Draw it one last time.

Draw it one last time, do a lightning sketch.

3. Draw from memory.

Now go and make a cup of tea or coffee.

Now try and draw your walking dog from memory.

Next draw it again...and again...

Now how could you make your dog a bit more cartoony? What features could you exaggerate?

Remember that exaggeration is a key part of achieving a comic effect.

Now let’s draw that same pose with some different dog breeds.

Here are a few you can reference.


Note that some of them have shorter legs or different shaped torsos, but the basic idea is the same.

Of course this is a cartoon, so you’re welcome to experiment with a more cartoony, and less realistic feel.

A library of Labs?

As you start to draw dog pics that you are happy with, you can slowly build up a library of different poses you can refer to. I am also a huge fan of recycling previous drawings into new cartoons.

You could build up a reference sheet like the one above.


Time to think up a few canine cracks or some fido funnies…

Okay, now we’ve done the basics of how to draw a dog walking, let’s have some fun thinking up some ideas for cartoons.

Here are some questions to ask:

-Where is the dog going?

-Where is the owner?

-What might the dog be thinking?

-Could you add a simple background to the scene? If so, what?

-Could you add a bizarre element to the cartoon?

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