It can be frustrating when your dog only walks with two specific people, such as you and your spouse. In this article, we will explore five reasons for this behavior and provide seven actionable approaches to address the issue.
A dog may only walk with two people due to reluctance to leave home, lack of confidence, a sense of security, past negative experiences, or excessive coaxing. Solutions to this problem can include positive reinforcement, distraction and redirection, building the dog’s confidence, using a harness, strengthening the bond with the dog, and seeking professional help.
Since the cause of this behavior can be both normal and abnormal, it is important to observe the exact cause in order to find an effective solution. Therefore, without further delay, let’s dive into the topic and explore potential solutions.
Reasons why your dog only walks with two people
The first few weeks after I got my Bella (She is a Rottweiler) was just horrible. She didn’t like to walk alone with either my girlfriend or me.
However, she loved to play with small pebbles, sniff around while walking with both of us, and enjoy walking in the fullest sense of the word.
We just wanted to solve this issue since we cannot continue doing that regularly as we have so much work to do. Read and understand how we nailed that.
As I mentioned earlier, you gotta observe the exact cause for this behavior. Not a lot of reasons, just 5.
1. Reluctance to leave home.
If your dog doesn’t like to walk with just one person, and she always needs two human beings around her, chances are she is reluctant to leave the house.
This behavior can be seen especially in puppies.
There are no specific reasons that influence this behavior. However, it seems they need some time to adjust to the new world, and a canine (especially puppies) so enthusiastic about being around its family means its pack!
With regards to a puppy, it’s only a matter of time, which means she may need some time to adjust. However, the solutions we gonna discuss in this article cannot neglect even for a puppy.
If this concerns with an adult dog, you will really need to jump to the solutions section. It’s not a normal thing!
2. Lack of confidence.
This reason seems to be closely related to the above factor; in fact, it should be.
Because lack of confidence in dogs may exhibit in so many methods, including the following.
- Tail tucking.
- Head lowering.
- Attempting to avoid eye contact.
- Ear pinning.
- Tend to show their belly.
- Trying to backing away.
- Urination. (This is why some dogs pee on themselves)
- Fear biting behavior.
- Scariness when other dogs bark.
3. It feels more secure!
As most of us believe, canines are descended from wolves. So, the canines also pack animals who would love to hang with their pack members all day long.
Moreover, being with their pack gives them tremendous confidence, and there is no much difference when it comes to your case.
Your dog may not prefer to walk with just one pack member, I mean a person due to lack of confidence.
Again, building her confidence is an excellent way to address this issue. If you find this is the same as your case, just jump to the solutions section!
4. Past experience.
If your dog adopted one, she might exhibit this behavior due to the habits of her former life.
Some people really enjoying having walked with their life partners, especially newlyweds. So, your dog might have walked with two humans during her entire life.
Therefore, walking with just one person could be strange, resulting in her refusing to walk.
5. Too much coaxing!
If you’re wondering why your dog only walks with two persons, just ask a trainer to walk her and see how it goes.
Then guess what? She will definitely walk with the dog trainer without any problem whatsoever. I agree; it will take a few minutes to adjust. However, they’re capable of doing that!
Then what do dog trainers are doing differently?
So, what I wanna emphasize here is that too much coaxing also can give you trouble.
For instance, if both of you walk with your dog, and one of you depart after a few minutes intention of correcting this behavior; definitely your dog will notice that.
If you act like, “it’s okay, let’s move forward,” just like a way of trying to coax her more and more, you will end up going deep into the problem.
Frankly, it’s way difficult to explain such a thing in words; so, I hope you got the idea. So, please head over to the solutions.
What to do if your dog walk only with two people?
It’s good to see how you know the possible reasons for this abnormal behavior. However, what more important is THE SOLUTIONS!
Here, I’m gonna lay out 7 actionable approaches to work on.
1. Positive reinforcement and redirection.
When you wanna train something new or eliminate bad behavior, positive reinforcement and redirection are best friends for you. But, it should be done in the right way!
Consider following this handy method.
1. Have leashed your dog, and one person should get her out. Note that the other one should STAY HOME. 2. Oh, don't forget to get some high-value treats! 3. First, start with baby steps. Encourage her to go forward. C'moooooon, you got this. You know how to you verbal encouragement to get her to do something. 4. I know you don't wanna read this if you know how to do that, but use high-value treats and appreciate her for every baby step she moves in the right direction. However, more importantly, DON'T USE IT AS A LURE! 5. Simply throw a treat past her and let her walk toward that. Once she gets there, do that again. If she has a favorite toy, go several steps ahead (to the direction you wanna go) and show her the toy, and recall her to come toward you. 6. If she seems to wait for the other person, use some tricks like "Oh my gosh, what is that, Tommyy what is thaat, look at there! that's a squirrel!" to distract her, and immediately use treats or her favorite toy to redirect her as we discussed above steps.
Remember, the more you’re able to motivate and excite her to walk forward, the more she won’t care if there is only one person or two!
However, trying short distances seems to work for most doggos in the first place. Therefore, I’d like to walk a quarter of what I used to. Then gradually increase the distance.
2. Tell other person to walk much further.
Telling other person to walk much further will also work.
Here is the idea.
Try leaving the house together with your partner and the dog for a walking session, then after walking a minute or two, tell your person to slow the pace, sneak to the house.
This method seems to work for many canines that have the same issue. However, positive reinforcement and redirection are a must (As I mentioned in the previous approach) to get maximum results.
3. Individually spend time with the dog.
Maybe the reason could be the dog is very comfortable with householders as a family, but not individually, especially this can be seen from adopted canines.
Therefore, it seems like everyone in the household needs to spend some alone time with the dog.
Playing in the backyard, playing in-house games individually with the dog, asking everyone to feed or offer treats, cuddling, petting are some of the methods to thrive the bond between the dog and individual family members.
4. Build its confidence
As we discussed in the reasons section, lack of confidence is a significant cause why some dogs only walk with two or more people.
Therefore, building its confidence is the best thing to work on at the movement.
I hope you’ve read the signs that display a lack of confidence in dogs. If your dog also shows the same signs, consider building its self-efficacy with the help of the following tips.
- Feeding the dog with puzzle toys.
- Playing nose games.
- Let the dog do some work alone. For instance, allow your dog to find the ball that went to bushes.
- Spend one-on-one time with the dog.
- Make him think to choose certain things. For instance, offering two different treats or toys to select one.
- Occasionally let the dog take the lead.
- Teach your dog tricks.
- Agility training.
- Clicker training.
- Basic obedience training.
5. Start as a trio, and follow this!
This is a handy method to try on. To do this, you need to find a path that is at least 200 meters straight without any obstacles. Moreover, we need two people to perform this activity.
Let’s name those two people as “A” and “B”. More importantly, have your dog on the leash.
Here are the steps you need to follow.
1. First, A person should hold the leash, and B should walk toward the direction of the house. Walking maximum of 10m would be sufficient. The person who holds the leash should offer treats to keep the dog calm. 2. Then, Person B should again approach the A and switch the tasks. 3. Rinse and repeat the process while gradually increasing the distance. 4. Eventually, one of you should get her out of eyesight. 5. Do the same thing the following day. Maybe the same person stays with the dog, or you can switch the tasks. Up to you!
6. Use a harness.
Have you ever thought about why do some dogs become so calm whenever the harness is on? Well, one of the reasons is harness works like how thundershirts works.
If your dog doesn’t like to walk just one person, consider using a harness, and you will be amazed at how effectively this approach works.
But, one thing to note here. Positive reinforcement techniques, redirection are musts to gain a good result down the line.
7. Get professional help.
If none of the earlier methods seems to work for you or these things are beyond your control, consider hiring a dog trainer or consulting a dog behaviorist to observe what’s wrong with your dog.
Suggested Reading: Should you carry your puppy on walking sessions?
Things to be aware of.
Okay, now you know why your dog is only excited for walking sessions with two persons and possible solutions. However, there are handful of things you need to be aware of.
Well, here they are.
- Never ever punish or yell at your loving pooch. Instead, use positive reinforcement, distraction, redirection methods along with the above approaches.
- Being patience is the key. Because this isn’t an overnight process. So, you gotta be so patient and trust the process.
- You’re the one who knows well about your dog. So, being creative when needed isn’t a problem at all. Give a shot to above approaches, and see how it goes; make small changes applicable for your dog.
- Never skip regular veterinary checkups to ensure she doesn’t have any physical or psychological problems. Because dogs may display certain psychological issues in the form of strange behavioral patterns.
- Never force the dog, and try using the areas where your dog likes the most.
Some dogs have wired and unusual behaviors. It can be totally annoying to the dog parents or apathetic. However, every behavioral issue must be addressed to avoid potential problems in the long run. One of those issues is some dogs only walk with two people. We’ve discussed 5 reasons for that and 7 approaches to solve it. Hope you found this helpful.