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5 reasons your dog refuses to go for a walk

Is your dog refusing to go on a walk? Having trouble getting them to get out the door? We run down the top 5 reasons that your pooch refuses to go for a walk.

Is your dog refusing to walk? Pooch on a go slow? Just won’t move? It’s just not right, is it? Here we look at why your pooch might be dragging their paws and suggest some changes that might help when your dog is not walking.

It feels completely against the natural order of things when your dog refuses to go for a walk. Going for a walk is one of the great joys of having a dog, and when they lose their enthusiasm for walkies, it’s a bit unnerving.

What could be holding your furry friend back?

  1. Your pooch is on the sick list

First things first, maybe your pup’s not feeling very well. It could be something straightforward like sore paws. Sometimes, if you’ve walked your pooch on a hard surface or they’ve skidded to a halt on some gravel, it can tear up their paws making them sore.

But if your dog suddenly can’t walk or move at all, or is extremely weak or lethargic, take them to the vet straight away.

  1. The weather forecast

My dog refuses to walk – could it be the weather?

Most dogs love a good walk whether the sky is bright and clear or a stormy day.

In fact, we know lots of dogs that really love splashing about in the rain. Puddles can be really cooling on the tummy and splashing about can add a sense of adventure to an otherwise ordinary walk.

But if your dog absolutely refuses to go out in the rain here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Play with water so your pup associates getting wet with having fun. A light showering with a garden hose on a hot day should do the trick.
  • Don’t force it. If your dog really hates wet weather, keep rainy walks short and sweet.
  • Lead by example. If it starts raining while you’re out, don’t panic. Dogs pick up on your emotions, so if you stay calm, your dog’s more likely to take the rain in their stride.

Dog lying down in the bushes

  1. They’re saving their energy

Like humans, different dogs have different energy levels. Some breeds are sprinters, others prefer a more relaxed pace.

Herding and hunting breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Border Collies are the sprinters in the pack. They’re big bundles of energy and love nothing more than getting out in the fresh air and going… and going… and going some more. You’re unlikely to outrun these guys.


On the other paw, some dogs are much less driven by the need for speed. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the original lapdog, a Great Dane loves a luxurious lie down and Greyhounds are the world’s fastest couch potatoes. They can go from 0-45mph in seconds, but then they enjoy nothing more than slouching next to you on the couch while you watch a box set.

Or maybe you’ve got a dog like Charlie, the family Labrador who inspired our founders to create YuMOVE. He was not a fan of running up hills, so he’d wait at the bottom until his owner came back down again.

Some breeds are simply less fussed about going for a walk than others. Check out our dog exercise calculator to find out how much exercise your pup needs.

  1. Your walks are boring

Dog waiting to go for a walk with lead

The cheek of it! How dare your dog say your walks are boring? But if you always turn left when you leave your house and do the same lap around the neighborhood, maybe your hound has a point. Could you do with varying your routine a little?

If you’ve got into the habit of always taking the same route, switch it up. Leave the favourite ball, flinger or toy at home. Go out at a different time of day. If you usually stop at a certain point, keep on moving. Or, if you always take your pooch for a run with you, try a change of pace and make it a walk next time.

The more variety you give your dog, the happier they’ll be.

  1. Their joints are stiff

If your dog suddenly loses their enthusiasm for walks, maybe they have stiff joints.

Your dog’s joints are protected by smooth cartilage which is lubricated by joint fluid. This enables the bones to glide over each other with the minimum of friction and helps to absorb the shock and bounce every time your dog races to catch a ball or jumps up to play.

But as your dog gets older, there can be less of this cushioning fluid around the joints, causing stiffness. So if your dog’s reluctant to grab the lead and go for a walk, try our all-natural YuMOVE supplements. They contain Hyaluronic Acid to help lubricate and cushion your dog’s joints, as well as high-strength ActivEase ® Green Lipped Mussel and Glucosamine. YuMOVE is proven to work in just 6 weeks[1], helping to soothe stiffness, support long-term joint health and promote mobility.

Here’s what our customer Carol says on Trustpilot:

“I have been giving Shadow YuMove Plus for a while now and he seems to be much better on his walks and bouncing around like a puppy, he is 9.”

What’s your experience?

Do you have any good tips to share about helping your dog to rediscover the joy of walking? If so, do get in touch and let us know. Slide into our DMs on Instagram - or PM us on Facebook.

[1] Study conducted by Royal Veterinary College.

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