Why Is Puppy Scared To Go On Walks? (And How To Help!)

Is your puppy scared to go on walks?

It is one of those signs that can be unsettling, especially with an energetic dog that is supposed to want to rush outdoors whenever it gets the opportunity to do so.

However, there are times when a puppy is terrified of walking outdoors and wishes to stay inside all the time.

The reasons will vary depending on what is triggering the puppy and causing it to go into a metaphorical shell.

This guide is going to take a look at what to do with a puppy scared to go on walks and which solutions tend to work best in resolving the problem.

Best Retractable Leash For Walking Dogs (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

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The Ruff n’ Ruffus Retractable Leash is a compact, well-designed option for walking your puppy. It is easy to manage, works well in all conditions, and is going to remain comfortable for the puppy as it rushes ahead.

This retractable leash comes with what is known as a “brake and lock” mechanism, which allows puppies to walk without getting yanked on. It is this comfort that allows a puppy the freedom needed to feel good about walking without getting reckless.

Dog owners that want to take their puppy for a walk should invest in a retractable leash right away. It’s a must.

Why Is Puppy Scared To Go On Walks?

Puppies can become scared of going on walks due to negative experiences involving strangers, other pets, and/or loud noises (i.e. banging, screeching tires). These experiences are often associated with walking, which causes the puppy to become anxious and hesitant.

Puppies often will begin to display signs of being scared through their actions.

These signs can include:

  • General Hesitation to Go Outside
  • Constant Whining
  • Shivering

Dog owners are recommended to stay patient with a puppy scared to go on walks. The right approach to something like this will yield good results and is going to allow the puppy to develop properly.

Any aggressive and/or unsafe strategies could hamper the puppy’s psychological state.

Your main goal is to make sure the puppy is being exercised. If this means walking them in the yard for a few days, this is what you will have to do.

Over time, you can begin to work with a puppy scared to go on walks. The tips in this guide can be used as a launching pad to make sure your puppy loves going on walks again.

Tips On How To Help a Puppy Scared To Go On Walks

Tip #1 – Use a Retractable Leash

When learning how to help a puppy walk outside, you have to invest in a quality leash.

A safe retractable leash for puppies is going to go a long way in keeping them safe. You need a retractable leash that’s easy to control, comfortable, and doesn’t continue to tug at the dog’s neck throughout the walk.

There are several advantages of investing in a retractable leash, especially with a puppy scared to go on walks.

The benefits include:

  • Keeps the Puppy Close To You
  • Provides The Puppy with a Sense of Comfort
  • Ideal for Developing Good Habits

When your puppy can be kept close to you, it becomes easier to walk them. This is one of the main issues people have when it comes to keeping the dog healthy.

A lot of people make mistakes and don’t feel safe with taking a nervous puppy outside. It can also be nerve-wracking to deal with a puppy that itself is anxious.

As a result, it is better to use the retractable leash as a safety net for you and the puppy. Whenever you feel like the puppy is going to get triggered, pull them closer to your leg. This can prove to be comforting to a young pup.

It’s a simple adjustment that can go a long way in situations such as these.

Puppy Scared To Go On Walks

Tip #2 – Choose the Same Route

What route are you taking with a nervous puppy during walks?

There is nothing worse than taking your dog down the wrong route. This happens when people live in busy cities with people, pets, and cars rushing around from one place to another. Your puppy may hate spending time in these areas and will become scared.

With a puppy scared to go on walks, you have to make sure to find a safe route and then always walk down the same path every day.

This means even when there are odd noises such as a person screaming at the top of their lungs, your dog will remain calm. Their calmness is going to come from knowing the route, its scents, and everything else that could overwhelm the young pup.

Puppy’s often find comfort in familiarity and that applies to the type of route you end up choosing too.

In general, you want to choose a route that is ideal for you as well.

Find a route that is safe, convenient, and in line with what a scared puppy needs. When a puppy is terrified of going on walks, you will have to make adjustments.

Don’t continue to throw curve balls at them when it comes to where you’re going. This randomness could cause them to get scared and refuse to go outside.

Tip #3 – Find Quiet and Empty Spaces

With a puppy scared to go on walks, you have to find quiet places to take them.

A quiet place is one that isn’t going to have hundreds of people mulling around from one end to the next. It’s essential to think about these details while figuring out what works. You have to stay patient and make sure the route is easy-going and leads to a quiet park.

A lot of people will have neighborhood parks in the area that can be visited with the dog.

The benefits include:

  • Easier to Manage an Anxious Puppy
  • Ideal for Play Time Outside
  • Reduces Interaction with Strangers or Other Animals

Even going to a dog park may not be a smart option.

You could easily end up interacting with numerous dog owners and that isn’t going to make your puppy happy. In fact, this is going to add to their worries and may cause them to stop moving at all at the park!

You have to realize this is going to be a long-term project and you have to ease them into it.

Since they are already scared, you have to start from square one. Take the puppy to a quiet park along a safe route. This will allow the puppy an opportunity to adjust and get used to the idea of walking again.

Puppy Scared To Go On Walks

Tip #4 – Use Dog Treats

Treats are a smart idea when it comes to keeping the dog interested in walking.

When the puppy knows there is going to be a reward associated with walking, they are going to be far more inclined to go along with the idea. In essence, there is a small incentive for them to do so and that can take their mind off of their concerns.

In a lot of cases, this can allow you to get them to at least go on a short walk.

Experts Say...
Associating a positive experience with walking such as eating dog treats will go a long way in winning over the puppy.

Please note, when you are using dog treats, only do so when they are listening to you and walking. Otherwise, they may start to assume stopping is good behavior and will get them a reward.

It is better to take them to a dog park and simply practice the idea of walking when being told to do so.

Over time, your puppy is naturally going to want to head outdoors for a walk. This is when things will work out as you want them to and the puppy will get over its fears.

Also, make sure not to overfeed the dog with treats because those are unsafe and unnecessary.

Tip #5 – Start with Shorter Distances

Shorter distances are a must with a puppy scared to go on walks.

In essence, you will want to start with a basic route that isn’t going to take more than 10-15 minutes for the puppy to cover.

Remember, a puppy is already going to have a lot of energy, so you can let them play inside a playpen or in the yard. However, for walks you will have to take them along a shorter route that is easy to manage and safe for them.

Over time, you are going to realize the benefits of a shorter route with your puppy.

The benefits include:

  • Gets the Puppy Used to Walking
  • Doesn’t Overstimulate the Puppy
  • Keeps Things Simple and Relaxed

If you are thinking the puppy isn’t going to like going along a certain route, it’s better to get them to walk outdoors along a shorter route.

Over time, you can even take them to what would be a “scary” route in their eyes.

The idea is to only walk down that route for a minute or so. Just get them used to the noises before taking them back to a quieter route.

Eventually, your dog will realize walking is the same wherever they go. This is the positive association you want your dog to make or they’re going to remain scared all the time.

Final Thoughts

Is your puppy scared to go on walks?

If so, you will want to go through and buy a retractable leash right away. It’s going to be a wonderful investment that will yield great results once your puppy gets comfortable with short walks outdoors.

The tips listed here are going to prove to be a great way to settle things down as you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Stay patient and continue to work with your puppy in alleviating its underlying anxieties.

For more on how to help your puppy, please read through the following articles – Is it good for a puppy to nap in a dog crate?, how to help a puppy sleep at night, best tricks for disciplining a puppy, and how to help a puppy with parvo.