How To Exercise a Dog Who Hates Walks + Questions About Walks

Hello!

I have now had my six month old boy, Monja, for about two weeks! I've loved my time with him so far. :)

The first few days I had him, we went for long walks and, though timid, he seemed fine. Then all of a sudden he would just stop in the middle of the walks and wouldn't budge. We started taking very short walks after that and sometimes last week he would just go outside to potty and then he would literally RUN home because he hated being outside. He has made some progress in the last few days and we've been going on short distance walks around a nearby apartment complex that is more quiet than other nearby areas (by the way, I live in a somewhat busy area of Tokyo in an apartment). He does not get much exercise from these walks and I've been worried that he is getting bored, so today I carried him about 10 minutes away to an area that has huge sidewalks and less people (though is near a fairly busy street). He was shaking in my arms on the way there, but once we got there he seemed to enjoy himself and we walked around for a brisk mile. First of all, is this a bad idea? I see it as kind of "throwing him into the ocean to teach him out to swim." I'm hoping to keep doing this (carrying him to the new area) each night because I do feel bad that he doesn't get enough exercise, but I am worried that he will continue being freaked out on the way there. Of course, I'd like for him to walk there himself, but currently I don't think it's possible because he is scared. 

Since I live in an apartment, my plan was to exercise him by taking him for several long walks a day (and eventually take trips to the dog park), but since that may not happen for awhile, I am wondering what else I can do at home to keep him having fun and staying exercised (both mentally and physically). Sometimes we play fetch in our hallway or I kick around a ball and he chases after it. Both are fun and he enjoys them. He also has a Kong that I use occasionally and he loves to chase ice cubes.

In general, he is not hugely active. Sometimes he will sleep on my lap or near me and he sleeps/rests a lot. I don't know if that is because he is bored or just less energetic than most corgis. If it's just his personality then that's fine, but since it is contrary to what I've heard about corgis, I am worried that he needs more stimulation.

Any advice would be great, thank you so much! 

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Hi Melyssa, Since you only had Monja for 2 weeks, he is still getting to know you, it will take sometime to build that trust. In the mean time, associate his name with treats, whenever you call his name, and he looks at you, give him a treat, he will learn to trust you that whenever his name is called, something good will happen. On the other hand, do not call his name when a, unwanted behavior arise. Carry treats when you walk him, keep you leash short, nothing long that will allow him to go pass your toes, keep your treats visible so that he can focus on you. Stop for water breaks every 10-15 mins. Good luck!

I don't know how long the walks were but since he is under one year I would keep the walks shorter (15/20 min) for at least 2 times a day. Two of my corgis were not very active. Izzy is perfectly happy with a couple short walks a day but will go longer. On longer walks she lags as far behind me as she can. Also, he is still possibly going through some of the growth stages right now so could be having some fearful episodes that usually will pass if you remain calm and relaxed about new things.

Becca was 8 months when I got her. I had the same problem with walks for about the first month. She was just overwhelmed with the new surroundings. There is an antique store in the neighborhood that constantly changes the yard display. She would refuse to walk by after a change. At times she would roll over on her back in the middle of the sidewalk and not want to move. I taught her the touch command, she touches my hand with her nose. When she got overwhelmed I would stop and play the touch game, or the name game. It helped and we were slowly able to expand our walks. Now she is game for about anything, I think it was mostly just the transition.

I still use touch and the name game to relax Becca.

If he's not super nuts without walks then he is probably fine on the exercise front, though walks are great for mental stimulation and socialization too. If he's refusing to walk, lure him with a toy and reward him with some tug every few steps if he likes that. Jiggle some keys or squeak a ball to get his attention. If none of that works, just wait it out until he decides to move. Be patient. Make it his choice to walk. You'll both be happier that way. If you find yourself standing there for what seems like hours, he might be scared of something in the area, so be observant and see/smell/hear what might be different. Then work on getting him used to the thing by giving him treats near it. Good luck!

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