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Understanding Your Dog's Reluctance to Move: Stubborn dog or misunderstood canine?

Updated: Feb 28

A dog looking uncomfortable while being pulled on his lead
A dog looking uncomfortable while being pulled on his lead

What you might see....I have a stubborn dog

What I see as a trained canine behaviourist:-

If a dog is reluctant to move, it could be indicating various emotions or physical issues. Here are some potential reasons why a dog may not want to move:

Pain or Discomfort:

Dogs may be hesitant to move if experiencing pain or discomfort, possibly due to an injury, arthritis, or other medical conditions. Observe for signs such as limping, stiffness, or sensitivity during physical contact.

Fear or Anxiety:

Resistance to movement may stem from fear or anxiety about the environment, new situations, or loud noises. Look for behavioural cues like cowering, trembling, or avoidance.


Like humans, dogs can experience fatigue, especially after vigorous activity. Allow adequate rest and observe whether reluctance improves after a period of relaxation.

Behavioural Issues:

Reluctance to move may be linked to behavioural concerns. Evaluate recent changes in routine or environment influencing your dog's behaviour.

Old Age:

Senior dogs, in particular, may exhibit reluctance due to stiffness and joint issues, commonly associated with conditions like arthritis.

If your dog consistently exhibits reluctance to move and you cannot identify an obvious cause, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian. A comprehensive examination can help rule out underlying health issues.

As a trained professional dog behaviourist, I can provide valuable insights into addressing any behavioural concerns. Contact me to start your journey to understand your dog's behaviour.

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Dr Caroline drinking coffee with her dog Buddy
Dr Caroline and her dog Buddy

Dr. Caroline Rees

PhD animal behaviour

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