3 Options When your Dog Refuses to Walk

by Amy Anne

Have you ever been on a walk with your dog and this happens? 

Dog refusing to hike

Sometimes dogs just get it in their mind, “I’m not moving.” They could care less what your plans were. Below are some insights into what could be causing this behavior and a few tips on how to overcome (or yield) to this challenge.

Reasons your Dog Refuses to Walk

Every dog has their own personality. There are many reasons why your specific dog may be refusing to walk. Here are a few of the common reasons to keep in mind:

What’s this “Leash” Thing?
Puppies are full of energy and always getting into trouble. However, when they are learning obedience while being on the leash, they might not be on board right away. If your puppy is biting at the leash or refusing to move when coaxed by the leash, it may just take some time for your dog to get used to the leash sensations.

If your dog does not go outside often or has had a traumatic experience with the outdoors, it may be afraid of being outside. Try to make your dog feel safe by slowly introducing it to things it’s afraid of when on your walks, to show it that, “Everything is OK.”

You may not know it, but your dog could be in pain. When sitting around the house, everything may seem fine. But once those joints and muscles are active and moving, your dog may have some undiagnosed pain you’re unaware of. If you notice your dog limping, wincing, or licking an area that seems wounded, consult a veterinarian.

On Strike
The opposite end of the spectrum are the dogs that love the outdoors. Sometimes they may go “on strike” and refuse to return home because they know the fun is over. It’s important to ignore this behavior and instead focus on coaxing the dog to follow your orders. This one is my favorite. NOT.

Option 1: Bring Treats

Pupcakes - A Fun Doggy Treat

Arguably the greatest motivator for dogs is food. If you find your dog is having a hard time making it through a walk because they’re just not interested or distracted, entice them to move along by rewarding it with a treat. Give a treat as often as necessary, but focus on going longer distances without giving a treat. Eventually your dog will develop a habit of walking without treats or very few treats.

Option 2: Doggy Stroller

Maybe you have a dog that physically can’t handle the amount of walking you’re doing. You don’t want to prevent your dog from getting exercise. You also don’t want to overexert your dog. Instead, try starting your dog out walking and when it gets too tired, toss it in a doggy stroller for a cruise through the neighborhood!

Option 3: Give Up

Do you really want to deal with a stubborn dog that just wants to go home? Sometimes it’s easier to just give up. Plus, you have so many series on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV, Prime Video, and your other streaming services to catch up on. Just give the dog a peanut butter ball, put your couch surfing shorts on, and put a dent in that backlog! Or some yoga instead!

Do you have a stubborn dog? 

What are some other ways you’ve dealt with the stubbornness? 

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