What are some reasons why my dog refuses to take a walk?

• Fright

Something could be spooking her, from July 4th fireworks to traffic to backfiring cars. It can also be a past negative experience, either with a person or other animal that keeps her from wanting to be outside.

Take a look at her body language when she’s outdoors. Does she show signs of stress by holding her ears and tail close to her body? She might also glance from side to side and pant nervously.


It may seem like something small and silly to you, but it’s very much a big deal to her. Try taking a different route to see if that helps. Reward her for steps in the right direction; maybe bring a toy or some treats to distract her or even enlist the help of someone along the route who will offer her a small treat.

* CONFUSION If you’ve moved and it’s a completely different environment (concrete vs. grass and dirt) she just may not know what to do.


Be patient and let her observe the other dogs and eventually she’ll catch on. Take her for frequent, short walks; if possible, try to walk with a neighbor so the neighbor’s dog “teaches” yours the ropes.


She might have arthritis or a sore paw or just feel under the weather.


Have a veterinarian examine her to be sure there are no cuts or splinters in her paw or any other underlying problem. If it’s arthritis, your veterinarian can recommend medication and/or supplements that will eliminate pain and reduce inflammation.


To a dog, going for a walk is like us reading a newspaper. In fact, when they sniff, they’re actually “reading” and might just want to stay at that hydrant or corner to see who’s been there and who will come back.


Teach a few basic obedience commands like “heel, and make sure you add a spontaneous “sit” on the walk. It will calm her, establish you as the leader and keep her attention focused.

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