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Unwilling walker

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Grandad 99, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Grandad 99

    Grandad 99 New Member Registered

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    We became the owners of Bertie, an 8 year old Bichon Friese, in March last year when his owner became too ill to look after him. He settled very quickly.

    My wife has quite severe arthritis which limits her walking so I have been Bertie's daily walker. When my wife feels up to it we both walk him in a local country park.

    In January my wife had a fall and was in hospital for 4 weeks so all Bertie's walks were with just me. By May she had recovered sufficiently to come with us once or twice a week for a short walk in the park.

    Since then Bertie has become increasingly unwilling to go out with just me, getting to the point in the last few days where when I suggest a walk he runs upstairs. I put his lead on but as we go out of the door he refuses to move.

    There is no possibility of my wife being able to come with us for his daily walk but I don't like the idea of him not having a regular walk.

    Has anyone had a similar problem and been able to solve it?
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I normally walk my dog Jasper (though not at the mo due to a knee injury), and he didn't used to like going out for a walk with my husband and leaving me at home. We'd get round this by using bribery to get him into the car (or I'd pretend I was going too) - once on the walk he was absolutely fine, but it meant hubby always had to use the car. Eventually, though, Jasper decided that hubby wasn't so bad after all, and he goes out happily with him now. He's still much happier if I'm coming too though.

    Having said that, I don't think that bribery or tricking your dog is really a good approach so I'm not really recommending it! One thing I found did help was, when Jasper was looking like he didn't particularly want to go out, me saying 'Go with Daddy' seemed to help. Might be worth a try?

    I think the best approach for you for now would be to take all the pressure off Bertie. He'll manage without walks for a while, and can have extra games/training/exercise in the house & garden instead. I think I'd then go for a slow approach of sitting by the door, with the lead next to you and the door open, and call him to you. If he's suspicious, then start further from the door and/or without the lead. When he comes to you, give him fuss, a treat, a quick game, and leave it at that. Work on putting the lead on separately, with treats/fuss/games when he has it on but not then taking him out of the house. Then take it to just outside the door, then a game in the front garden... Key is to keep relaxed about it and not put him under any pressure - if he's like my sister-in-law's bichon they have quite fixed ideas about what they will and won't do!
     
    merlina likes this.
  3. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    They're complicated, huh? This seems to be anxiety based so I agree don't push it. Our elderly corgi x has this last year developed a phobia about walking over to Home Farm where lots of other dogs bark as you pass. Basically he's up for it with me, my OH and our spaniel. But if it's not all four of us, he won't. He likes to go mob-handed or not at all. :confused:
     
  4. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Member Registered

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    Do you have various walks you go on,mine would get bored if they kept going on the same old walks every day.
     

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