Hi Roland welcome to pets.ca. It's a tough question to answer but I would look at it a couple of ways. First off is this different behavior for your dog and secondly keep in mind dogs hide their pain very well. I know you're trying to save yourself a vet visit and I can totally appreciate that. Having said that your dog is at an age where a check up might not hurt. When was a blood panel done last. These are things I think as your dog transitions to a senior they are good to do and at 9 I think it would be a benefit to ensure nothing is going on.
Most dogs love their walks so maybe he has some arthritis.
Tabitha April 10, 1995 - August 23, 2013
Bomber April 10, 1995 - July 12, 2010
Winston Nov 15, 1999 - September 15, 2011
Sophie Aug 30, 2011
"UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL, PART OF THEIR SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED"
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.