Puppy Refuses to Walk: 5 Easy Training Tips to Try

Puppy Refuses to Walk

One of the perks of having a puppy is exploring the world by going on walks. What do you do when your puppy refuses to walk? Read about the possible reasons this happens and 5 training tips to try to get your puppy walking on a leash.

When I first got my puppy I was so excited about the long walks we were going to take around our city. As soon as I put the leash on my puppy and walked out the door, I noticed she refused to walk.

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Black puppy walking on a road.

Our first couple of walks consisted of me carrying her around the neighborhood.

For a while, I was scared this was what our walks were always going to look like; me trying to drag her down the sidewalk or carrying her in my arms.

Puppy refuses to walk on a leash: 6 Possible Causes

Below are a few common reasons why your puppy refuses to walk outside.

 1. Medical reason

Before trying some training techniques, make sure to get your puppy cleared by the vet. Your puppy refusing to walk can be evidence of pain.  

2. Lack of leash training

There is a possibility that your puppy is continuously refusing to walk on a leash because they have not received any training.

This happens when your puppy loves to walk without a leash but stops walking as soon as you put its leash on.

There are multiple ways to train your puppy to walk with a leash. Training a puppy with the basic commands at a young age will help your puppy grow into a well-mannered dog.

Also, make sure that the collar is the best fit for your puppy and that it’s not causing any irritation. Never pull your puppy’s leash; it may get aggressive.

3. Fear

Know that your puppy is susceptible to almost all environmental stimuli such as smell, places, people, and sounds.

You can identify when your puppy is refusing to walk due to fear by witnessing its panicked breathing. Make sure to socialize your puppy so it will enjoy going out for walks with you. 

Dog training schools can also help your puppy to get good manners and habits.

4. Not socialized

Why your dog gets scared of everything is because of the lack of socialization. It is due to the lack of exposure to new people, sounds, and as well as to animals in the environment.

While the puppy is young and after it has received all of its vaccinations, you should try to introduce your puppy to new people. 

You should bring your puppy outside more than usual to develop environmental socialization in your puppy.

5. Predispositions

Maybe you are interpreting this wrong, and your puppy is not scared but shy. When your puppy is young it may feel shy exploring the area while on walks. 

6. Traumas

Your puppy may have experienced traumatic experiences with the outdoors already and this is causing them to be afraid of everything. 

Most dogs live their complete life with one bad experience that creates a lifelong fear in their mind.

For example, your puppy might have heard fireworks and felt scared of the noise, and then they expect to hear the noise every time they go for a walk.

Puppy Refuses to Walk with a little boy.

Dog refuses to walk: 5 Training tips to try

1. How do I encourage my puppy to walk?

First, introduce your puppy to their collar (if they don’t wear one), and a harness if you are using one. 

To help your puppy get used to its collar, harness, and leash, you should allow it to wear them in the house for short periods.

After some time, you will notice that your puppy will never go out without a collar because of the proper training.

2. Use of command

After introducing the collar, harness, and leash, the next step is to teach the basic commands to your puppy.

Make sure to have your puppy’s favorite treats in your hand when you are teaching about the orders. Make sure to use the treats wisely to grab all of the attention of your puppy.

3. Let your puppy come to you.

While you are training your puppy to walk on a leash, it should be following you or coming to you.

Continue to practice this until your puppy understands to walk behind you during the walk.

4. Practice inside the house

When you are confident enough that your puppy is now aware of the commands and coming to you, the next step is to practice walking inside the house or room.

Inside dog training is recommended due to the fewer chances of distractions. Your puppy’s only challenge is getting used to its leash and collar.

Keep serving your dog its favorite treats along with appreciation so that it will learn the behavior quickly.

5. Practice walking your puppy outside

Again when you are confident enough that your puppy is learning the commands along with walking on a leash, it’s time to bring it out of the house.

Practicing the overall process outside the house in the presence of distractions will make it clear whether your puppy knows everything or not.

Keep in mind that your puppy will behave opposite to the inside training because of the smells and sounds outside.

Try to be patient and keep the very first walk short so that your puppy will not get tired of it. Rewarding your puppy at some specific times when it is behaving well during walks is an excellent approach.

Know about the right reasons why your puppy is pulling back the leash and not walking correctly. If your puppy starts barking during walks, it can be due to the lack of exercise. In the case of having a toy breed, keep in mind that they may get tired early compared to the other dogs.

I hope this article helps you to figure out why your puppy doesn’t want to walk.

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