Help! My Cockapoo Refuses To walk

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

There might be different reasons as to why your dog won’t walk and I will cover those later on.

Luna always liked going for a walk. I get the lead out, shes 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 as I don’t want to force her to walk. She was clearly happy and wanted to walk but now won’t move.

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

So, how did I get her confidence up?

The first few times, I decided that I wasn’t going to just 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, 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 own.

Off they went.

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

I was happy to know it wasn’t something that I had done, or was 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, lets try it.

I put my shoes on and we both went out Luna and she walked as normal. 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.

Next….

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 really worked.

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

And now?

She still has the odd walk where shes 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 to go.

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?

Cockapoo’s can be quite 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 or noticed, so don’t blame yourself.

Your dog was spooked by a loud noise

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 its causing them a lot of pain. Maybe the thought of a walk and it hurting is making them not want to walk. Maybe its worth quick trip to the vets to have them checked out? 

Maybe Your Dog Just Doesn’t Like Walks

Luna loves a walk, but some days I can just tell she can’t be bothered. 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 regular once you get moving. You might find its 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 both 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 was turn the way she wanted to go, then once we get 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), then all of a sudden your dog might refuse to walk if there’s only one of you.

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