Why do dogs like to go for a walk?
Your dog no longer wants to go for a walk - what can you do?
The fact that a dog does not want to go for a walk happens more often than many dog owners think. These can be dogs that just don't want to go outside in certain situations, such as when it's raining or when it's dark. But it can also be a puppy that does not want to go for a walk from the start or an adult dog that suddenly no longer wants to go for a walk. There are various reasons and solutions for this. We explain why your dog may no longer want to go outside and what you can do about it.
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Your dog does not want to go for a walk in certain situations
Depending on the weather conditions, there are dogs that do not like to go outside in heat or cold and wet. Or dogs that avoid the dark. But why is that and what can you do?
Many dogs struggle with warm temperatures because dogs do not sweat, but rather cool off by panting. Therefore, it is more of a protective mechanism if your dog does not feel like going for a long walk in warm temperatures. You should therefore take your dog for several short walks when it is hot or take the walks in the early morning or late evening when the temperatures have dropped. In addition, breaks can be taken and it is advisable to pack water for the dog.
Cold and wet
The cold and wet seasons are no problem for most dogs, as their fur and the necessary exercise keep them warm. Dogs with a thick coat and a thick undercoat especially enjoy a walk in cold weather. However, old or sick dogs that cannot move well, such as dogs with thin fur, in which the rain is not caught by the undercoat but comes into direct contact with the skin, do not tolerate wet and cold walks as well. Even dogs with short legs, in which the stomach quickly comes into contact with moisture, often freeze. With all these problems, it usually helps if you put a warming and water-repellent coat on your furry friend for a walk.
In the evening and at night
Furthermore, there are dogs that do not want to go for a walk in the morning or in the evening when it is dark. This can be due to the fact that the dog also sees poorer in the dark and therefore cannot assess situations as well as during the day in light, this intimidates him. There are several ways to offer your dog more safety when walking in the dark. On the one hand, you can take a flashlight with you for a walk to compensate for the weakness of the eyes and to light the way for both of you. On the other hand, it is advisable to leave the dog on a leash in the dark, as the leash and the resulting connection to you offers him a feeling of security.
Another tip from us: Even if it is well meant, do not speak well to your dog in fearful situations. Dogs see this as encouragement and thus reinforcement of their fears. Ignore your dog's fearful behavior and radiate courage and strength yourself. So your dog feels safe and knows that you have everything under control.
Your puppy doesn't want to leave home
Quite often, puppies will not want to go out and appear to have no interest in walking.
The reason for this is the puppy's instinct. In the wild, puppies stay in the litter box with an adult dog for the first three to four months. Before that, they do not leave their safe environment. Our house dog still has this basic instinct. The puppy knows that it is safe at home and therefore sees no reason to leave home and put itself in "danger".
In order not to endanger the socialization of your dog, you should not give in to this instinct and stay at home with the puppy. Instead, carry your little four-legged friend a few hundred meters away from home for the first few weeks and then put them down again. Many puppies lose their temper and then like to go for a walk.
However, if your puppy wants to run home after weaning, just stop and ignore this behavior - he cannot run away from you on a leash. Have patience at some point he will come up to you and take steps in the right direction. You reward this behavior with kind words and, if you want, with treats.
Your adult dog suddenly no longer wants to go for a walk
Even with adult dogs who used to like to go for a walk, it can happen that they no longer want to go outside.
First and foremost, you should have your dog examined by the vet, in old age the dog can develop symptoms that hurt when walking. For example with hip dysplasia (HD).
Another possibility why your dog suddenly doesn't want to go outside the door could be a key experience. So if your dog has had bad experiences while walking - these are not always recognizable to humans - then it needs to build new trust in the surroundings outside of home.
We advise you to prove your dog's strength against them. Do not let the dog feel that you are worried that he will not go out with you again, because he will notice your insecurity and take it up. Go out the door with your dog self-confidently and firmly, your dog will stop, take him WITHOUT VIOLENCE but with full determination. The dog must feel that there is no reason not to go any further and that there is no danger outside. In order to be able to lead your dog in the best possible way, we recommend that you put on your dog a harness so that you can control the dog better.
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