Refusing to move forward on walks.

My new rescue dog loves going for walks.. after the first 2 blocks are behind her!

The second she leaves the house she is raring to go--until we reach the front of the house. She usually poops immediately (convenient!) but then refuses to move forward. If I don't try various methods to encourage her to move, she will lay down in the grass and belly crawl while whining piteously to go home.

Things I have tried with various levels of success:

  • Carrying her for a block or two (last ditch only - she loves being held but I don't want to encourage this)
  • Squeaking a squeaky toy (worked a few times only)
  • Throwing a cookie on the sidewalk out of her reach in the direction I'd like to go (works but requires multiple cookies and throws to get her really going)
  • Crouching down and calling her to me and petting her when she comes (works but like cookies, takes multiple tries to get anywhere)
  • Ignoring the behavior and waiting on the end of the leash until she gets bored (whining, crawling away, leash biting, drama)
  • Redirecting to another direction that isn't directly back home but also isn't where I really want to go (can be successful when combined with waiting and ignoring but you better have a lot of time on your hands to get anywhere)
  • Leash correction mild to strong with verbal encouragement (most forceful and quickest method but I don't enjoy it. I would prefer not to create a tug of war espcially because she is a great loose leash walker 90% of the time)

Am I missing any methods? What should I try next?


Try chicken something she doesn't get all the time. let her get a sniff it then slowly walk while holding it in her eye sight. if she walks a Bit give her a very small bite as to not lose her attention.

3 Answers

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When I was fostering my younger dog, she had a terrible habit of putting on the brakes during walks, and occasionally thrashing around at the end of the leash. I was advised by the rescue to just never let her stop on her terms like that, and when starting from a stop, to use a cheery "let's go!" as a precursor to movement. Then keep walking at a brisk pace, and don't slow or turn if you feel tension from behind you. Of course you don't want to strangle her (a harness or harness/collar combo may be useful if your dog is particularly resistant) but you definitely don't want her to learn that she gets to stop the walk whenever she wants by throwing a fit. Momentum is your friend - it's hard to put on the brakes when moving along at a trot. And of course praise and reward for any small progress.


My Chi girls are just the same! I end up carrying them most of the time. LOL! Who owns who?


My new method is to pick up a jog between the house and the 2 block "pause zone" - it's worked a treat!


I agree that picking up the pace at the "lag" area can help. I've also learned to crunch a bag in my pocket [it's associated with the treats I carry that I give out].