My dog insists on walking only one route
Hello all, I'll start by saying that this is my first post to this forum; I found it looking for some help with a problem. I will try to be a concise as possible while still giving all the relevant information.
My dog Satchmo is what I call a pure-bred mutt, and is about 5 years old. I've had him almost 7 months. He came from a rescue group that brings dogs from Taiwan, so he was born a street dog.
Over the past number of weeks I noticed a gradual change in his energy level, and an increase in his nervousness and ability to be spooked by things. (Even at the best of times he is a very timid dog.) Last week I discovered that he had a fairly serious bacterial infection in his gut, and since getting that treated (he is still on antibiotics) he has regained much of his old energy and playfulness. However, one very puzzling behaviour persists. When we go out for a walk, he only wants to go in one specific direction; down to the path near the ocean by my house. Any attempts to take him elsewhere in the neighbourhood are met with extreme stubbornness and it becomes a situation where I drag him a little ways down the sidewalk and then give up, because it's so frustrating. He also will happily get into the car to go for a ride to a park somewhere, and once we are in a less familiar area he will walk and run anywhere.
Before his behaviour started changing due to what I now assume was his illness, he would be happy to walk anywhere so long as he was by my side. I could take him to the shops with me and leave him outside no problem, I could walk him to a friend's house to have a visit in the evenings. No more. He only wants to go on our regular walking route by the ocean, and that's it.
I would be very grateful for any thoughts on what might be causing this stubbornness, and what a good way to change the behaviour would be? I really want to be able to take him everywhere with me like I used to!
Thanks in advance to all who take the time to read and reply!