10 Reasons Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk & Solutions

Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk

Shih Tzu owners do complain that their Shih Tzu refuses to walk, and that is exactly what we will be discussing in this post.

In this post, we will be discussing all the possible and common reasons why your Shih Tzu may refuse to work.

Your Shih Tzu refusing to walk on a leash is totally different from other reasons and can be a result of improper training.

If properly trained to walk on a leash, your Shih will have no problems, that been said, let’s look at other reasons why your Shih Tzu may refuse to walk.

Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk

Walking a Shih Tzu may be challenging since they are a stubborn breed, and without the proper training, walking a Shih Tzu can become a problem.

Fear, nervousness, hind limb weakness, injury, elevated body temperature, heat exhaustion, fatigue, anxiety, and impatience are all typical causes for a Shih to refuse to walk.

Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion due to the shape of their nose, which also lead to some breathing difficulties.

This means they can’t walk or exercise for too long, and they will start panting finding it hard to breathe, this can also cause a Shih Tzu not to walk while you are outdoors.

However, if your Shih Tzu is not outdoors and refuses to walk, there are other common reasons you should consider.

Let’s now outline and discuss some of the common reasons why your Shih Tzu may refuse to walk.

Read more: What Makes Shih Tzus Happy: 23 Shih Tzus happy Hacks.

Reasons Shih Tzus refuse to walk

Here are some common reasons why your Shih Tzu may refuse to walk:


Shih Tzus are small breeds of dogs that are easily frightened by loud sounds or the sight of bigger objects or bigger pets.

When you are walking with your Shih Tzu, and he suddenly stops walking, perhaps something on the route scares him, and the expression of sorrow on his face is him pleading with you not to force him to go that way.

Stop and find out where his fears come from and look around for anything that could have thrown him off.

Taking a favorite toy and spending some time in the region where he pauses, turning the point to a fascinating point, might inspire him to keep going.

Loud sounds can force your Shih Tzu to suddenly stop walking because they are afraid.


Right from the puppy stages of your Shih Tzu, make sure you expose your Shih Tzu to all objects of fear.

If you have failed to introduce your Shih Tzu to all objects of fear like loud sounds and other bigger pets, you need to figure out why your Shih Tzu is afraid and remove it.

Read more: 11 Most Common Shih Tzu Behavior Problems & Solutions.

Medical issues

Pain or difficulty moving due to medical concerns is a typical reason for Shih Tzus refusing to walk.

Medical difficulties impact Shih Tzus of all ages, some of which are prevalent among various populations and others of which may be unique to your dog.

If your Shih Tzu is limping, this is a clear symptom of a medical problem or a physical injury.

However, because many Shih Tzus suppress their suffering, it may not be apparent at first.

A number of medical conditions might cause your dog to refuse to walk:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Congenital Issues
  • Orthopedic issues
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Kidney issues
  • Heart failure, etc.


  • Make an appointment with your veterinarian.
  • Instead of going for walks, try a variety of various sorts of exercise to burn off some of your Shih Tzu’s energy.
  • Depending on the medical condition that your dog is experiencing, you may need to eliminate walks from your regular routine entirely.

Lack of proper socialization

Lack of proper training and socialization takes away self-esteem and reduce your Shih Tzu confidence.

If your Shih Tzu is not properly socialized, they can be easily frightened or distracted during walks. Which may result in them refusing to walk.

Seeing a bigger dog during a walk may trigger fear and restlessness in your Shih Tzu, and they may refuse to walk further, this may because you didn’t introduce your Shih Tzu to big dogs during socialization.


The simple solution is to start socialization of your Shih Tzu using these tips:

  • Take your Shih Tzu to dog park.
  • Go hiking with your Shih Tzu.
  • Go to the beach with your Shih Tzu.
  • Visit other dog owners with your Shih Tzu
  • Attend puppy classes with your Shih Tzu.
  • Attend a dog show with your Shih Tzu.
  • Go to the store with your Shih Tzu.
  • Play dog movies for your Shih Tzu at home.

Read more: 10 Common Causes Of Shih Tzu Shaking You Should Know.


Your Shih Tzu may refuse to walk if he or she is in pain in the paws, legs, hips, or back.

This could be a temporary problem caused by a minor cut or bruise, pain caused by rapid growth, or a serious injury.


Look for symptoms that your Shih Tzu is limping or favoring a limb to see whether the discomfort is the cause of his inability to walk.

If they flinch when you touch any part of their body, lose interest in their favorite hobbies, or change their behavior dramatically, you should contact your veterinarian right once to rule out a major injury.

Read more: Why Do Shih Tzus Cry: 7 Reasons Shih Tzus Cry & Solutions

Too much distraction on the way

This may depend on where you are walking through, Shih Tzus are easily distracted by fancy things when they walk, as such they may refuse to walk and stop to watch what distract them.

Let’s say you are walking with your Shih Tzu across the street and your Shih Tzu sees kids playing with balloons, your Shih Tzu may pause because of his enjoying the play.


Cut your Shih Tzu some slack and let him join or sit and enjoy the kids playing with balloons or whatever distracted him, provided its fun.

Shih Tzus love treats so much, when you are ready to go or continue your walk, just pull some treats and distract him with treats, your walk continues.

Excessive physical exercise

Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion and do not withstand lengthy and intensive exercises, which includes walking for too long.

Because Shih Tzus are always eager to play outdoors, they don’t know when to stop playing or running. They can’t control how long they play until it’s too late.

Excessive physical exercise can definitely cause tiredness to your Shih Tzu which can make them to refuse to walk.


  • Do not over exercise your Shih Tzu when It’s hot outside.
  • Always know when to stop your Shih Tzu from playing by distracting them.
  • Keep an eye on your Shih Tzu breathing level when they play.
  • Don’t take your Shih Tzu for any long walk.
  • Always provide fruits for your Shih Tzu before and after walks.

Read more: My Shih Tzu Seems Sad: 10 Sad Shih Tzu Causes & Solutions.

Improper walking accessories

It may be quite painful for your Shih Tzu if his collar, harness, or leash is overly tight or restricts his mobility.

Wrong walking accessories will not only stop or force your Shih Tzu to refuse to walk but can also lead to skin injury that will make your Shih Tzu whine.

Unfitted leash, collar, and harness will definitely result to Shih Tzu refuses to walk, so always buy the correct and fitted accessories.


Make sure collars and harnesses are snug, but not so tight that you can’t put two fingers underneath them.

Make that your Shih Tzu can freely move all of his or her legs, tail, and ears, among other things.

If your Shih Tzu goes out in the rain or snow, ensure sure their accessories are completely dry before re-applying them to avoid irritating their skin.

Overheating or exhaustion

Because of the curvature of their snout, Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion. If your Shih Tzu stops moving during a stroll and refuses to budge, it might be tired or even hot.

In any case, your Shih Tzu needs a break, and you need to figure out what’s causing these underlying problems so they don’t recur.

While weary Shih Tzus are tired, Shih Tzu puppies are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion and can become overwhelmed on walks.


  • Never walk your Shih Tzu under the sun.
  • Avoid long and tiring walks.
  • Break walks.
  • Provide your Shih Tzu with a cool environment or things to cool down.
  • Monitor your Shih Tzu breathing during walks.
  • Always let your Shih Tzu drink water before walks.
  • Never force or drag your Shih Tzu during walk.

Read more: Why Do Shih Tzus Sleep So Much: 10 Reasons To Note.

Improper leash training

It’s most likely due to a lack of training if your Shih Tzu walks regularly without a leash but freezes or acts out when you put a leash or harness on them.

Leash training and etiquette are frequently necessary because walking is one of the most common ways to exercise dogs.

If your Shih Tzu has other issues, such as barking or chasing objects, you should address those first before undertaking leash training.


Keep in mind that leash training is a gradual process that may need regular reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement might assist your Shih Tzu keep his or her walking manners even after he or she has been leash trained.

Therefore, repeating your leash training if your Shih Tzu refuses to walk might be a good idea.

Make sure the collar and harness are the right size for your Shih Tzu, and that he can still walk about freely and without pain.

Give higher treats to reward your Shih Tzu for good walks or for conquering sources of worry, tension, or fear.

Give your Shih Tzu lots of verbal praise as well as pleasant physical rewards.

Too much fun

Your Shih Tzu may simply be too thrilled to stop having fun if they refuse to walk home from the park or a play session with another dog.

Your Shih Tzu, like a human child, may lay down when approached or flee when called to avoid going home.


This assignment may be tough depending on your Shih Tzu’s recall ability. Next time, take them somewhere fresh to make their travel less appealing.

It’s probable that they were extremely fond of the prior region, if they’re ready to come home.

Read more: 13 Most Common Shih Tzu Stress Symptoms & 7 Fixing Hacks.

How to walk a stubborn Shih Tzu

Here are some common tips to help walk a stubborn Shih Tzu:

  • Bring high-quality treats when walking your Shih Tzu.
  • Reward your Shih Tzu for desired behaviors during walking.
  • Yelling at your Shih Tzu or physically disciplining them is never going to yield desired results.
  • Train your Shih Tzu using click trainers, which are inexpensive and can be found at all pet stores.
  • You might get frustrated with your stubborn Shih Tzu, but that’s no reason to lose your cool.
  • Wrap your right hand around the leash and put your hand through it.
  • With your left hand, hold the slack in the leash.
  • If you need to, gently pull on the leash to remind your Shih Tzu to behave.
  • Never jerk or tug on the leash too hard, and never strike your Shih Tzu with it.
  • You can teach your recalcitrant Shih Tzu the command “let’s go,” which means you’re both going to go forward.
  • You may also teach your Shih Tzu the “stop” command, which tells them to halt walking.
  • Your Shih Tzu might be suffering from arthritis, a painful disorder affecting the joints try to fix it
  • Your Shih Tzu may have suffered an injury to the pad of his or her foot, as well as a muscle or tendon try to fix it. 

Finally on Shih Tzu refuses to walk

Any time your Shih Tzu’s behavior changes, it’s essential to screen out any medical concerns.

Taking your Shih Tzu to the veterinarian for a checkup provides you piece of mind that they are not in discomfort or suffering from any disease that makes walking difficult.

It also allows you to ensure that your dog is receiving any preventative care that they require in order to live a happy and healthy life.

Refusal to walk at home might be a sign your Shih Tzu is dying, see other signs of a dying Shih Tzu.

I hope you found your answer about Shih Tzu refuses to walk!