Jump to content

Help - Greyhound Won't Walk/freezes On Walks

Guest LazySuzie

Recommended Posts

Guest LazySuzie

Hello - this is my first post and I'm in need of some advice for my rescue greyhound.

We've only had her a month and I know it's early days, but she's refusing to walk. She's been checked by a vet and is fit and healthy, but she displays the following behaviour:

1. She's happy to be dressed for her walk in coat, harness, muzzle

2. She's waggy when we walk to the door

3. Sometimes she's keen to leave the door, other times not so much

4. We start walking up the pavement, sometimes she'll get two houses up, sometimes 20, then she'll just stop dead and won't move forwards or backwards. Nothing has spooked her and her ears are up, she just won't move.

5. Sometimes we drive her to fields to change her environment, she seems a little happier, but the same thing will happen when we're half way round.

6. She does seem easily distracted, not in a fearful way, but if she sees people she'll stop walking. It doesn't seem to be a nervous issue and I can't get her moving again once she's stopped.

We have tried so many things:

1. Encouraging her with words

2. Encouraging with treats - we use this sparingly as she will only walk start walking again if you throw a treat a meter or so in front of her, then she'll stop again

3. Dragging her (as gently as possible) - I don't like doing this (but sometimes necessary if she stops dead in the middle of the road). She doesn't get aggressive when dragged but it does make her more stubborn and she refuses to walk at all after that.

4. Waiting...and waiting...and waiting - often for 10 minutes at a time, every two or three steps. This turns a 5 minute walk into a 50 minute walk.

5. Doing short walks, literally one house up and back - we were advised by a trainer to try and make every walk a success - the problem here is that she refuses to turn round. If we go one house up and try to turn her round she refuses, but is happy to walk another house up.

6. Walking her with other dogs - stopping and freezing still happens.

I know greyhounds don't need much exercise but she doesn't get any joy from playing with toys or anything, and she enjoyed walks at the rescue centre, so I don't know what has happened and I don't want my actions to be making the condition worse. We thought she might not like the dark or the rain so have been sticking to day time walks but the same thing happens. We're in the UK and it's not very cold here and her feet seem fine so those aren't issues either. I'm at a loss as to what to try next, save for just not taking her out and only exercising her in the garden.

Any advice from people who have overcome such an issue would be welcome.

Thanks clear.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time and patience. It *is* early days for you yet and your girl has had a lot of changes in a short amount of time. The stopping and freezing is a sign that she's still getting overwhelmed at times. Don't worry about getting her enough exercise at this point. Getting her comfortable in her new home environment, and encouraging her trust in you, are the most important issues right now.


If she freezes, try immediately turning around and walking back the way you came from - even if it means you're only walking back and forth in front of your house.


There's no reason to be stingy with the treats right now. If they work to get her interested and moving then that's what it takes. But if she doesn't respond to the treat in your hand you need to up your treat value significantly - something REALLY SUPER YUMMY!!!!!!!! Roasted chicken, cheese, dehydrated liver, cut up hot dogs - whatever *she* thinks of as a REALLY SUPER YUMY treat!!! If she responds to something being thrown ahead of her you can try using a small squeaky toy too.


Whatever you use, make walk times a fun and happy time for her. Don't worry about taking her too many different places right now - she needs regularity and sameness every day so that she can come to rely on it. Greyhounds are very schedule oriented and do best with a consistent daily schedule.


Don't worry about her not playing with toys either. She's never had toys before so she doesn't understand what they are or what they are for. She may come to play with them, or she may not.


Time and patience right now - for all of you!

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you had a chance to walk her with another greyhound? We have been told that one thing that really makes a difference is having another greyhound "demo" how to walk around the neighborhood. I know you said you've walked with other dogs, but if there's any way you might be able to walk with a seasoned veteran greyhound nearby that could help a lot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peggy, who I've had since 2009, will 'statue' on walks if I don't go what she thinks is the 'correct' way and that can only be stubbornness, as the 'correct way' is almost always the much longer way. She still wants to be ahead to explore completely new places.


Could you see if having someone else walking on ahead and then calling her forward might help. It probably needs a very high value treat (frankfurters from Lidl worked for Peggy in the early days) or a squeaky toy used by the person walking on ahead as a kind of lure.


I think walking with another Greyhound might help too, or at least a hound that's keen on seeing what's coming up.


It might be that your new girl isn't sure you're in complete charge of the walk and that it's getting random (bad). In that case practice reading her body language.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhhh.... the joys of having a new dog and having it learn to walk. This is actually a fairly common problem that people have with dogs new to their home. People ahead have given you good information, but I do want to add one thing: Do not drag her by her collar. Even done gently, you can injure their throat or cause them to slip their collar. It is far better to nudge (push) them with your knee either in their rear or their shoulder.


As others have said this too shall pass. So have patience. Unfortunately my 12.5 year old Henry has started doing this again. But rather than being overwhelmed as he was when he was new, he has taken to deciding when he has walked far enough and wants to turn around. In this situation, I let him do what he wants to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...