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What To Do When Your Dog Won't Walk

by M2A Solutions
What To Do When Your Dog Won't Walk

What To Do When Your Dog Won't Walk

Sometimes, dog owners find themselves at the end of the leash of a dog that won't walk. There may be no apparent reason for the change in attitude, and your coaching does not seem to make a dent. Here are a few tips on understanding your dog's reluctance to walk and what you can do about it.

Check For Health Problems

Sometimes, a dog will become resistant to walking because of a physical problem. Older dogs may be troubled by arthritis that causes pain when they walk. Other health conditions can also cause reluctance to exercise. Have your vet give the animal a thorough physical exam to determine if there are any health problems preventing them from enjoying their walking time.

Are There Neighborhood Hazards?

Some dogs will decide to start refusing to do their neighborhood walk after a bad experience. This could be as simple as a large dog behind a fence barking at them, noisy construction going on, or a sudden falling tree limb. If you think your dog may be carrying the memory of a bad experience, you will have to work to make the neighborhood walk a fun and desirable experience again. Arrange to have a person the dog likes meet them along the route. Make sure it's a pleasurable experience, with lots of love and praise, and a toy or a treat or two. Repeat the good experience a few times, and you should find your pet has gotten over any past bad experience.

Out of the Habit

Your dog is always a part of your household routine. When life becomes busy, walks can become shortened down to a basic bathroom break in the yard. Medical issues that limit the owner's physical activities can also halt normal walk times. In some cases, the canine may have had a medical issue that prevented normal exercise. All of these situations may have put your dog out of the habit of a regular walk. You can overcome this reluctance by starting out with very short walking periods of just a few feet down the block, and then gradually extending them to greater distances.

General Tips For Encouraging Walking in Your Dog

  • Keep Walks Short At First

When trying to overcome resistance to walking, keep the walks very short and enjoyable for the animal. Praise frequently for any walking progress.

  • Try A Few Treats

Bring along a baggie with a few of your dog's favorite treats. Offer a small piece of the treat as you make progress on your walk. Sometimes, a completely new and delicious treat is the best motivation to continue walking.

  • Get A Canine Walking Buddy

Dogs that are out of the habit of walking may not see much point in taking it up again. This is where a canine buddy can help to "inspire" your canine to get with the program. Set a time with a neighbor or friend to do tandem dog walking, and you will find your dog catches on quickly.

  • Try A Slower Pace

Older dogs and those with a more sedentary nature may prefer a slower pace that allows them to stop to smell the scents, look at people in their yards and generally be a total Lookie Lou. Go with the flow on this attitude. You may not get as much exercise you'd like, but your dog will be happier and healthier with the slower pace.

Some dogs are very active and need a good workout walk on a daily basis. Other dogs have lower exercise needs, but still need regular walking to control weight and maintain good condition. Either way, it's best to try to adapt to your dog's unique needs and keep the experience enjoyable for both you and your dog.

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