The question that’s probably bugging your mind right now is “why doesn’t my husky want to walk?”
There are several explanations that could help you understand this behavior. It could be in pain or doesn’t want to leave home, stress and anxiety, wrong training strategy, or weariness among others.
By the end of this post, we’d have covered all the possibilities in detail and showed you what you can do to help the situation.
Why doesn’t my Husky want to walk?
The following could be the reasons why your Siberian Husky doesn’t want to walk:
- Previous health issues
- Wrong walking training program
- Stress and anxiety
- The desire to stay close to home
- Current health issue
- Ill-fitting leash
- Physical discomforts
Let’s dive right in:
We’re first going to look into the main reasons that could be making your husky hate walking. Depending on the nature and history of your dog, you should be able to pick out the factors you think resonate with your dog’s situation and work out a solution from there.
Being overweight isn’t just a human problem. Animals too struggle with it. If you’re not careful, you could even lose your dog due to obesity. If your dog is putting on too much weight, then that could be contributing to its lack of interest in walking.
2. Previous health issues
In some cases, when dogs suffer from certain conditions, that might affect their later stages of life. For instance, sometime back my neighbor and friend had a dog that fell and broke one of its legs during a hiking excursion. Consequently, the dog had to get an artificial bone due to the fracture.
Over time, the dog started losing interest in the things that formerly gave it pleasure. Upon doing a lot of digging, we realized that the dog’s fractured bone is the reason behind the dog’s reluctance to walk.
I advised Tim, my friend, to take the dog to a vet for a re-examination because at that point I thought the leg had not completely healed.
The vet reported that the leg was healed fully. Even better, the dog wasn’t walking with a limb.
However, the dog had been traumatized by the incident and that it hadn’t completely recovered mentally. So the vet made a couple of recommendations which my friend followed and after three months, the dog started being lively again.
3. Wrong walking training program
Maybe, you’re the problem why your dog isn’t fond of walking. Yeap, it’s a possibility and I want to examine that closely. What’s your experience of walking your dog? Do you enjoy the process of walking your dog? Does the dog enjoy it? Does the dog pull on the leash and you have to struggle to contain it?
The answers to the above questions could be the eye-opener to help spot where the problem is and figure out what to do. If your walking or training methods are combative, your husky won’t cooperate. Be creative and come up with ways to make your walks interesting and fun.
For instance, if you realize that your dog is always pulling on the leash, you can use treats to reward it every time it walks properly. That is likely to bear more results as opposed to punishing your dog or forcing it to do certain things during the walk.
4. Stress and anxiety
If your dog is under stress or is experiencing anxiety, it will not have the morale or motivation to go for walks. It’s the same thing that usually happens with humans.
During such times, you just want to be left alone. Although going out could have a positive effect on reducing stress and anxiety, that’s not what the body feels like doing.
If you can find creative ways of enticing your dog for the walk, it would be best. For instance, instead of pulling it and forcing it to start walking, jump in front and beckon it to go with you.
Try exciting it by calling its name and playing a few games that you think will trigger it into walking.
5. The desire to stay close to home
There are dogs that don’t like the idea of wandering away from home. Start by knowing the temperaments of your dog.
Yes, your dog might be a husky who is known to love outdoor adventures but yours might not be exactly like the rest of the breed. It’s thus important to be open to such exceptions so that you don’t risk straining the relationship with your dog by using force.
6. Current health issue
Maybe your dog is just uncomfortable or having a health issue you’re yet to find out? These include sore back, hips, and muscle discomfort. These pains could grow to a point where your dog stops walking. If you suspect any of these things, I would advise that you take your husky to the vet for examination.
7. Ill-fitting leash
If your husky has outgrown its current harness, that could be an explanation of why it no longer finds walks interesting. If that’s the case, your dog will feel like choking on the harness and so it would want to avoid such experiences at all costs.
Also, if the harness rubs the husky in a raw spot, that too might cause discomfort. You can also experiment with walking your dog on a collar vs harness to see the difference in how the dog walks.
If it responds favorably to one, then you can switch to that so that you don’t struggle with your dog when it’s time to go walking.
8. Physical discomforts
The prevailing weather could also be a factor in making you’re husky want to stay home. Is it too hot or cold in your region?
Could it be that you try to walk your dog when it’s extremely cold or when the sun is scorching hot? You can easily work around these issues by timing when the conditions are moderate before taking your husky on a walk.
Another form of discomfort might be when your husky has an injured paw or nail. Take some time to examine your dog to see if the paws and nails are in good condition.
Check in between the paws and remove any foreign substances like small stones and other objects.
Other ways to get your husky walking
The following are the remedies you can explore to get your dog walking. Depending on the behavior of your dog, you might use either just one or a combination of these factors to stir your Husky into action:
1. Shift the attention off the dog
Huskies can deliberately get stubborn especially if they know they’ve got all your attention. If you realize that your dog is just an attention seeker, take your phone and pretend to be talking to someone. Make it crystal clear that you’re no longer interested in its theatrics.
That will help take the pressure off as the dog will drop the act when it sees you shifting your focus to something else.
2. Pretend to walk off
This is another mind game that has proved to be effective. If your dog refuses to walk or stops midway, tie the leash to something strong and walk off. If you are with another person with whom the dog isn’t that familiar, ask them to take the leash and act as the pole on which the leash is tied. Walk off as though you don’t care what happens to the dog.
This trick will get your dog interested in following you since it will get the idea that you won’t entertain its stubbornness. Your dog will be like “Wait a minute, is he really going to walk out on me?” That move will get it by surprise and teach it a lesson.
3. Wait around
If you aren’t in any particular hurry to get to your destination, take out a book and start reading. It could even be your phone or anything that will keep you busy. When your husky moves have a treat ready and toss in the direction you’re walking.
Do these small exercises
- Kneel and face your husky at the end of the leash. Encourage the dog to come to where you are. You should have a treat at the ready but don’t show it to the dog.
- Your husky will move to where you are since the distance is short. When it comes, reward it and follow up with one or two praises.
- Again move to the end of the leash, kneel facing it and beckon it to come near you. Repeat this process several times and try to have some fun while at it.
- When it starts moving consistently, now move to sideways and beckon it to walk alongside you. Reward it each time it moves, reward it until the movement is continuous.
- If the husky stalls, start over again and go through the entire process until your dog is able to move forward. This exercise might prove to be time consuming and so you’ll need to do it when you’re not in a hurry.
Those are the reasons that might make your dog not walk. As you’ve seen, you’ll need to evaluate and see which ones apply to your situation.
The best thing is to exercise some patience and try to find the root cause of the problem. Don’t punish your husky as that will only make things worse and damage the relationship between the two of you.