Why Does My Dog Stop While Walking?

Many a time, you might have gone out for a wonderful walk with your furry best friend. Just like every other time. Only this time, they stop in the middle of the walk. For no apparent reason.

You might be searching this exact question as it is happening to you in real time.

Be patient. Keep on reading to find out more as to why your dog might have stopped during your leisurely every day walk.

Why Dogs Stop When Walking

If it is a relatively young dog or pup that you have on your leash there, it could be a very natural thing for them to want to stay close to home. They will, with time, and training, learn to be more independent and wander farther than they are comfortable with right now.

Be patient with them and train them well when that time inevitably comes.

We know that dogs sense the world by their olfactory senses in a marvellous way, they might have stopped just to smell that particular area, where something interesting, or, scary might have gone down. Consequently, they might be curious, or anxious and stressed, respectively.

They can also end up being overly stimulated on a walk and might have a tough time focusing. You may try to get their attention by training and rewarding good behaviour along the way. Keep reading to see some techniques you can employ to do just that.

Why Dogs Stop When Walking

To train your dog to walk well down the street, trainers recommend using a reward system to help him associate positivity with certain behaviours, which can motivate him to continue acting that way. To do this for walking, start by offering a reward, like his favourite treat, anytime he walks with ease and doesn’t stop along the way.

If your dog has stopped during his walk, allow for some slack in his leash and take a few steps backward, which should encourage him to come toward you. Once he makes his way over, reward him, and repeat the sequence several times to help him learn and get into the habit of being rewarded for walking.

No matter how energetic your dog almost always seems to be, they, of course, have their limits, too. Especially if they are an older dog. Be mindful of the type of exercise and the type of day your dog has had so far, they are prone to getting tired, too.

Add to that a stressful experience, and who can blame them for stopping in the middle of nowhere. I know there have been times where I have wanted to just shut down and not move due to anxiety…

Always keep snacks, water, and treats handy when going for a walk.

Brachycephalic breeds, such as the flat faced pugs, bulldogs, among others, are less interested in walking as it is. This can be largely due to breathing issues because of their nasal passageways, which can make it harder to take in enough air when breathing.

When going out with your older dog, try to keep their breaks in mind. So, if you are walking with your dog to a nearby cafe to meet a friend, let’s say. Account for the breaks in the middle. If they exhibit any signs of anxiety or breathlessness, do be patient with them.

Tiredness is certainly not going to be the only physical issue that your pooch might be encountering during your walks. Sore hips, muscle pains, back issues, might also need to be checked up on by your vet.

Weather affects us all. If your dog’s body temperature is running high, or running low, they might be uncomfortable to the point of not being able to continue the walk. Or, they might even have gotten an injured nail or paw during the walk.

Growing pains are an actual thing for dogs too, especially if they are a large and rapidly growing dog breed.

What Can I Do To Help My Dog When He Stops Walking?

What Can I Do To Help My Dog When He Stops Walking?

Be patient. Cannot emphasize this one nearly enough. Be calm and patient while she works things out. Look for signs of any obvious injury.

Dogs love change, humans love change, we all love change. (For the most part). Keep changing your walking routine and surprise yourself and the dog with new scents and sights.

Lure them with treats while holding the leash, once they get walking, let them have the treat, NOT before, no matter how tempting those puppy eyes are.

Dogs love our attention. So, when they are doing something YOU don’t want them to, do something THEY don’t want you to do. Pretend to be on the phone, sit down someplace and start reading a book if you’ve got one. It takes the edge off of them. When they start to walk, give them their favourite treat.

In the way of training, you can go to the end of the leash, kneel, face your dog, try to get them to come to you. Either by treats or toys, whatever they like more. It tends to work because they are not used to seeing us kneel in front of them. That lovely treat or toy you are holding, is just a small way away.

It could become a fun little game or exercise, as when they come to you, you move back the length of the leash, and repeat. When the desired effect has reached, kneel sideways and then alongside them, starting to walk and serve out rewards for a job well done. Repeat the game if necessary.

Don’t pull or tug with a lot of pressure, this will almost certainly have the exact opposite effect of what we want.

Have plenty of time on hand, do not rush them if they are anxious or scared or tired. Walks need to be enjoyable and not stressful, for any reason.
Speak with your vet if the freezing in place is a common issue and you are unable to fix it or figure out the trigger.