Help! My Cockapoo Refuses To walk

I will write about this from my personal experience as to why my Cockapoo wouldn’t walk at times and what I did to fix it.

There might be different reasons your dog won’t walk, and I will cover those later.

Luna always liked going for a walk. I get the lead out; she’s running around all excited, but then, as soon as we got on the drive, she would freeze! She would drag her legs and refuse to walk.

It’s awkward. What do you do? I can’t drag her as that’s cruel. I don’t want to force her to walk. She was happy and wanted to walk but now won’t move.

Some Tips On Getting Your Cockapoo To Walk

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Then, I remembered that the last time we walked and got back in front of our driveway, a car came past with a thunderous engine. Like, really loud. It shifted gears, making the engine pop VERY loud, almost like a firework. The guys an idiot and drives past each day, it’s scared Luna a few times, but this time it spooked her. I have no idea if this was the reason, but I believe it was, as she was pretty shaken up by it.

So, How Did I Get My Dogs Confidence Up?

The first few times, I decided I wasn’t going to walk out of the front door onto the road but to get onto the drive and into the car. She loves the car, so as soon as she realised we were going in the car, she happily walked down the drive and jumped in!

I drove 5 minutes down the road to a new area we hadn’t walked down before and walked there.

We did this for a few days, and then I decided to try and get her to walk directly off the road again and down the road. She wouldn’t budge. Her tail was between her legs.

My wife said, let me try on my own.

Off they went.

They got just past the end of the drive, and then I saw my wife turning around as Luna refused to walk.

I was happy to know it wasn’t something I had done or related to me.

The New Plan

My wife came in and said what about if we both take her out and see if she does it. I said, sure, let’s try it.

I put my shoes on, we both went out Luna, and I walked as usual. She didn’t drag her feet and wasn’t scared. She seemed a lot more confident that we were both there.

It was quite cute that she felt safe with us both there, but not something we wanted to happen on every walk as my wife works a day job and I work at home.


We did a few walks, just the two of us.

That seemed to build her confidence up.

Then the next time I went out on my own, I took a few of her favourite treats. We had tried this before, but it hadn’t worked.

However, it worked this time on my own and with treats.

And now?

She still has the odd walk where she’s stubborn and won’t walk a certain way. I put this down to something spooking her last time we went that way or that area.

I always try and carry a few high-value treats with me. If she refuses to walk, I put it right up to her nose and let her have a sniff. This usually sparks her interest and makes her walk the way I want.

She doesn’t always get a bit of the treat as I don’t want her thinking, “If I refuse to walk, I might get a treat”. I will then reward her a few minutes later on the walk with some praise and a bit of the treat.

So why might your dog refuse to walk?

Cockapoos can be pretty nervous dogs. I put it down to something spooking them last time you were on the walk. It might not even be something you were aware of or noticed, so don’t blame yourself.

A loud noise spooked your dog

For my dog, I am sure it was the car with the backfiring exhaust. It was so loud, and Luna is petrified of fireworks. Thankfully, he no longer owns that car.

They Have an Issue They Can’t Tell You About

Dogs can’t tell us their problems. They might have a sore leg that, to us, doesn’t look bad, but to them, it’s causing them a lot of pain. Maybe the thought of a walk and its hurting is making them not want to walk. Maybe it’s worth a quick trip to the vet to have them checked out.

Maybe Your Dog Just Doesn’t Like Walks

Luna loves a walk, but I can tell she can’t be bothered some days. I feel like if she could speak, she would happily say, “I’m ok on the sofa today, thanks; just leave me alone”. It reminds me of this advert by Tetley, where the cat laughs at the dog as he will have to walk in the rain.

Try the following things

My Top Tip – High-Value Treats.

Chicken, sausages, or their favourite chews. Something that can be easily cut into small chunks.

Try dropping them just a few feet in front of them to get them moving. Do it regularly at first, then less regularly once you get moving. You might find it’s all they need to get their confidence back and them walking again.

Bring Another Dog?

Do you have a friend who can come to your house with their dog? Then you can leave the house together, and hopefully, your dog will realise that the other dog is not scared and follow along.

Turn a different way off your driveway

Do this the first few times. What I did sometimes turn the way she wanted to go, then once we got moving, cross over the road and loop back the way I wanted to go.

Take your partner or a family member with you

I think a walk should be mixed up. Don’t always take the same people or the same routes. If you always walk the 2 of you (and have done for years), suddenly, your dog might refuse to walk if only one of you are there.

I hope the tips above have helped. If you have other tips you want to share with other dog walks experiencing similar problems, then please leave a comment below to help them out.