Have you ever experienced your dog stopping in its tracks and refusing to move any further? Since many people encounter this issue, I’ve decided to share my knowledge with you.
What causes your dog to stop walking and refuse to move? The primary reason is often a lack of leash training. However, health problems, new puppy anxiety, fearfulness, uncomfortable gear, reluctance to leave, hunger, the dog’s behavior, anxiety, and fatigue can also be factors.
To address this problem, it’s essential to understand these causes and the potential solutions. This article contains everything you need to know to tackle this issue.
What are the causes of your dog to stop walking and won’t move?
As I mentioned above, you have to understand the possible cause of this problem. Then it will be so straightforward to solve.
In fact, I have done this so many times in my entire life. My Bella was the stubborn dog I ever trained. She is now 9 months old rottweiler.
Believe me, the problem was with the leash. So read carefully, it will be extremely useful for you.
So let’s dive right in.
Here is the list of possible reasons.
- Uncomfortable gear
- New puppy blues
- Reluctance to leave
- The behavior of the dog
- Health issues
#1 Due to uncomfortable gear
If your dog suddenly stops walking and won’t move anymore, the problem may be with the gear.
Most dog owners tend to buy dog collars and leashes, just considering the safety of the dog.
I mean, loads of people don’t have enough awareness about how comfortable the dog gears should be.
So they don’t realize that sturdy collars and leashes are extremely uncomfortable for them. In fact, oversized gears can make small dogs feel annoyed.
Moreover, the weight of the clasp and thickness of the leash can make them feel like a heavy tire around your dog’s neck.
So your dog is more likely to refuse walking and lay down. Maybe they have bad memories of collars and leashes during their training period.
That’s why we are recommending giving the training nicely and gently.
Choose the lightest collar and leash to which are safe for your dog. If you are still using training collars that have left bad memories for your dog, replace them.
#2 Due to the new puppy blues, your dog will stop walking & won’t move anymore.
If you have a dog who has never experienced walking on a leash, the first experience can give them an unusually bad experience.
Why? Because the pressure around their neck and the weight of the gears make them frustrating. So these dogs more likely tend to stop while walking and pull back the leash.
Before walking outdoors, wear the leash to your dog and let him navigate wherever he wants around the house.
Go to another room and call him nicely. Reward him with a tasty treat as soon as he comes to you.
Do this couple of more times. Then he will start to follow you anticipating a treat. As time goes on, he will get used to it.
Do this for about 30 minutes, and If he didn’t make any trouble, you are good to go!
#3 Due to reluctance to leave
Let’s say you are in a dog park, and your dog is having fun with his favorite buddy. So, they don’t wanna leave that place.
I mean they don’t wanna the fun to end.
Don’t pull the leash, and don’t punish. But what can you do next? It’s straightforward, turn your back to him and ignore him for a while.
Remember, your dog should be next to you. Make sure that the other dog doesn’t trigger him to play.
After several minutes, call him nicely and offer some treats.
Recommended reading: why does some dogs don’t need to go home after walks.
#4 The behavior of the dog
Sometimes this behavior can occur upon the behavior of the individual dog. I mean, some dogs are too lazy, and they don’t wanna go for a walk. In fact, they love to sleep for long and long hours.
Moreover, the breed also can be a problem. Because some dog breeds are naturally lazy. Mostly those dog breeds are,
- Italian Greyhound
- Miniature Pinscher
- Basset Hound
- English Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Chow Chow
- Tibetan Spaniel
Try to give suitable exercises on a daily basis. Don’t keep pads for potting and take him outdoors. Try to keep them active and fresh.
#5 Fearfulness will stop your dog while walking.
Fearfulness is one of the biggest obstacles your puppy must overcome. Often this problem can occur in dogs that are not socialized at a young age.
Mostly these dogs have some kind of fear to move beyond their territory. Often these dogs tend to refuse walking and won’t move anymore in some situations.
As an example, even a lawnmower can scare these dogs.
You have to build up the confidence of your dog, step by step. Take your dog for a walk during the off-peak time on the road.
Pay attention to him, and if you catch up on any kind of rewardable behavior, appreciate him with a puppy treat.
In the meantime, don’t forget to say some kind of appreciable word like “Good boy.”
Then continue the process and don’t reward for bad behavior.
Recommended reading: Why do some dogs walk with only two people?
#6 Due to health issues
One of the main reasons why your dog stops walking and won’t move anymore is health issues.
Some common health issues are,
- Undiagnosed Pains
- Hip dysplasia
So, consult a licensed veterinarian in your area.
#7 Mostly, dogs tend to refuse walking due to anxiety.
Well, Anxious can occur due to several reasons.
- Generalized Anxiety
- Illness-induced Anxiety
- Rescue/Former Shelter Anxiety
- Separation Anxiety
Poor socialization can also be a significant factor. Sometimes your dog hasn’t been well experienced with the outside world.
Actually, this is very common for puppies because they haven’t seen all the stimuli out there. Which means that they never had experienced the sounds and smells and other stuff around.
When you walking with your dog, they need a couple of seconds to get used to their surroundings.
It makes sense, right?
So, if you have a little puppy who hasn’t enough experience walking, don’t force to walk.
Just stop for a movement and let him explore a few of his surroundings. Because often they need a little time to get used to that area.
Then you continue walking with him. If you give more tension on the leash to move forward, probably he will pull back.
But here is the thing. This is not a marathon, and also it’s not a game. You don’t wanna win the leash pulling game.
So, all things you need to do is let him explore a little bit around. Try to see if there is anything that could cause him to feel uncomfortable. It can be a sound or person or whatever else.
Likewise, try to minimize all the obstacles that trigger the anxiety level of your dog.
Suggested Reading: Can you walk your dog on a private road?
#8 Due to hungry
Your dog may start to pull back during walks when they feel hungry. So don’t miss the meals.
In fact, stick with a proper meal plan. Get advice from your vet and follow the instructions.
#9 Due to tiredness, Your dog tends to stop walking and won’t move further.
This is something that we can discuss a little bit deeper. But for now, let’s just try to get an idea.
Understand this, you have to get to know about the energy level of your dog.
Why? Because some dogs require strenuous exercises while others require far less.
So if you go hiking or a long walk today, don’t walk too much tomorrow. Because dogs tend to pull back the leash as they feel tiredness.
How to get your dog for walking and trigger to move further?
Okay, we have discussed 9 reasons that cause this problem. In between, I have mentioned above some solutions for some of those reasons which totally make sense.
But here, we gonna discuss a handful of tricks and tips that actually works. I mean, those are extremely practical, and when you apply them, your dog won’t be refused to walk anymore.
So let’s dive right in.
Here is the list of tricks and tips.
- Common practices
- Gradually switch to road walks.
- Don’t use a leash when washing him.
- Don’t pay attention to him/her in difficult situations.
- Properly socialize your dog.
- Give confidence to your dog
- Use your walks as training opportunities.
Common practices that are helping to keep walking with your dog.
- Be patience. When your dog stops walking and won’t move anymore, sit with your dog. Then talk nicely and gently. Relax him by scratching.
- Sometimes they tend to freeze at really wrong places. Like when you are crossing the road. The most suitable way to do this is to get used to jogging as you cross the road. It’s so practical.
- Try to walk on different routes.
- Take the dog on your left side and closely.
- Train “stay” and “Let’s go” commands. Tell him to stay once they start to pull the leash. Then after a little while, say, “Let’s go” and trigger him to walk. Reward your dog as soon as he does well.
- Use a somewhat long leash and hold on the end of the leash. When your dog stops, just walk straight, not giving any extra attention whatsoever. Then he will be automatically triggered to walk.
- If you feel something bad from your dog, consult a veterinarian, and make sure if everything is okay.
- Go circle around your dog. Then suddenly start to move the way that you want to go.
- Touch his/her back and give a little bit push to forward. Then the dog will begin to walk. Then reward with treats.
- Don’t reward in wrong situations. (Even you wish)
- When your dog stops walking, toss a treat forward. It would help.
- Use lightweight gears.
- When the dog walks right before you, don’t use constant pressure on the leash. It would make them turn back.
- You have to appreciate him with tasty treats every time he works on your commands.
Gradually switch to road walks.
If your dog is horrible with walking on a leash, it’s time to start with the beginning.
Just start to walk around your backyard, then around your house. These all the places are so familiar to your dog.
Next, go for a walk around your neighborhood. Let him feel and enjoy nature.
Hope this would help.
Don’t use a leash when washing him.
This is something like a psychological thing. We all know that many dogs don’t like to bathe.
If you use a leash during washing, it will give your dog terrible memories of the leash.
So this kind of dog is more likely to stops walking during walk sessions and tend to won’t move anymore.
Don’t pay attention to him/her in difficult situations.
Absolutely you can try this out as your dog refuses walking by pulling the leash backward.
Stand beside the dogs as he stops, then look around and stay for a while. Try to use treats. If it doesn’t work, you have something special.
When the dog doesn’t pay attention to you, don’t concentrate on him. If you want, use the phone and be busy with something.
What happens if you concentrate on him? It’s something like you is appreciating what he is doing. In fact, he also tends to think the same thing.
After a while say “Let’s go” and give a little bit of tension on the leash and release it. This will make your dog keep walking.
Properly socialize your dog.
We have discussed this point a little bit before. Unless your dog is properly socialized, he tends to focus his attention on all the distractions that can happen.
It’s very appropriate to start the socialization before your dog turned 16 weeks.
Positive reinforcement is something more impotent as you walking with your dog. Constantly let him feel and explore new things.
As soon as you can try to go for a hike, and visit the neighborhoods. Believe me, these things are so much fun.
Give confidence to your dog.
Some dogs like to see if their free will can be exercised. Sometimes they need to do whatever thing they want. Maybe they don’t want to go in the direction that you are going.
Sometimes the dog park is in the opposite direction in your direction. So, what can we do? The first thing you wanna understand is that dogs respond to confidence.
So, if your dog stops walking and starts to pull back, don’t pull the leash. Instead, say kindly,
“common boy! Let’s go. Common. Why don’t you want to go.”
That may show a lack of confidence in your dog. With this pull the leash a little bit and release, and again pull and release. That pull should be gentle and slow. Eventually, your dog will start to walk.
Use your walks as training opportunities.
So before they stop walking and won’t move and before you leave, the house comes with high-value treats. Then start to ask for simple obedience. Probably you have given him obedience training.
Make eye contact with him and ask to sit or go or come whatever else you will do. The ultimate target is to get him in training mode. Get his focus on you and the task at hand rather than what’s around him.
By the way, here is why some dogs refuse to walk in certain directions.
As a dog owner, you may have horrible experiences while walking. So most people have a common problem, “My dog stops walking and won’t move, what should I do?”
Well, this article is a full definitive guide to solve this problem.