9 Top Reasons Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk

Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk

Shih Tzus are known to be stubborn, which is why most owners always ask why a Shih Tzu refuses to walk, if that bothers you then this post is for you.

In this post, we will take a deep dive into the most common reasons why Shih Tzu refuses to walk, we will also provide some common solutions.

Your Shih Tzu will have no difficulties walking on a leash if properly taught; nevertheless, there are various reasons why your Shih Tzu may refuse to walk.

Let me quickly summarize, before we break it down bit by bit!

Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk

Anxiety, hind leg injury or weakness, trauma, increased body temperature, heat exhaustion, weariness, tiredness, lack of proper leash training, fear, and restlessness are all common reasons for a Shih to refuse to walk.

Because Shih Tzus are a stubborn breed, walking them may be difficult. Without adequate training, walking a Shih Tzu can become difficult.

Due to the curvature of their snout, Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion, which can also cause respiratory problems during or after walks.

This means they can’t walk or exercise for very long before panting and finding it difficult to breathe; this can also cause a Shih Tzu to refuse to walk outside in hot weather.

Common Causes Shih Tzus may refuse to walk

Here are the most common reasons why your Shih Tzu may refuse to walk, be it indoors or outdoors:

Medical concerns or conditions

A common reason for Shih Tzus refusing to walk is pain or difficulties moving owing to medical problems.

Medical issues affect Shih Tzus of all ages, with some being common among different populations of dogs and others being specific to your Shih Tzu.

Limping due to pains is a visible indicator of a medical illness or physical damage in your Shih Tzu. Which can lead to your Shih Tzu refusing to walk.

However, because many Shih Tzus hide their pain just like other dogs, medical issues may not be obvious right away until a physical examination is carried out.

Your dog may refuse to walk due to a variety of medical conditions: hip dysplasia, arthritis, heat exhaustion, kidney issues, and heart failure, and many more.

The way out:

When your Shih Tzu refuses to walk, you can touch the Shih Tzu front legs and hind legs to see the Shih Tzu reactions.

After which, you should take your Shih Tzu to see your veterinarian if your Shih Tzu shows any signs of pain.

Wrong collar, leash or harness

If your Shih Tzu’s collar, harness, or leash is too tight or restricts his mobility, it can be rather uncomfortable for him.

Wrong walking accessories can not only make your Shih Tzu reluctant to walk, but they will also cause skin irritation, which will cause your Shih Tzu to whimper.

Unfitting leashes, collars, and harnesses will almost certainly cause your Shih Tzu to refuse to walk, so make sure you choose the right ones.

The way out:

  1. Make sure collars and leashes are snug, but not so tight that two fingers can’t fit underneath them.
  2. Make sure that your Shih Tzu’s legs, tail, and ears, among other things, can move freely.
  3. To avoid irritating your Shih Tzu’s skin, make sure their accessories are totally dry before reapplying them if they go out in the rain or snow.


Shih Tzus are small breeds of dogs that are easily distracted by smell or sounds when you take them for walks.

When they are distracted by anything during walks, you might find it difficult to get them going if you can’t really figure out why.

The way out:

When you’re ready to depart or continue your stroll, just bring out some snacks and distract him with food, and your walk will continue.

This only walks if you are sure your pup stopped walking because he was distracted by a sound, smell, or event.

Inadequate training on leash

If your Shih Tzu walks normally without a leash but freezes or freaks out when you put a leash or harness on them, it’s most likely due to a lack of training.

Because walking is one of the most common ways to exercise dogs, leash training and manners are commonly required.

If your Shih Tzu has any other concerns, like barking or chasing items, you should first address those before beginning leash training.

The way out:

Remember that leash training is a gradual procedure that may require reinforcement on a regular basis.

Even after your Shih Tzu has been leash trained, positive reinforcement may help him, or her, maintain good walking manners.

If your Shih Tzu refuses to walk, it would be a good idea to redo your leash training.

Make sure your Shih Tzu’s collar and harness are the proper sizes for him, and that he can still walk about freely and pain-free.

Give your Shih Tzu more rewards for good walks or for overcoming sources of stress, tension, or fear.

Give your Shih Tzu plenty of vocal praise as well as tasty treats.

Tiredness or heat exhaustion

Due to the curvature of their snout, Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion. If your Shih Tzu stops moving during a stroll and refuses to move, it’s probable that it’s tired or perhaps 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 happen again.

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

The way out:

  1. Never take your Shih Tzu for a stroll in the sun.
  2. Long and exhausting walks should be avoided.
  3. During walks take .
  4. Provide a cool setting or activities for your Shih Tzu to enjoy.
  5. During walks, keep an eye on your Shih Tzu’s breathing.
  6. Allow your Shih Tzu to sip water before going for a stroll.
  7. During a stroll, never drag or force your Shih Tzu.

Excess exercise

Excessive physical activity is harmful to your Shih Tzu health.

Shih Tzus are prone to heat fatigue and cannot tolerate prolonged and intense exercise, such as long walks.

Shih Tzus don’t know when to stop playing or running since they are constantly ready to play outside. They have no control over how long they will play before it is too late.

Excessive physical activity might induce exhaustion in your Shih Tzu, causing them to refuse to walk.

The way out:

  1. When it’s hot outside, don’t overwork your Shih Tzu.
  2. Always be aware of when to divert your Shih Tzu from playing.
  3. When your Shih Tzu is playing, keep an eye on their respiration.
  4. Don’t go for a lengthy stroll with your Shih Tzu.
  5. Always give your Shih Tzu fruits before and after walks.

Lack of proper training and socialization

Lack of sufficient training and socialization erodes your Shih Tzu’s self-esteem and confidence.

Your Shih Tzu might be easily scared or distracted on walks if they have not been properly socialized. As a result, they may refuse to walk.

Seeing a larger dog on a walk may cause your Shih Tzu to become fearful and restless, and they may refuse to walk any farther.

This might be because you did not socialize your Shih Tzu with large dogs.

The way out:

  1. Go to the dog park with your Shih Tzu.
  2. Take your Shih Tzu on a hike.
  3. Take your Shih Tzu to the beach.
  4. With your Shih Tzu, go visit other dog owners.
  5. With your Shih Tzu, go to puppy lessons.
  6. With your Shih Tzu, go to a dog show.
  7. Take your Shih Tzu to the shop.
  8. At home, show your Shih Tzu dog videos.

Anxiety and fear

Shih Tzus are little canines that are easily startled by loud noises or the presence of larger items or pets.

When you’re out walking with your Shih Tzu and he suddenly stops, it’s possible that something down the path has scared him, and the anguish on his face is him begging with you not to force him to go that way.

Stop and investigate the source of his anxieties, as well as search around for anything that could have thrown him off.

Taking a favorite toy and spending some time at the area where he pauses, then turning the point to an interesting point, could motivate him to continue.

Because they are terrified of loud noises, your Shih Tzu may abruptly stop walking.

The way out:

Make sure your Shih Tzu is exposed to all things of fear from the time he or she is a puppy.

If you haven’t successfully introduced your Shih Tzu to all items that cause anxiety, including loud noises and larger pets, you’ll need to figure out why your Shih Tzu is fearful and remove the source of the fear.

Desensitize your Shih Tzu if he has anxiety or uses a counter conditioning method.

Chronic pains or injury

If your Shih Tzu is in discomfort in the paws, legs, hips, or back, he or she may refuse to walk.

This might be a brief issue brought on by a tiny cut or bruise, pain from quick growth, or a catastrophic injury.

Your Shih Tzu might have encountered an injury, and you may not know, so always look out for injury when your Shih Tzu refuses to walk.

The way out:

To determine whether your Shih Tzu’s incapacity to walk is due to discomfort, look for signs that he is limping or favoring one limb.

If they react when you touch any area of their body, lose interest in their favorite pastimes, or change their behavior significantly, you should immediately contact your veterinarian to rule out a serious injury.

With explanation, you can now see the reasons why Shih Tzu refuses to walk.

Read more: 16 Low Maintenance Small Dogs: See Our Top 5 Picks.