Canine Refusing to Walk
Monty -- Christmas Day 2010
Reader Question: How Can I Get My Dog To Walk?
My 10 year old JRT has become really stubborn on walks and sits himself down and refuses to walk. We have to put the lead back on him and gradually coax him to keep going. He is worse if we walk in the places he is most familiar with- not so bad if we take him somewhere new. He has also started to shake more than usual when we are out.
He can sometimes be a little anxious if one of us has stayed behind and he doesn't like us not all being together- but even if we are all out for the walk- he seems anxious to get home. He may have been scared by some bird scares going off in the woods. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him back to confident walking again? Vet Suggestions for Getting Dog to Walk
First of all, you want to make sure that your dog is not suffering from a physical problem that is making his walks difficult and or painful for him. Your veterinarian can evaluate him for arthritis, heart disease, and other conditions that could be affecting his behavior.
If he gets a clean bill of health and your veterinarian thinks that anxiety might be playing a role, he or she can develop a behavioral modification plan to encourage him to relax on walks and, if necessary, prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Some dogs with anxiety issues respond well to dog appeasing pheromones (DAP). A DAP collar or another natural remedy
might be worth a try.
Jennifer Coates, DVM