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Won't walk, any ideas?
  • We adopted Reagan a few weeks ago, he's 1 years old and so far he has been amazing. He's similar to some Shibas and then in other ways entirely different. We have just one weird issue with him and we're not sure how to work on it with him.

    When we go for our walks, sometimes he just stops and there is nothing in the world you can do to get him moving again. If you start to coax him a bit, he'll just plop his butt down and stare off into the distance. I see often on the forums about Shibas running off, thats not his style and never even tried to go anywhere without us, he just won't move!

    I feel like if he had more interest in treats I could get him going using them, but he iffy on most snacks.
  • tkfushtkfush
    Posts: 131
    My dog will do this too sometimes but it's usually because something has her attention- another dog in the distance, a rabbit, a cotton fuzzy blowing. Usually, I just let her sit and stare for about 30 seconds then if I either call her, tell her 'leave it' or lightly tug the leash, it snaps her back-but ONLY if I let her stare. If I try to do it right when she stops, she will become more stubborn! Is there what is the situation when Reagan stops? Is he sniffing the ground or is there a bark in the distance,maybe? There isn't a walk that goes by when we don't have to stop and investigate something!
  • If your dog doesn't like treats, try toys instead.

    And honestly, if Zim did that, I'd pick him up and keep going (after letting him stay for a bit and then giving him the command to come along). It's what I do when he refuses to stop pulling. Nothing negative about it (he's fine with being picked up) but just not letting him do what he wants if he won't listen.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    I had this problem when Ryu was a puppy and we first started walking him. I would give him a tug on the leash and call him but if that didn't work I would pick him up and carry him for a few steps and then put him down as I was mid stride and kinda give him a running start. After doing this for a week or so and trying to call/tug as soon as he got distracted by something he didn't do it anymore.
  • jjlcjjlc
    Posts: 66
    It's probably my standard answer for most anything, but I'd invest (time and/or classes) in training. It will allow you to test treat response and find things that really motivate him and also help you to bond with him through various behavior/play games. If you've only had him a few weeks, you're probably little more than a human entertainment/snack machine to him. Miko was the same way the first month or so we had her and would often do exactly what you've described, just sit and refuse to go, but she had no motivation to want to keep walking with us as we weren't really her "pack" at that point.

    What's his feeding schedule? do you crate him? What sort of play time do you give him?
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    You mean your dog does this?


    This is normal. Find a motivation, treats, tennis ball, squeaky toy, and bring it along and reveal it every once in a while to get him motivated to go outside.

    And there are sometimes where your dog may just want to stay outside and sun themselves. I will usually let them soak it in for a few seconds, and pretend to try to pick them up so they'll get up and scoot along.


  • @CrimsonO2 Haha, that pic is hilarious! Soooo true!!
  • jjlcjjlc
    Posts: 66
    lol that is great.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @CrimsonO2, i laugh at that picture everytime. Fortunately Bootz and Jackie don't do that. HOWEVER, i've seen Jackie do that when my mom tried to walk her. Glad to know she won't leave the house with "strangers" - to her thats anybody but my boyfriend and I.
  • I think I need to find something that motivates him more than what we've been using, and we have tried everything he's owned so far.

    We're figuring out his feeding schedule now, he's just started to regain his appetite from having kennel cough so right now its lunch and dinner.

    We don't crate him, we found out the previous owner didn't. I did buy one, so its there for his use, but he's never had an accident, chewed anything and sleeps in his own bed at night no problem - we wake him up in the morning. He literally is a pretty perfect dog. We've left him in the house for a couple hours/half the day and when we come home, he was just sleeping on the couch by the door, nothing disturbed.

    He does listen to me though, he will come when called if he thinks I'm serious ha. His trainer is coming by next week to start a followup of all his classes with us. I feel like we have a very solid relationship with him, its just the walks that are doing us in, but I know we'll figure it out. I'm mostly looking for ideas to try in the meantime before the trainer comes.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    You can try different types of treats, stuff like hot dogs and cheese can get a dogs attention more than regular dog treats. A lot of time a treat that has a stronger odor holds their attention better.
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    Koyuki does this as well and it gets kind of embarrassing when i try to get her to keep walking and she just looks at me like theres no way. I pick her up and walk a few paces then try again. Although every time she does it, after a min or two of carrying her i will start to hear loud music coming from someones house so she is stopping for a reason atleast, but this is still behaviour im working on rectifying. I always carry her favourite treats with me (kangaroo meat sticks or cheese) and when shes stuck on her backside she has no interest at all. I tend to acknowledge what she stopped for and let her know that its ok and that shes a good girl for letting me know that something is off and she will happily prance along,but i dont praise her until she starts walking again. Takeo will do this very occasionally if a black 4X4 or other large car drives past, he stops and eyes it off to make sure its gone. Besides the usual sniffing and investigating, my guys have developed some great on leash behaviours through consistency on my behalf so they know that they are safe and that they are always doing a great job!
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • re_bekahre_bekah
    Posts: 27
    i second @Ryudragon -- my dogs will do anything for cheese, so that is a good starting point.

    kuma would also refuse to walk when she was little-- she would just park her butt down and refuse to move. i ended up having to pick her up, move her 10 feet, try to make her walk, pick her up, move her 10 feet, try to make her walk... she drove me bananas during that stage. we must have tried 5 different collars/harnesses/leashes trying to make something work. (in the end i think that did more harm than good.)

    she is still the only dog i've ever met who hides when it's walk time, but she's getting better at the actual walking part of it. LOTS of treats, LOTS of praise, LOTS more patience.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    Its all about consistency, my fiance and I just kept at it and it worked after a week or two of ding this on his daily walks.
  • phipsphips
    Posts: 106
    Just took Sunny for a walk. I tried to give him a good 40 minute walk but he wouldn't have it. We went fine for a block or two and he stopped for a good 5 mins. then we maybe got 5 more feet and he stopped. he wasn't even investigating or smelling, he just stopped. a few times he was checking people out but other times he was just starting. oddly enough, he stopped at every apartment building's gated parking entrance, of which there is one every 30 feet since i live in student housing suburbia. very annoying. i tried going the opposite direction and tried giving him treats. neither worked. the treats didn't even interest him after he gobbled them up yesterday. i have toys but he doesn't seem interested in those.

    it got really annoying when he stopped in a parking garage entrance and refused to move and cars needed to enter/exit. i had to pick his portly self up. same thing happened in the middle of the street as we were crossing. very stubborn.

    he was fine earlier today and last night but this evening he was such a pain.

    i guess i need string cheese.
    Sunny: 6/Male/Red Sesame
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I think it's just the transition now. It could be a combination of everything, him not being used to leash walks and being unfit, unsure about you and the neighbourhood.
    Like you said yourself, try better treats, you can cut them in supertiny bits if you worry about the weight. For training Juni gets meatballs, sausage, grilled chicken, burgers etc etc but in very small sizes. Is there somewhere fun you can go with him, like a park or something so he has a goal for the walking to focus on? Or perhaps it is enough for him to go just a block and then go home right now?
    After a few days you might find some toy or game he likes that you can lure him with. Lots of praise when he does what you want.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814

    Phips writes: "he stopped in a parking garage entrance and refused to move and cars needed to enter/exit. i had to pick his portly self up. same thing happened in the middle of the street as we were crossing. very stubborn. the treats didn't even interest him"

    --Some good advice about taking it in short spurts....
    The world can be a scary abstract place for many dogs when in an unfamiliar environment. I would say in this case if your dog stops taking treats, then what you asking him to do is beyond its emotional threshold and fear has overtaken logic. He isn't being stubborn he is genuinely upset or scared. You are asking a lot of your newly adopted dog to take on so many things at once so I would cut him a little slack.

    Literally the more you pull or try the cajole the more he will try to back up or freeze. Therefore it is important to take him to an area that is less overwhelming right now in terms of exposure to people and things all at once...certainly in shorter durations.

    From what you describe it seems he is afraid of traffic and all the commotion. It may very well be this dog did not get walked much and certainly not in a busy city type environment.

    Take it in baby steps and let him get acclimated to all the new things gradually, again, by walking him in less traffic dense areas for awhile if possible. Is there a place to sit down and just let him watch all the action, park or fun area off beaten path? Try hanging out instead. An outdoor cafe, Starbucks type place where you both can relax may be helpful so he can take it all in . You can reward him when he able to unwind a bit while you are just sitting. The ability to take treats will tell you the scale he is on . Don't expect too much, too soon. It will take time and some planning of locations and being on the look out for his stressed behavior before he parks his butt in the road and it becomes really important to get out fast.

    You may also want to think about teaching some targeting so you have a way to re-direct him so he is more comfortable and looking to you for direction. I would think about a low level training class for him as a refresher. Sometimes training classes have a socialization component to their sessions too, where group outing are part of the training and acclimation process.

    Here are some resources that can give a better idea what his signals might be when he is getting in over his head so you can change plans or situation as needed before it is an emergency.

    2) Book by Brenda Aloff. Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide (2005).
    3 DVD: The Language of Dogs

    Good for you for getting him out. Keep us posted : )
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2012-08-31 11:21:07
  • phipsphips
    Posts: 106
    yeah, @Juni and @snf, i agree. i figured he was startled by or interested in the traffic and people walking around..since theres a lot of 'em in my area. this morning i tried bringing his squeaky Kong Wubba to see if the squeaking noise would get him to come along..didnt work. I swapped the Zukes minis for Wellness Lamb & Salmon and tore them into smaller pieces. he ate these instantly.

    he still stopped at a few garages and apartment buildings entrances so i just let him smell them out and look around and it was still a bit tasking to get him to leave the area but a few times he did it on his own after he realized there was nowhere to go. then, after he walked for a good little bit i'd give him a small piece of the treat, as if to reward him for walking and not stopping. other times when he stopped he would gladly go the opposite direction. so, i ended up just going up and down this one block 4 or 5 times..but thats fine if he gets exercise.

    there is a park down the street where we went on Wednesday and he did fine but the challenge is getting there, passed all the garages and cars and people. same with the Coffee Bean down the street. Im down to take him there, its just getting him there that is the issue.

    @snf, yeah. next week I'm going to look into some obedience classes for sure...

    i know it is a new environment that is probably scary for him and he needs to acclimate.

    oh, and @juni, his owner that dropped him off at the shelter said that he is leash

    Sunny: 6/Male/Red Sesame
    Post edited by phips at 2012-08-31 19:42:24
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    May not apply to this situation, but Koji does this when it's hot out...If I take him early in morning or evening he's more spunky, active and curious...

    If it's mid day, he's lazy, or hot, he's like "meh" I don't need to go walking...I figure in Hawaii where it's very warm and his thick double coat, my responsibility to get out earlier...

    He also will NOT take step if there is poop on his bottom...I now always carry wipe/napkin...which i rarely need, but if don't have them, of course he gets upset about his butt...must be perfect and pristine...

    This is trivial of course and you have some great advice above...

  • konpeitokonpeito
    Posts: 281
    Apollo has suddenly stopped enjoying walks. I used to be able to get him all excited just by going "Walkies!" and he'd run to the door whining to go outside. These past few days though, we walk around the corner (our house is a corner home) and past our neighbor's yard and he plants his butt on the ground and won't move. I honestly don't know what's causing it because it seems so out of nowhere. No loud noises that might scare him or people walking around. It's the same route he's very familiar with. I was going to try to walk him the other way next time, but because of his sudden anxiety he hasn't been getting enough exercise and has been a little troublemaker when left alone in the house.
    Apollo the Shiba Blog - red male - d.o.b. 10/30/11
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @konpeito - Try switching up the route. Maybe he is bored.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    Bump-I have shared on another thread that Quake has been having separation anxiety issues, generalized anxiety, and some mild thunderstorm anxiety, and lash reactivity towards other dogs. He is now on a treatment plan that is being supervised by his new Vet and a highly recommended trainer is starting training with both Quake and me this coming Saturday.

    Recently, Quake has started to refuse to walk. We take three long walks each day. It does not happen on every walk but he sometimes just dug his paws in and refuse to move. This morning we were down in the basement close to the door we use to leave the building and he stopped about five fee short of the door and stood there. I tried saying "let's walk Quake", tried enticing him with treats, etc. Then I picked him up, pushed open the door and we were outside. I put him down on the ground and we went off walking. We took a different path just in case he was bored with other paths. About ten minutes into the walk he did the same thing and I waited for a few minutes and he would not budge. I picked him up and this time he growled! But when I put him down he did continue to walk and I praised him for walking. The pulled the same no walking antic two days ago on Monday night. Last night he started to do it and we were close to the door to another part of the building and he walked toward that door and I took him in the building and then brought out another exit of our condo building and he was fine.

    I will take some string cheese cut in little pieces for our walk this afternoon in case he starts with the same antics. I am wondering if he is reacting to the heat because he pulled the same no walk antics last summer but only about two times and I just lightly pulled on the leash and we were off.

    I will ask the trainer on for some ideas when we meet on Saturday.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @Antoinette - It has been super hot and humid in the DC area this week, so my guess is that he is probably reacting to the heat/humidity. I know that my girls have not been excited about walks lately because of the weather.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @sunyata-Yesterday I waited until he was fairly calm after I got home. I think if he's already in an elevated mood he tends to hate the heat more; possibly because he's already anxious Then I took him for a walk and I took tiny pieces of his favorite cheese that I enticed him with by waving him in front of him to get him to walk. Then I said "good boy-walking" and "let's walk" and when he did "good boy". Also, I took him out at the back of our building where it is quiet. Even though he wanted to go in the direction of Connecticut Ave. I lead him toward the quiet space instead where he does better. Thanks for letting me share. I am looking forward to working with the trainer, Beth Mullen on Saturday.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    If it is hot outside Juni will only be interested in walking if we are somewhere exciting, like some forest trail. She can be extremely stubborn otherwise too and refuse to walk. She thinks all walks should start by passing her boyfriend the Leonberger's house so if they don't she just sits down. We are not proud of it but we regularly have to carry her if we're in a hurry to catch the bus and she on the other hand looks very proud of herself then...
    But other reasons she has for refusing to walk are 1. She is bored. And then we play for awhile, with a stick or whatever I find or I let her do trick for treats or I just throw a treat in front of us and let her run and search. After a while she snaps out of the bored phase and we walk on.
    2. She has a much better idea of where we should walk. And she is usually right... She has come up with some great walks around our neighbourhood that I would never have thought of. So I let her decide sometimes, it makes her happy.
    Post edited by Juni at 2015-07-30 13:09:58
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @Juni-thanks for your ideas. My Quake sometimes behaves like a toddler and other times like a rebellious teenager!!! I love him just the same. He keeps me on my toes!!!
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    The "throw a treat in front of us" always works and makes her very attentive but I also have a less nice trick I use when she stops to graze grass forever, I bring a brush or even worse, the furminator... That gets her going ;-)
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @Juni-thanks for the suggestion. I used the "throw a treat" and "throw a stick" and it did work a few times. Unfortunately his issue is anxiety and not boredom, a condition for which I am having him treated.
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 142
    I use a lot of verbal commands with Rooney on walks. The other dog owners and pedestrians probably think I'm nuts. Hahaha :)) Still, I've found that really helps him stay on task.

    One other thing I would say is that Rooney walks way worse when I'm frustrated or don't plan enough time for his walks and want to rush him. So if I need to go faster I try to relax. Once I've calmed down, he walks so much better. I don't want to say you have a problem with this, but since you're saying Quake is already kind of anxious, he may be picking up on any annoyance you are feeling toward this behavior of his and that could actually be making it worse.

    Other threads I've commented in that have walk advice: "Walking My Shiba is Impossible" and "Walk Talk: Dealing with Walk Issues"
    Allison, Rooney's Mom
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @Rooney-You are so right about what you said.

    So if I need to go faster I try to relax. Once I've calmed down, he walks so much better. I don't want to say you have a problem with this, but since you're saying Quake is already kind of anxious, he may be picking up on any annoyance you are feeling toward this behavior of his and that could actually be making it worse.

    I am waking up 30 minutes earlier so as not to feel tense when he decides not to walk and we can take one hour or even one hour and one half in the morning without my getting to work late. I am also using clicker, treats, and commands to get him to walk and even singing to him as we walk!!! Now the whole neighborhood is familiar with my yodeling but he loves it and it motivates him to walk!!! LOL!

    I am also starting the night walk before we go to bed earlier so as not to feel frustrated. I will read the threads that you suggested. Also, we will be meeting with the trainer/behaviorist this Saturday for another session and I will ask her for suggestions.

  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Sounds like you are making good progress! Keep us updated on what the trainer recommended.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • ehu_guyehu_guy
    Posts: 23
    @Antoinette Do you have any updates to share on progress you've made, or what you've found most motivating?

    I used to be fine with walking Ehu, and now that he's almost 2, he's starting to be more and more fearful of his same familiar surroundings. We're going to really start working with a professional on his dog-dog reactivity which is also starting to increase, but when I turn him away and he gains more distance, he calms down (but still keeps checking back to see how close the dog still is)

    We went through a stage maybe 8 months ago where he would completely sit and freeze. Nothing I could do would motivate him to continue on. For a while we really got past that and he was walking fine. Now he doesn't quite do that anymore, but really puts on the "breaks" with all his effort when he feels like just standing around and looking about, or really wants to go and smell something. His favorite toy of all time barely breaks his focus on the environment when he chooses to stop walking and just look all around.

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