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How Far Can A Puppy Walk? Find Out Here

By
 Ashly 
on 
May 16, 2021

Puppies have a lot of energy, and they are ready to burn some of it off at a moment's notice. When you decide to go on a walk with your pup, you can set some goals for yourself and your dog. How far will you walk, and how long will you walk?

A good way to start is by taking your puppy on a short walk and gradually increasing the distance each time. The following examples require writing an intro paragraph for a blog post titled "" on a (your favorite topic) blog called "The New York Times", that is described as "The best of The New York Times and the best of the Web, for your home every morning."

Walking Tips For Puppies

Every dog owner has a duty of care to make sure that their dog gets at least one walk every day. Dog walking is something that the whole family can enjoy and, better still, it costs nothing at all – only your time.

Before going anywhere with your puppy or dog, it’s important that you understand what it means to be a responsible owner – whether it’s ensuring your puppy is well-socialised before heading out and about after a year of pandemic restrictions, to preparing it for the outside world and making sure you know how to deal with its poo when out walking.

Does Your Puppy Need Exercise?

We may not have exact measurements, but there are a few common sense considerations that can help you come up with a plan to keep your puppy active and healthy.

For starters, consider your dog’s breed. A Bulldog puppy and a Border Collie puppy will both love playtime, but a Border Collie will probably have a higher exercise tolerance than a Bulldog, not to mention a higher heat tolerance for outdoor play.

Breed size matters, too. There have been studies that show potential links between too much exercise and orthopedic disease in large-breed dogs. 

Forcing your 8-week-old Great Dane for a two-mile walk every day, for instance, is probably not a great idea, even if he could keep up. Most people would not consider taking a smaller-breed puppy for a hike that long, but with higher energy levels, larger breeds can fool us into thinking they need longer walks than is good for them.

Learning as much as you can about your breed is a good place to start. Large and giant breeds grow quickly and mature slowly, which may mean you have to put off certain activities, like jumping in agility, until they are fully grown. Toy breeds, on the other hand, mature more quickly but require small, frequent feedings throughout the day as puppies, which can mean you may need to adjust their exercise accordingly.

All breeds require mental stimulation, but high-drive, working breeds, such as Belgian Malinois, Border Collies, and German Shepherd Dogs need more mental stimulation than other breeds.

Working training sessions into their exercise routine is just as important as exercise itself.

Your puppy’s exercise needs will change as she grows. When your puppy is very young, veterinarians recommend keeping exercise limited to short walks and multiple play sessions throughout the day, with plenty of time for naps.

Older puppies will require more exercise. A six-month-old dog might be capable of taking longer walks or even short jogs (if your vet helps you determine he’s in good overall health and up for it),

for example, but long hikes over rough terrain or strenuous agility classes are still potentially dangerous.

You can slowly build your puppy up to longer walks with time, taking plenty of breaks to keep him from tiring out or hurting himself, but how long is too long? And what about puppies that never seem to get tired, no matter how much they run around?

 It's Hard To Find The Answer For That:

As with humans, all the recommendations in the world boil down to an inconvenient reality: the amount of exercise your puppy needs depends on your puppy.

“On the one hand, we know wolf pups run with their packs for miles. On the other, we know that the risks for a sedentary puppy with a weekend-warrior exercise pattern are worse than for a puppy that gets continuous, self-regulated exercise,” says Dr. Marc Wosar, MSpVM, DACVS, an orthopedic specialist. “Unfortunately, there are no hard-and-fast rules in these cases.”

This leaves owners struggling to come up with the answers themselves. Talking with your veterinarian is a great place to start, and Dr. Kuhly cautions against spending too much time focusing on “how much exercise is too much,” and instead advises owners to remember that while there are no fixed rules about what is too much exercise, not getting enough exercise over a lifetime is far more dangerous.

Your veterinarian is a great place to start your research. You can also talk to your breeder, contact breed enthusiast groups for advice, or talk to other owners about their experience with puppies of a similar breed. Most importantly, watch your puppy carefully for signs of excessive tiredness or lameness, as this could be more than just a symptom of too much exercise and could be a sign of a more serious problem.

Safety Tips For Puppy Exercise.

Regardless of your dog’s age, there are a few safety tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association that can help keep your puppy safe during exercise.

  • Teach your puppy how to walk on a leash.
  • Begin with short walks, taking frequent breaks.
  • Increase the length of the walk gradually.
  • Avoid walks during the hottest and coldest parts of the day.
  • Walk on safe footing, avoiding slippery or sharp surfaces.
  • Call your veterinarian if your puppy shows any signs of lameness.

Types of Exercise For Puppies

Puppies love to play, whether that involves romping, chasing, wrestling, or tugging. This is good news for owners, because it provides lots of variety in exercise for their pups.

Variety may also help reduce some of the risks associated with repetitive exercise, and can help you bond with your new dog.

Consistency is important for puppies. Taking long runs on the weekend and short walks during the week can hurt your puppy’s growing body, but consistency doesn’t mean you have to repeat the same activities. Vary the type of your puppy’s activities.

If the weather is warm, try taking your puppy swimming to help get her used to water. Go for walks on different surfaces, like grass, wooded trails, and even pavement to help her grow comfortable in new environments. Find puppy playgroups and obedience classes, and introduce her to new toys and games.

Above all, make sure she gets at least three exercise sessions a day. Two of these could be short walks around the neighborhood to work on her leash training, while the third could be a rousing game of tug in the yard or hide-and-seek in the house.

As you get to know your dog, you may find that she tells you when she is too tired to keep playing, which is your cue to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet while your puppy takes a nap.

When And How Often Do We Have To Walk Our Puppy

You’ve welcomed a new puppy into your family – congratulations!  Apart from the unconditional love that only a canine companion can provide, enjoying the exercise and the fresh air that comes with a long outdoor walk is one of the biggest benefits of dog ownership. 

But before you click your brand-new leash to your puppy’s brand-new collar, take a moment to make sure you understand your puppy’s limitations.

They may appear to be bundles of energy that never stop moving, but there are some very real dangers with over-exercising a puppy.  Read on to find out everything you need to know about walking and exercising your new puppy.

When Should We Start Walking Our Puppies?

There are two main factors to take into account when working out when is it safe to take a puppy outside.  One factor is the specific exercise needs of your puppy, which will depend on your puppy’s age, breed, and other factors. 

Of equal importance are your puppy’s immune system and vaccination schedule. If you’re wondering when can I take my puppy outside, the generally accepted answer is that puppies shouldn’t venture out into the real world until at least two weeks after their final puppy vaccination. 

Your veterinarian will be able to give you a specific timeline for your puppy’s vaccination schedule so you can plan puppy preschool or play dates with other dog owners but, in general, the answer to the question, “When can puppies go outside?” is not until two weeks after their puppy vaccinations schedule is complete.

What Age Should You Walk Your Puppy?

Your puppy’s first outdoor walks don’t so much come down to their age but where they are with their vaccination regime. 

Rather than wondering what age do puppies start walking, chat to your veterinarian about starting your puppy vaccination schedule as soon as possible so they can be fully vaccinated and ready to head outdoors.

If your puppy is otherwise fit and healthy and your vet is happy to administer their vaccinations on time, your puppy could be fully vaccinated and ready to head outdoors by 16 to 18 weeks of age.

Of course, just because your puppy is fully vaccinated and protected from troubling illnesses like parvovirus doesn’t mean that they’re ready to go for day-long hikes. 

When your puppy is very young, “walks” will mainly consist of a short venture outside to go to the bathroom, with much more emphasis on indoor play than long exercise sessions.

How Often Can We Walk The Puppy?

If you’re wondering how often to walk a puppy, let your puppy toilet training schedule dictate your walks in the early stages. 

Your puppy will be going outside very regularly in the first few months, so each trip outside could be treated as a tiny walk. 

A short stroll around the garden or a walk to the end of the driveway and back each time you take your puppy out to go to the toilet is more than enough at this stage.

As your puppy gets older, you can keep most of the outdoor potty sessions quicker and turn two or three of them into slightly longer walks.

As your puppy grows into an adult, they are going to need at least one walk every day, with active or intelligent dog breeds like Retrievers, Kelpies, and Blue Heelers needing at least two or three daily walks.

How Far Can We Walk Our Puppy?

How far can a puppy walk?  There is no standard answer for an appropriate distance for a puppy walk, as much will depend on the size, breed, and age of your puppy. 

Don’t confuse energy levels with the ability to walk long distances. All puppies have enormous bursts of energy and love to play, but some puppies simply can’t handle walking the same distance as other puppies.

Always start with very short walks and build up over time, taking your puppy’s needs as a cue.  If your puppy sits or lies down during your walk, that’s a clear sign that your puppy needs to rest and the walk is over. 

Pick up your puppy, walk straight back home, and let them rest. They’re politely trying to tell you that they’ve reached their walking limit.

While all puppy walks should start short and gradually increase over time, in general, medium-sized dogs like Standard Poodles and Border Collies can handle longer distances than smaller dogs or dogs with short legs, like Corgis and Dachshunds. 

Very large breeds like St Bernards and Great Danes may look like they can handle a long walk, but because of how slowly their joints and bones develop they can be at risk of orthopedic problems later in life if they have too much exercise in puppyhood.

Walking A Puppy On A Leash

If you’ve ever thought that dogs naturally know how to walk nicely on a leash, you’ll soon realize this isn’t the case when you first put a leash on your new puppy. 

Since your life with your new dog is going to involve plenty of leash time, walking nicely on a leash is a skill that must be taught as early as possible.

The good news is that leash skills can be taught in the safety of your own home, so by the time your puppy is ready for their first outdoor walk, they will already be familiar with walking nicely on a leash.  If you’re wondering how to walk a puppy for the first time,

the secret answer is that your puppy’s first outdoor walk should be preceded by plenty of indoor practice and leash training during those weeks when they’re not fully vaccinated and unable to socialize outdoors.

The first step to teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash is to introduce your puppy’s walking equipment – like a harness and leash combination – as soon as possible.  Let them sniff at and become familiar with these items and reward their interest and curiosity with plenty of praise.

Increase the praise and add a few food treats when trying on your puppy’s harness and leash for the first time, then take it off very shortly after.  Build up the amount of time that your puppy wears their walking equipment and make sure every time is a positive experience filled with playing, treats, and plenty of verbal encouragement.

Once your puppy is feeling comfortable with their harness and leash, it’s time to begin encouraging them to stay by your side while walking. 

This technique isn’t difficult, but it can take some time to master. Your puppy needs to learn that when they’re in the right position (immediately to your side) they get to continue their walk. 

If they move out of position – whether in front, behind, or to the side – the walk stops and doesn’t resume until they’re back in the right spot. Your puppy may show signs of frustration at first but will soon learn that the only way to get you to continue moving around is for them to walk by your side.

It is only natural for your puppy to take off in every direction to explore.  Rather than pulling, jerking, or yelling, simply stand perfectly still and don’t move until the puppy is back in the right position. 

As soon as your puppy causes the leash to slacken by coming back to your side, reward them immediately with excited praise, or a food treat, and by taking off on your walk again. 

Make this reward as instantaneous as possible so your puppy soon learns that wandering off only leads to frustration while staying by your side gets them your praise and an enjoyable walk.

Keep these leash training sessions very short to begin with and gradually build them up over time.  If your puppy sits or lies down while practicing with the leash, take this as a clear sign the puppy needs a rest.  Stop training immediately and give your puppy a chance to have a break.

Every time you see a fellow dog owner struggling to restrain their dog or puppy on a leash, you’ll be glad you learned how to walk a puppy on leash right from the very beginning.

Stopping Puppy To Pull On A leash (And other common issues...)

How long does it take for puppies to walk nicely on a leash?  This will come down to the amount of time you spend teaching your puppy appropriate leash-walking skills, along with the age, breed, and temperament of your puppy. 

The above loose-leash training method will help your puppy to learn faster by associating polite leash walking with praise and activity.

If a puppy pulls on the leash – which they are bound to do as they are so eager to explore the world around them – simply stand completely still and refuse to take another step until your puppy is back by your side. 

Resist the urge to pull your puppy back towards you, jerk on the leash, or yell at your puppy. Let them work out what they need to do to get you to start walking again.

If your puppy tends to lunge while walking on the leash – perhaps at a car, another dog, or a cyclist – you will need to be proactive and learn to recognize the situations that are likely to trigger your puppy to lunge.  If you know that your puppy is car reactive, be vigilant about approaching cars and direct your puppy’s attention towards you before they have a chance to lunge.

Praise and reward your puppy for looking at you and staying by your side.  When they do lunge, ignore the behavior and stand completely still. Only resume the walk when your puppy is back by your side. This will teach your puppy that they should give their attention to you rather than to passing cars, dogs, and cyclists.

If your puppy gets so excited on a walk that they bark excessively, this can be a sign that your puppy is not getting enough physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. 

If you have an active breed puppy who is being left alone most of the day and only taken for one short walk in the afternoons, they may become so overstimulated that they can’t stop barking. 

Try to change your day around to add more short bursts of exercise and playtime throughout the day. If you’re away from home all day long, you may need to look into a puppy daycare or dog walker to give your puppy the stimulation they need.

Walking your dog is not just a fun activity, it’s vitally important for your dog’s health and well-being.  By starting a good dog walking regime during the puppy stage, your dog will soon learn how to walk nicely on a leash and will look forward to their daily walks with you.

If you’ve been looking forward to long, enjoyable dog walks with your new companion, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to start your new walking regime as soon as you get your new puppy.  Just remember that your dog’s puppy phase is fleeting, so stick to short, easily manageable walks for now and leave the longer walks for when your dog is fully grown.

In the meantime, take plenty of photos and enjoy those special puppy cuddles, because your puppy will have transformed into an adult dog before you know it.

When To Know When You're over-exercising your puppy

When we first get a dog, most of us dream of long rambling walks with our new companion - and there is no doubt that exploring the countryside or local parks together is a real joy of dog ownership. In our enthusiasm to ‘get out there’ however, we can sometimes forget that our new puppy is only a baby, and like any baby, their physical abilities are limited.

This means that we can cause lasting damage by over-exercising a puppy or expecting too much in the early weeks and even months.

Until a dog reaches sexual maturity – which is different in each breed – their bones are still growing. The growth plates within the bones, which allow them to lengthen as the dog gets larger, stay soft for a surprisingly long time, which is why over-exercising your pup might make them vulnerable to injury. Injuries at this time may not heal properly and can cause lasting problems for the dog. In addition to the soft growth plates, the rest of the puppy’s bones are softer too and so can break easily.

It’s not just the bones that are developing either – these are held together with muscles, tendons and ligaments that are working hard to support the puppy’s growing bones and joints, and they can also be vulnerable to injury caused from over-exercising your puppy or from the wrong kind of exercise or play.

Important Reminders: Puppy exercise and puppy walking guidelines

Knowing all this, it’s easy to panic and become overprotective but with a few guidelines, you can make sure you get it right!

First of all, remember that puppy exercise is necessary because this is how they increase their bone density – which means strong bones and a decrease in the potential for injury as an adult.

This exercise shouldn’t be marching round the countryside or the local roads on a lead though.

In fact, when it comes to continuous puppy walking a good rule of thumb is that puppies should have no more than 5 minutes of exercise for each month of age, two times a day.

So a five-month-old puppy would have no more than 25 minutes walking twice a day – and this should be decreased in larger breeds.

Even then, puppy walking should be very relaxed with lots of time to sniff, explore and investigate the environment around them.

Puppies are growing their brains as much as their bodies and this early exploration of the world around them is vital to their development.

Keep continuous structured puppy walking to no more than two minutes at any one time – and if at any point the puppy flops down, seems reluctant to walk, or looks tired, listen to them and act accordingly.

How Far Can A Puppy Walk?

Pets should engage in regular exercise just like humans do. It is important to give your dog the opportunities to get out and walk around.

You may not have thought about just how far your dog can walk. A puppy is full of energy and may want to get out and walk every chance it gets.

How far your puppy can walk depends on the size of the dog, the age of the dog, and the condition of the dog's health.

(If you've learned a lot about this article, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section)

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Ashly

Hey yaa! Im Ashly and I love pets. Growing up in a house with 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot and many furry rodents; it was natural for me to have a profound affection for them. I created GenerallyPets.com to create useful guides and articles on looking after your furry friends. The advice given on this site is our views and expertise, please consult a VET prior to testing anything. Hope my site helps you :)

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