A puppy that doesn’t want to walk may seem like no fun to have around, but there could be an underlying reason why your dog is refusing to go for walks with you. We want to help you identify what the issue could be so that you can properly care for your dog. Here are five reasons your puppy may not want to go walkies…
1. No exposure or poor exposure to leashes
Your dog may have had an unpleasant experience with a leash or the concept of using a leash may be completely foreign to him. He might not understand the purpose of the leash and may be uncomfortable having the leash tied to him.
If this is the case, your puppy will likely pull away from you or become stiff when you try to lead him. It’s going to take some gentle coaxing to get your dog to agree to walk with you in a situation like this. Just be gentle and understanding and give your dog enough time to adjust to the new sensations.
2. A lack of freedom
Puppies love their freedom, and if yours starts to resist the pull of the leash and its restrictions, it is likely due to how limiting the leash can be. Your puppy may simply not be used to the idea of having his movement restricted, so this new sensation will take some for him to get use to.
Top tip: You can help your dog to be accustomed to the leash by letting him wear it around the house or by leading him around the yard with it before taking him out onto the streets and wooded paths. You may also need to do some obedience training to get your dog accustomed to listening to you and not always going off on his own whenever he wants.
Whatever you do, don’t let your puppy off the leash too early. The pet finders at PawMaw warn, “If your four-legged friend hasn’t yet mastered recall training and doesn’t come when called, he’s at risk of getting lost or injured.”
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3. Hidden pain
Though this is usually not the case, walking could simply be unpleasant and uncomfortable for your dog because there is some undiagnosed medical issue in his life. Older dogs may suffer age-related aches and arthritis, but for young dogs, the issue might be canine hip dysplasia. This is a medical problem found in both purebred and mixed dogs, and it can cause partial or complete lameness at the early stages of life. If your puppy has this issue, they may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Reluctance to walk
- Difficulty rising or getting up
- Swaying of the hips
- Nail scuffing
If you suspect canine hip dysplasia or another medical issue is to blame for your puppy’s reluctance to walk, make sure to discuss it with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
4. Not wanting to leave home
Puppies tend to have a lot of fear, especially of the unknown, so it may not be very comfortable for your dog to leave his yard or house to go walking with you. He may be aware of other dogs along the street or the dangers of cars whooshing by. It might help to pick up your dog and carry him for a short while to get him used to all the new sensations and to show him that he doesn’t have anything to be afraid of. Take things slow and realize that your dog may have fears that aren’t the same as yours.
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5. The leash or collar are uncomfortable
If you don’t get the right gear for your dog, then you might be causing your dog some discomfort. The harness or collar could be too tight, and your dog may simply be in pain from the way the gear has been attached to him. Keep that in mind and look for signs of discomfort so that you can change out the gear or rearrange it to make it more comfortable for your dog.
Your dog may not be trying to be hard to manage when it comes to walking, but there could be some problems you don’t realize that your puppy is dealing with. Look at the signs that your dog is fearful, in pain, uncomfortable or just confused by the idea of leash walking. Then take your time and try to address that problem to make things easier on your furry friend.