You’re halfway through your morning walk, and your dog decides he is done walking. He sits down or lies on the ground and refuses to move.
Nothing you can say or do seems to motivate your dog to get up and keep going. It can be frustrating and sometimes amusing when you have to carry your dog home, but is it stubbornness or is it something to be concerned about?
If your dog doesn’t want to walk, there are a few reasons why they might be reluctant. Here’s what you need to know and how to help your dog.
Is My Dog in a New Environment?
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. When they enter a new place, it can be overwhelming. All the new smells, new people, and new animals are a lot for your dog to take in.
They may be experiencing sensory overload. They’d prefer to stay still and process everything they’re taking in.
When this happens, let your dog move in inches for a little while. As long as they aren’t exhibiting signs of fear or stress, they may be slowly exploring the world around them.
If you frequently return to the same environment, your dog will soon grow out of their desire to understand everything about that environment. Your pup will get a grasp on it and begin to feel comfortable soon enough.
Is My Dog Afraid of Their New Environment?
If your dog comes from one environment and moves into another, it might take a while to get used to things. If your dog spent a long time in the confines of the shelter and suddenly finds themselves in a bustling city, they may be terrified and not know what to do with themselves.
It may help to take your dog on short walks frequently. It can also be helpful to sit with your dog outside while they experience the new noises and smells and reward them with treats to build a positive association. Give your dog a chance to feel more comfortable with their new environment in short doses before you take them on a long walk.
Is My Dog Afraid of Other Dogs?
Some dogs refuse to walk in dog parks because they fear other dogs. If the other dog isn’t displaying an aggressive temperament, there’s no real reason for your dog to be afraid.
The trouble is, they just don’t know that. They’re not sure whether the dogs around them are friends or foes. They know you’re a friend and would prefer to remain exclusively in your company.
Dogs who are afraid of other dogs need socialization and they need help understanding how to handle meeting new dogs.. You may be able to work with a dog trainer or behavior specialist to help your dog overcome a fear of other animals and to work on building positive associations with other dogs.