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Discussion Starter #1
Last Monday my puppy finished his distemper series and the vet said it was fine to take him out on leash walks. I've been talking him around the neighborhood before work every morning (15-20 min) and we've been going to the park after work for a little bit to walk around ever since, and he's loved it. He's been walking with a loose leash and checking out people and dogs and having a good time. Yesterday morning all of a sudden he decided he's done with walking. We went on our usual route and he wouldn't walk. My husband tried at lunch, no walking. I took him to the park after work (literally kicking and screaming, because apparently now he also hates his crate for the car) and he walked a little but had to be coaxed the entire time. I thought maybe he was just tired because he spent a lot of time out playing all weekend, but this morning he still refuses to walk. The only time he will is when we're heading back home, at which point he pulls on the leash like crazy so we stop every two feet to wait for him to stop pulling, take another two steps and repeat, so it takes forever to get back home. As soon as we re-enter the front yard he's happy as a clam, poking around, tail wagging. Nothing upsetting happened while we were out this weekend as far as I could tell. He was happily trotting along on his walks, no problem. When he doesn't go on his walks he has way too much energy and is harder to manage in the house, but I can't drag a dog down the street twice a day. What the heck is going on with him and how do I help him walk again?
 

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Dogs go through various fear stages. Do you have a friend with a dog you can walk with? Treats to lure with? Toy to distract with?

Can you drive somewhere and then walk so he won't be lured home? Otherwise just wait him out.
 

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Dogs go through various fear stages. Do you have a friend with a dog you can walk with? Treats to lure with? Toy to distract with?

Can you drive somewhere and then walk so he won't be lured home? Otherwise just wait him out.
My friends with dogs suck! I've literally asked about 10 friends with dogs if we can have a play date, and they've all made excuses why they can't, or just ignored my requests. He did actually walk best at the park yesterday following a shih tzu whose owner was chatting with me and didn't seem to mind us tagging along (people at the park here are generally weird about their dogs too... I think I'm doing something wrong...). Treats he doesn't care about when we're walking, and toys don't seem to motivate him. I told my husband not to try and walk him at lunch, and we'll try together after work since he seems to be a better walker with two people with him.

By wait him out do you mean to stop trying or keep trying?
 

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My puppies didn't like walking for a while. We decided to only try sporadically, and play at home more. We also did more training for mental stimulation. Now, at 8 months, they never want to miss a walk.
 

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I had the same problem in winter - I just coaxed him along with whatever I could and kept going often pulling on the leash - he quickly got the hint that where I go he goes. When he started to follow I would treat and praise.

A friend who has many dogs told me to watch him, when he starts going in a direction you are not, suddenly change direction, a slight jerk on the leash to get him to follow and use a command like "come" or "follow". It will teach him to come on command and pay attention to where you are going. I'm new to this too and it sounds like we all have the same issues so I hope this helps a little!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He just sits. It isn't that he's walking off or wandering or interested in anything else. He sits and plants himself in the ground and won't move for anything!! It literally would take me dragging him to get him to go anywhere and I don't really want to drag him! He did have a great day at the park though. My friend was with me and it helped to have a second body move ahead and call to him when he got pokey.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I took him to the park alone again today, because it was sunny out (it's been raining), and in order to have a sane night at home, he NEEDS to get some exercise. He walked for a little while, but had his ears back and tail droopy the entire time like he was scared the entire walk. A few weeks ago he LOVED the park. Am I torturing him by doing this or should I keep trying to get him to go on walks? I don't want him to end up terrified because I pushed him too hard, but I feel like he needs to get used to the park and walks and things because he needs the exercise and he's so much more pleasant at home when he's been out walking. We also do backyard play, but he does more "exploring" than running around in the yard. He'll chase a ball or frisbee for a few minutes, then he just likes to poke around and chew on things.
 

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BY "wait him out" be persistent and keep doing it. He'll work though it, unless you see a specific thing that frightens him. MY pup used to be scared of the sewer (I imagine the smells and sounds were unusual). I kept walking him, but didn't force him near the sewer... he could walk around it... Then, after a few weeks, he got curious... and I was scared he was going to jump in to go explore :)

So, keep walking him, he does need it... and in a few weeks, he'll look forward to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. Some things I was reading were like "NEVER WALK A SCARED DOG!! You'll traumatize him and he'll become aggressive!" and the ilk... I can't figure anything in particular that spooked him, though we were both creeped out by one guy at the park yesterday! Suddenly made me wish I had a big, intimidating dog. :p
 
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