Some people don’t enjoy walking their dogs because the dogs are so over-the-top excited, they leap around and make it difficult to get leashed up; they knock people over trying to rush out the door; and they practically yank arms out of their sockets dragging people down the sidewalk. Other people have the opposite problem: their dogs don’t even want to go for a walk. So what’s a person to do?
While in most cases, I really do want dogs to get walked every day, there are some circumstances when it’s really best NOT to go for a walk – at least temporarily. For those who are over-excited, you might take a break from walks to work on calmer behavior. Burn off some energy first, then work just on calm behavior getting leashed up but not going for a walk. Work on getting politely out the door without going for a walk. Hang out or do some training out in the front yard. With some practice, dogs will start to calm down when they realize the leash and walking out the front door don’t always mean they are going somewhere.
On the flip side, for the dogs who don’t want to walk, you might do some of the same things. However, in this case, getting leashed up and getting out the door are times to work on building some enthusiasm! If your dog balks at these things, this is the time to work on creating some fun positive associations for your dog. Perhaps taking him out in front to play (on a long line perhaps) or to do some training or eat dinner even. Find some ways to make it more enjoyable so you can then work up to building some enthusiasm for an actual walk.
If your dog fits one of these scenarios, you might want to (temporarily!) forego the walks and burn off energy in other ways. Then work back into the walks later. Or mix it up so sometimes you go for a walk and sometimes you don’t. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little time to help make walks enjoyable for both you and your dogs!