We know what you’re thinking. Dogs are supposed to love walks; so why doesn’t my dog like going for walks? Your dog’s lack of enthusiasm for their walk could be due to a number of reasons. 

Why don’t they like walkies?

We should think back about whether they have had any negative experiences which could have scared them. Is there anything which may have caused a link in their memory between an unhappy experience and walks? Maybe another dog being unfriendly, or loud noises nearby?

 Is a walk usually a pleasurable experience for you both? If not, this may be a contributing issue. Working towards making your dog feel safe and secure on walks is important. Letting them have time to explore new places and smells would be beneficial.

Breed can also play a large part in a dog’s willingness to walk. Brachycephalic breeds (those with flatter faces) can often find breathing more difficult, especially during walking and activities. You might notice their breathing being noisy or them getting tired or out of breath quickly. 

Playing is activity too! 

Many dogs which are not comfortable to walk very far are quite happy to chase a toy or play with other dogs. This could be for just a short burst if they require less vigorous activity now. Could part of your dog’s daily activity be replaced with playing ball in the garden or meeting up with a canine companion at the park to play? 

Activity isn’t a write off!

Just because your pooch protests at walking, or can’t go very far, this doesn’t mean that exercise has to be a write off! After all, your dog will be much healthier for being active – even moderately. 

There are lots of options to keep your pooch moving. Hydrotherapy is one of these options to keep your pooch active. Hydrotherapy is a non-weight bearing activity which is why it works so well for dogs recovering from an injury, or pooches who are older. The range of movement means that it is ideal to build muscle and strength when your pooch may have muscle wastage.

Sometimes we need to think outside the box a little to get your pooch moving, but there are lots of options other than walking alone to keep our dogs moving. 

How to use food for activities

To encourage your pooch to move, try scatter feeding their food rather than feeding them from a bowl. This way they need to walk around and look for pieces of their food. Food puzzle toys can also be a great way to encourage your pooch to be more active. You can simply add some of their dry food to a toy, and they must roll and rock it around to release the food. 

Putting their water bowl and their bed, food, toys and more in different areas also means some extra steps travelling between these around the house. 


It’s important for our pooch’s health for them to be mobile. It helps to keep them at their ideal weight, and has great benefits for their long term health and happiness. If they are not a fan of walkies there are things which you can check to understand why they are reluctant, from having negative associations to not feeling safe. Even when your pooch isn’t walking, there are ways which we can increase their activity to keep them moving. 

Have you seen our article “Why is my dog begging?”? You can find it here!