The title of this post, for most of you, conjures a picture of your dog dragging you down the sidewalk. However, for a few people, this title conjures another picture – one of you having to drag your dog to go anywhere.

With so many dogs not getting walked often enough, it’s sad to see people who want to walk every day. . . but their dogs won’t budge. Instead of forging ahead, it’s like trying to take a ton of bricks for a walk.

If this is you, take a look at whether this is something new or on ongoing issue. If it’s new, what caused the change? Is it too hot? Is your dog not feeling well? Is your dog injured? Did he have a scary experience on your usual route? Try to determine first if there is a legitimate reason your dog is not comfortable walking. If there is, help him past that hurdle before getting out walking again.

If it’s an ongoing issue, you might try going for a shorter walk for now. You might need to build up some endurance. We think our dogs have endless energy – understandably so! Just as some people are better sprinters and some are better distance runners, so are dogs. Some do better with shorter bursts of energy but not long walks or hikes. They need to build endurance just as we do.

Some dogs do better with plenty of mental stimulation. Some dogs prefer a leisurely walk with plenty of time to sniff. Some prefer a chance to hang out and observe passers-by. While that might not be the best exercise for you, it might be better for your dog. They can burn lots of energy following scents or practicing their training skills by waiting politely to say hello. Create a way to provide you both with what you want. Perhaps you take a faster, longer walk without your dog. Then take your dog for a leisurely sniffing walk separately. Or walk to the park, bring a book and sit on a bench while your dog rolls in the grass. Perhaps you walk fast to the local park and then allow some sniff time or visiting and then walk fast back to your house.

Figure out what your dog wants and then see if you can find a happy compromise for both of you.