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How to Deal With a Slow Walker?

If you’re a bulldog owner, you’ve probably faced one of those embarrassing moments when your dog wouldn’t walk down the street, he’d pull back or even lay down, and make a statement that he’s not interested in the walk.

What are the reasons for a dog walking slowly?

Before putting it down on stubbornness, first make sure your dog is in good health. If your dog was an active walker and generally used to enjoy her walks before, and she suddenly turned into a slow walker, then this might be down to a health conditions. Your vet will check her for:

  • Infection (to trace any underlying issues)
  • Kidney problems
  • Arthritis

If your dog is on the lazy side and he tends to get into those moods of  “I’m not interested in a walk”, the usual triggers are cold or hot weather, excessive weight that the dog has put on recently, boredom if he’s walked by someone he doesn’t enjoy the company of.

Slow walking is very typical for bulldogs, french bulldogs and pugs.

What can you do about a slow walker?

Try to make the walk as exciting as possible. Choose different routes or let the dog choose in which direction he wants to walk (if it’s not going back, of course).

Use treats (different kinds) to incentivise movement and offer him rewards when he hits a milestone (for example, when he reaches a corner, a specific tree or a distinctive area that the dog recognises). Don’t give treats if he’s lazily crawling or not moving at all, as this will send the wrong message, that he’d still get a treat if he’s even more stubborn.

Never drag the dog or push him from behind. What you want is to cause excitement and make him interested in the walk, not see it as a dreadful and negative experience.

Find him a fun walking buddy. Seeing other dogs running, playing fetch and being generally excited about the outdoors will make the slow walker more active and distract him from his stubbornness.

Sometimes slow walking could be a phase that will pass for a few weeks, that was caused by stress, change of walker, hot or cold weather or he’s just not in a mood. Once you determine it’s not caused by a health issue, just follow the steps above and wait for the phase to pass.