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Help please - my dog won't come for a walk with me!(19 Posts)
I'm at my wits end and wondered if anyone can offer me any advice please.
I've had my Romanian rescue dog for about four years. I work full time (from home currently) and husband is retired and with Rudi 24/7. Rudi came to us with issues but mostly we have got over them. He's a sweet little thing, about seven years old. He's not particularly sociable with people or other dogs but never snappy or aggressive. He's just a little sweetheart but can be anxious and nervous.
Every so often, Rudi just refuses to go out for a walk with me and this will go on for a few months and as suddenly as it started, he'll get over it as if nothing's happened. However, about five months ago it all started again and I just can't seem to get Rudi out of it this time. When the weather was great about a week ago, he came on two walks with me and prior to that was a couple of weeks before when he came out three times in a day! It seems he picks and chooses when he wants to come with me.
He'll go out with my husband (who only takes him for ten minutes or so which makes me cross) and loves it. We've tried my husband starting off the walk and me catching up and taking over; worked for a few weeks and then went wrong as Rudi realised Dad wasn't there so wanted to go home.
As soon as I go to get his lead, he runs away. It's very upsetting for me. I love my dog and know it's wrong to force him to go for a walk with me. Vet has been unhelpful. I've never smacked or shouted at Rudi so I don't understand what's going through his mind. I can't think of anything that's spooked him on a walk. Has anyone come across this before? What can I do? Thank you and sorry for such a long post.
Can you afford to get a qualified behaviour type person in? Very hard to know without thorough assessment and seeing the dynamic as to what it is. But it does sound like the dog’s main bond is with your husband as he is around all the time. Presumably you are not usually there as much so your husband does most of the walks, albeit short ones? Sounds like the dog does not want to leave your husband, or that he only feels comfortable outdoors on a walk when your husband is around. As he’s a rescue I assume that there is a lot in his past you don’t know about so it’s possible there is also something there.
I would try and get proper help, and in the meantime I would go on every walk with your husband, to start getting the dog used to you being there too. It’s also hard to know - what are you like on a walk?! Are you relaxed and happy, or are you nervous in some way? The dog might be picking up on this too? Maybe your husband’s demeanour is something the dog takes confidence from? Good luck though, how lovely that you took a rescue dog.
My dog does this with my DP if he try's to walk him in the afternoon/evenings. Mornings not a problem but after 12pm just doesn't want to go with him. If I pick up the lead no matter what time of the day it is he will come with me.
The same happens when my parents look after him when we're working. Happily go with my mum but if my dad try's he will go hide. I think the dog sees it to look after me and my mum (the ones who feed him).
Do you feed him/do most of the care OP?
That should read "sees it as his job to look after me and mum"
If you're normally out of the house all day and your DH isn't, he'll have attached to him more - it's totally normal.
Most dogs have a favourite human - sometimes it depends on who does the feeding or training, but often there's no rhyme and reason to it. Rudi has just chosen your husband!
Thank you for the responses so far.
@Onthetrain75 - I believe I am relaxed and happy when I walk Rudi but perhaps outwardly, I'm not. I've not really thought about that. Yes, perhaps I do need to get some professional help from a behaviourist. I'll make sure to go an all walks. I'd only ever have rescue pets - I'd never buy a puppy - there are just too many little ones who need forever homes.
@Undomesticgodde55 - I give Rudi some of his meals but this is usually at the weekends because I work long hours (when not in lockdown) but I'll now be giving him all his meals to see if this makes a difference. I take him to the vets, I play with him, I do training with him in short sessions. Before, he went though this phase, I did all the walking, and we both loved it.
Thank you all (so far) xx
Could it be that he prefers shorter walks? (I’m really sorry if that’s a stupid question, I’m a slave to two cats. Neither of them like going for walks )
He'll go out with my husband (who only takes him for ten minutes or so which makes me cross) and loves it Maybe you should also only take him for 10 mins of so.
Your dog may find a long walk too painful, I would get him checked out at the vet, too stressful for example.
What happens when you husband gets the lead?
@jinxpixie I have already spoken to my vet about the problem, as mentioned. He wasn't terribly helpful - simply said find a behaviourist and that Rudi doesn't have any health issues.
@SeriouslySoDoneIn no worries, I used to have two cats before I got Rudi - I really miss my girls. I love both dogs and cats.
I’d put cheese in my pocket.
Sorry speed reading and missed he had had a checkup
What happens when you husband gets the lead?
I haven't read all the answers on this thread but just wanted to say my own dog is like this if she spends too much one-to-one time with me. I was working from home a lot last year and when I occasionally had to go out for the evening and neighbour offered to take her for a little evening walk for her to have a loo break, she could only get her about 20 yards (and that was with a huge amount of persuasion/wrestling) then, as soon as the dog had "been", she turned round and dragged neighbour straight back to my front door. My previous dog, similarly, didn't want to go out with my relatives when I was too ill after an operation to walk her, because she didn't want to go without me. Although, both of them had no trouble at all with going out with their known and loved (professional) dogwalkers when I was at work. Rudi must be very bonded to your husband.
m.facebook.com/groups/1651029595217553group_view_referrer=profile_browser this is a support group for Romanian rescue dogs
Could you do longer family walks with your SH sticking around? You could build up that way and take the lead, get your husband trailing behind etc. Nice way to encourage your H out for longer too!
Does he feel the heat? Mine much prefer to walk early when it’s cool, or else I think they’d prefer shorter walks.
My Romanian dog doesn’t like rain and we used to struggle to get her out. She was also terrified of rugs for her first year. They’re funny little souls sometimes, but you never know what they have been through.
Our old family German shepherd would ignore everyone if my dad was around. Our last lab idolised my husband (the one before preferred me).
I wouldn't take it personally, my dog refuses to get in my car if he knows I'm driving , if dh has the keys to my car he will jump straight in but with me not a chance. He just doesn't like my driving.
What happens when you and your DH take him out together?
I usually walk our dog along with dd. We have certain exercise hours here and as I could not take him, dd did. He refused to walk with her, just stood in the middle of the road, when she got him into the pavement, he just lay down. Eventually she got him home. He completely ignored me for 2 days. This is a Labrador who loves going out. I think they pick up on change much more than we think.
Thanks so far for comments - really appreciate them.
@jinxpixie - when my husband gets Rudi's lead, he goes nuts with excitement (Rudi, not the husband)!
@StripeyLurcher - thank you for the link, I will definitely have a look at that.
@OliviaBenson - I think I will make sure I go for walks with husband and Rudi now (although it will drive me buts because Rudi and I walk pretty fast and husband trails behind). But see this is what I don't understand - Rudi loves walking and on the occasions he does come with me, his terms not mine, he's like a little spring lamb, jumping around with excitement and pleasure!
@Honeyroar - Rudi loves the heat, hates the rain and wind, used to be petrified of traffic (the poor baby was hit by a car in Romania and left at the side of the road before someone found him and kindly took him to the local animal hospital which was how he came to be taken on by a UK based charity). He is much, much better with traffic now though and doesn't bat an eyelid. Yes, he's a funny little thing - and you are right, one never knows what they've been through before.
@Bubblysqueak - that's funny your dog doesn't like your driving! Rudi doesn't love the car and cries/squeaks because he wants to sit in the front. He's not terrible though.
When Rudi has done this before, after a couple of months max, he's back to normal but this time, as I said, it's just gone on and on. I do worry too that he's not getting much exercise. Bless him, I do love him very much and just want things back to normal x
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