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Refusing to walk


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Hi everyone, I have a 4 year old staffy cross. He hasn’t always been the easiest dog to walk for pulling but was always sociable and happy to go out. A few months ago he just refused to leave the house unless it was in the car. Even then he shakes on the way to the car until he knows hers going in there. I assumed it was because it rained on the last local walk he was willing to do but it’s been ages now and he’s refused to move on the walk we did today. Does anyone have any advice as he’s quite chunky as it is with a 1 year old who he steals food from and obviously he needs to walk anyway. Thank you
What was he like with rain before this started? What is he like now if you take him somewhere in the car and then walk - is he happy to walk then, and if it starts to rain on a 'car' walk, how does he react?

As a precaution, I would get him checked at a vet in case he has any pain related to walking.

It sounds as if something 'scary' happened to him when this started. It could be something like him standing on a bee when he got to the end of the drive, and you might never find out what it is. You might need to build up his confidence gradually by not making him go out, but simply sitting on the doorstep (with the door open) with him, maybe throwing a tasty treat 2 feet from the door so he can retrieve it and then come back in again. Then when he's decided 2 feet outside the door is safe, sit out there and throw a treat 2 feet further... and so on.

In the meantime, do you have a garden where you can do some activities with him, such as a mini-agility course? This would work both his body and his brain. And redouble efforts to keep the weight off him and stop him stealing the baby's food (I know - much easier said than done). If there are any joint pain issues, the trimmer he is the better.
Thank you that’s such a good response! He’s always been scared of rain so he will hold a wee for hours if it means not going outside. He’s definitely not in pain as he’s usually fine on all the walks that aren’t near the house and possibly today he got scared by the factory sounds ‍♀️ he really does act like an abused dog but we got him from a puppy and obviously haven’t abused him. I’ll try the treat idea when there’s no dogs around I hadn’t thought of that. We tried coaxing him out with treats before but he isn’t hungry when nervous. Thank you so much for your message x
Sorry I didn’t respond to the garden play we have been doing that but I worry it can make him aggressive as he isn’t a dog that fetches he just grabs and fights with a ball which can hype him up too much to bring inside to
Be with a baby in the house x
With the 'sitting in the doorway' the trick is to only work within his comfort zone, so in your case, you'll know that if he doesn't go for the treat you've thrown out the door, you've thrown it too far. He also needs to feel in control, so avoid coaxing that might put pressure on him. Once he'll go as far as the car confidently, then you'll probably need to slow down a lot again as he realises he's not going on a 'car walk'.

It might feel as if it's taking an age, but focus on the long term - where you'll be in a week, a month, 6 months...

I'm not sure if ball play would make him aggressive as such, but they could get him more overexcited than you really want round a 1-year-old. So calmer games can be good. Have a read of this thread and see what you think might work: Mental enrichment for dogs

Has he ever shown any 'undesirable behaviour' round you and your other half after getting excited over ball play, e.g. getting overly mouthy? I'd be interested in others' views on whether it would be of benefit to have some games like tug of war where a dog can get their excitement out of their system, or if this might encourage behaviour that is undesirable round a toddler? Maybe OK as long as the dog and toddler are kept separate till the dog has had time to calm down?
As suggested elsewhere, sometimes there can be a trigger issue. For example, my friend's dog was scared of cars (perhaps understandable having been hit by one!), and he became more and more anxious about being near traffic. There could be a similar issue with your dog.
Thank you again for your responses! I haven’t tried a non car walk today because of the rain and wind. I know I’d have no chance as I believe that’s what his first trigger was that caused this but the weather is looking better tomorrow so I’ll start with the treats then. I’m going to get my partner to park over the road too so he has less reason to believe he’s going in the car. He doesn’t go in my car so that shouldn’t matter.
He does tend to get a bit rough after the playing in the garden but more so leaping around the place and he’s over 5 stone so definitely more of a risk around my daughter. But could do this while she’s eating or something so he can’t knock her over. Our downstairs is open so hard to separate them unfortunately

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