Updated at: 11-01-2022 - By: petstutorial

The primary reason behind dogs freezing when walking is due to the activation of the primal instinct. This instinctive urge could be fear, prey drive or irritation, or aggression. Whatever the reason, you need to confront the issue directly to assist your dog in moving forward.


When Your Dog Freezes On A Walk Due to Fear

Fear is among the main reasons why dogs freeze when walking. The type of freezing that occurs can happen in two ways:

  • Your dog’s body temperature will begin to freeze immediately you grab the leash
  • Your dog gets cold when walking alongside you

If your dog freezes when you pull your leash might be difficult to pinpoint the reason for their fear. If your dog freezes when walking with you the cause of their fear lies within the vicinity of.
If your dog is frozen when you pull its leash, you must conduct some research to determine the reason your dog is fearful.

  • Was there something that happened during your walk last time that scared or shocked your pet? Like, is your dog scared by loud sounds? Did you hear a loud noise on your last stroll?
  • Something significant has happened that shocked your dog? For instance, did your dog attacked recently by a dog?

When your pet suddenly stops moving when walking, be aware of the surrounding area.

  • Are there any unusual sounds?
  • Did you see a flash of lightning?
  • Did a car just fly through the air?
  • Do you see a bear in the distance on the trail?

There’s something happening in the immediate vicinity that may have caused your dog to be scared or, at a minimum, disturbed them. This happens frequently for dogs who are fearful by nature.

When Your Dog Freezes On A Walk Out of Hunting Instinct

Dogs can freeze when walking because of their primal hunting instinct. This behavior is frequent in hunting breeds such as pointers. This is triggered when dogs detect an odor of another animal.
If your dog freezes in this manner it’s possible that you’ll observe a small creature, such as squirrels. If you don’t spot any animal you will usually be able to detect that your dog has sensed the scent of an animal via its body communication.

  • Do you have a dog who is still frozen and snoozing from the side?
  • Do you see your dog still and still with its eyes fixed in front?
  • Are their ears in anticipation of a bird’s unusual call?
  • Do you have a dog with an upper paw on its front while sitting in a position with its tail stiff?

It is not necessary to teach your dog how to look for prey to freeze when they sense prey. Freezing is typically an instinctual habit, such as spinning circles prior to lying down (also called “denning.”)
It is not a good idea to penalize your dog for his instinctual behavior. However, if you are unable to tolerate it and you want to change it, you can develop new patterns of behavior by using the use of distractions as well as positive reinforcement. If, for instance, your dog is unable to move and freezes to distract them, you could distract them with a favourite toy. When they shift their focus to something else, you can give them lots of praise.


When Your Dog Freezes On A Walk Due to Aggressive or Defensive Posturing

The dog might also freeze on a walk due to something that has provoked the dog to engage in a defensive or aggressive reaction.
If, for instance, you see a dog that is not familiar toward you, and your dog senses that they are in danger The dog may freeze in place and then adopt the posture of a threatening one. Hair on the neck might be raised and they could show their teeth and might grunt.
In this scenario it is vital to be safe for both yourself and your pet. If your dog is able to frighten away the threat, slowly retreat until you are in the safety of your home. Don’t ignore the threat, even if you cannot longer observe them.
If your dog doesn’t succeed in securing threats, then a battle could occur as your dog attempts to defend yourself. The first thing you’ll want to do is to join caught in to the battle but don’t.

When Your Dog Freezes On A Walk Due To Paw Irritation

Another reason your dog could freeze while walking is the irritation to their paw pads. For instance the dog could have a swollen bump between the toes when walking.
If your dog is prone to freezing during the walk due to irritation to their paw pad and paw pads, they’ll likely keep their feet away from the floor or exhibit resistance to put their feet down or even put their the weight of it.
If you suspect that paw irritation has caused your dog to freeze during walks the dog, raise their paw and look at the pad of their paw. Check between their toes to look for thorns, burrs, or burrs and look for scratches or cuts.
If your pet’s paws are causing issue, get rid of any burr or thorn and shorten your walk. When you are at home, you can treat any cuts by using a pet-friendly antiseptic. Also, visit an animal veterinarian for any serious wounds or scratches.

Why does my dog freeze and refuse to walk?

When your pet is frozen sitting on the sidewalk or refuses to leave, they could be fearful. Certain breeds of dogs do not like to ride bikes skateboards, bikes, or even be scared of other dogs, strollers or obstructions in their path. It could take time to identify and sort through all the things that your dog is afraid of.

What does it mean when your dog freezes?

If a dog feels the desire to stay frozen or still, it is a sign that they are experiencing a very high feeling of discomfort. In some instances when a dog is still, the situation may not escalate further; the freeze may mean the dog is so uncomfortable/stressed* with the situation that he feels he has no option but to shut down.


Conclusion / Summary

If your dog becomes agitated when walking for reasons of any kind, you need to decide if the response is reasonable or must be addressed through the modification of behavior. If you think that behavioral modification is needed the earlier you begin your journey, the quicker the dog and you will begin to enjoy your walks together

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