Always pay attention to your dog’s body language. Their body language is one of the ways they tell you how they’re feeling. They may be tired and forcing themselves to continue for you, or they can sense danger that you don’t. After all, dogs have a better sense of smell, hearing, and motion visibility than you do.
I can’t stress this one enough and I speak from experience. When I was 10 or 11, I would often wander the woods by our house, always with my dog. One day he started growling at seemingly nothing and tried to push me back, keeping me from going further. I didn’t understand at the time, and the next thing I know a coyote appeared from behind a tree, snarling at us.
As an even bigger surprise, at that moment, my dog changed. The dog who had never shown an aggressive bone a day in his life planted himself between me and the coyote and became big and mean. He got taller, his hair stood on end, his growl got deeper – he became bear-like. In my youthful mind anyway.
Long story short the coyote ran away, and my dog and I were unharmed. But had I listened to him to begin with we could have potentially avoided the entire situation.
Trust your dog and listen to them. Do not force them to do something they don’t want to, especially if what they don’t want to do is out of character for them. Instead try to understand what they are telling you.