Dogs are usually psyched at the idea that their owners are about to take them on a walk. And walks are great for both dog and owner since it helps them to exercise, socialize and explore the world around them.
However, your dog may refuse or hide when you want to take him on a walk which would mean something is wrong.
Anxiety can do a lot of things to doggies. It may make them act super weird and preclude them from enjoying their favorite things.
Did you move out or change your residence lately? If so, perhaps your doggy is having a challenge experiencing his new environment. It could also be that you just bought your dog from a breeder or a shelter.
He may be having trouble adjusting to his surroundings, so he would refuse to go outside. He is anxious about meeting new people and situations. He may just be having a hard time adapting to his new home.
Young puppies often do not like to go out for walks, so consider your dog’s age before you let him outside the house. His skin may be too tender for the extreme weather outside especially in the morning.
Some owners like to take their dogs to pee or poo in the morning before walking them. Is your dog refusing to go out in the mornings? Perhaps he doesn’t like to poop or pee outdoors. You may want to get him a potty or teach him to use the toilet.
Your pup might not be cooperating if you ask him to go for a walk in the morning because his restraint is causing him some form of discomfort. It could be that his collar is undersized or bruises his neck.
This isn’t a cause for alarm; it shouldn’t be something to be worried about. You should inspect your dog’s neck to see if the collar is too tight or gives him a wound. If this is the case, you may want to change his collar.
Also, did you change your pooch’s harness recently, and he refuses to go on a walk? He may be more comfortable in his old harness and would prefer to take a walk outside with it around his neck than the new one.
If everything is okay with your pup’s harness, try to keep it the same, as this may stand in the way when you ask him to do the things he enjoyed doing before, like a walk outside the house.
The last thing your pooch may want in the morning after sleeping is a walk outside because he may be tired. There are many reasons why your furry companion may be tired.
Perhaps he didn’t have a good night’s rest; he likes to have a morning nap; he is simply having a lazy day or is tired after having used up all his energy the previous day.
This may be why he would rather you turn the lights off than take him for a walk. If this happens, you need to ensure your doggy gets adequate rest and sleep, especially at night, so that he can be active in the mornings.
Dogs need at least 12 hours of sleep daily, and they usually do not have any particular sleep time as they can sleep during the day and at night.
Discourage your dog from lazy habits like morning naps. He needs to be more active in the morning, and walks are good for his overall health.
It could be raining, blizzarding or super hot outside, so your dog may prefer the couch over a walkie with you in the morning.
Some dogs love to frolic around puddles all day, while others are always careful not to wet their fur. This may be why your dog doesn’t want to go to a drizzle.
Remember also that dogs are warm-blooded animals, even more warm-blooded than their human owners, and extremes of weather, like winter, can affect them. They tend to feel colder during this period.
So your pooch might not be too keen on going outside for a walk with you on a cold winter day. Dogs also find it difficult to regulate their temperatures during the hot season. So on a particularly warm day, your doggy may not jump at the opportunity to hit the streets.
Phobia for the outside
A bad day walking outside may negatively impact your doggy. A child tugging at his tail, a truck’s loud noise, a wailing siren, an engine backfiring or another dog snapping at him may be enough to evoke a phobia for the outside.
This is often called doorway phobia or, in human terms, agoraphobia. The bad moment on the previous walk may have created a strong sense of fear that will have been associated with walking outside entirely.
So he feels safer and settled within the home and is reluctant to go past the door to the outside.
This shouldn’t be mistaken for sheer stubbornness, especially if your dog had always liked the idea of walks – meeting new and old friends, sniffing around, following his owner and using pent-up energy.
Suppose your pooch suddenly refuses to go on a walk. In that case, some previous incident, which you may not have noticed, has caused him to prefer the comfort of your home to the perks of the outside.
Fear is often an adaptive behavior that can cancel out all the positive sensations and excitement that come with walks.
Since fear is subjective in dogs, it’s possible you may not have noticed the incident that caused your dog to become afraid because you are used to them, but your dog might interpret them differently and may be scared to experience them again.
Then the fears begin to set root in your dog, perhaps spiked by a similar incident at home or stress. Pain and emotional trauma can also cause doorway phobia in dogs.
It could be that he experienced sudden pain (orthopedic pain in arthritic dogs, stomach pain or injury from a piece of glass, nail or a bug bite) while on a walk with you previously.
Perhaps also, something bad happened while he went on walks with his former owner. All these could make your doggy fearful of outdoor activities, so he may be reluctant to step his feet outside.
If your poop suddenly starts running or hiding when you want to take him on a walk, it could be that he has a health problem. Dogs are very deft at hiding their illness.
This usually stems from instinct and the notion of not being perceived as weak or vulnerable to other dogs or predators in the wild.
Besides any obvious lesion, shaking or limping, it is often difficult to decipher sickness in dogs that might make them resist when the idea of a walk is presented to them.
Your dog may prefer to sprawl out on the couch rather than go for a walk because he is overweight or obese and can’t get around as before.
He may be experiencing fitness issues, and carrying all that weight around is a lot of work. So any ailment or pain may hamper your dog’s chances to go outside the house for a walk in the morning, something he probably used to enjoy.
Should I Take My Dog For A Walk First Thing In The Morning?
Dog experts recommend 20 minutes to 2 hours of exercise or walking daily for dogs. Older dogs may require just 2 hours of exercise, but often, younger dogs need more time.
You can divide the time for walks into 2 to 3 daily. It will allow your doggy quality rest and sleep and less pent-up energy.
Taking your dog out for a walk is usually fun for both owner and dog as the dog tries to make sense of his environment and make new friends.
Your dog needs to potty first thing in the morning
Puppies and older dogs do better with morning walks, so you should walk them first thing in the morning because they often need to pee or potty after they wake from sleep.
Morning walks also ensure your pup lets out his energy early in the day, allowing him to be more accepting of training and exhibit good behavior.
It will also help your dog to kickstart his metabolism, allowing blood to circulate through his body and boosting his energy for the rest of the day.
The temperature outside is relatively mild
Taking your dog for a walk on a summer morning is great for the doggy as the temperature is often mild, and sunstrokes would hardly perturb him. Morning walks should be the longest of the day and last between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Your dog will be more relaxed in the evening
Imagine coming home from work exhausted, and all you so desire is to curl up on your bed with your dog.
But guess what? Your dog has pent-up energy and is lolloping about the house because you didn’t take him on a walk in the morning before you left for work.
So he wants a long tour now, or you can forget about your peace at home. This is what a walk first thing in the morning would help you solve.
It would give your dog a chance to let out all his pent-up energy and be more relaxed for the rest of the day, so when you come home, your doggy won’t be too eager for a long walk outside.
What To Do If My Dog Does Not Want To Walk In The Morning
The first thing to do if you notice your pooch’s refusal to go for a walk in the morning is to find out why.
Because as has been mentioned, there are several reasons why your doggy may do that, and each reason would be tackled differently.
Check your dog for signs of illness, pain or anxiety. Is your dog having a lazy day? Is he too tired? Is he having a morning nap? Does he have a doorway phobia?
These are some questions you need to answer yourself as his owner. So what are some of the things you can do to help stop your dog from refusing a walk?
Socialize your dog
Your dog may be suffering from anxiety or fear of the outdoors. This may be why he is unwilling to walk in the morning or any time of the day.
However, if you notice this, you shouldn’t shield your furball from the outside world or become an overprotective parent.
Instead, you should gradually introduce your dog to his new environment and let him socialize with people on the road and other dogs in the neighborhood.
Since he may have been affected by phobia, you need to treat your dog with more care and compassion. When you succeed in taking him on a walk, endeavor to observe his mien.
Does he pin back his ears or lower his head unconfidently? Does he suddenly react to some people, animals or things while on the walk? You could gradually teach him to get used to these things, so he can loosen up eventually.
Take your dog to the vet
You may notice certain things in your dog that may be beyond your care as his owner. Things like health issues.
Suppose your dog has problems going out for a walk in the morning because he has an illness or pain.
In that case, you may want to take him to get checked under the expert eyes of a vet so that if there are symptoms of an underlying condition, it may be nipped in the bud, and your dog can recover on time.
Use comfortable walking gears
If you notice your pup has problems with his harness, it may make him uncomfortable. You should change it and get him a comfortable one, so it doesn’t cause him injury or suffocate him. This will let him be more comfortable when he is out on a walk.
Let your dog rest
Allow your pooch some rest if you observe that he refuses to go on a walk with you because he is tired or because the weather is extreme.
Remember how easily he could get cold during the cold season, so endeavor to warm him up adequately. If the sun is too hot, let him rest inside, so he doesn’t get sunstrokes.