How far can I walk with my puppy?

For new puppies around 8 weeks old, keep walking time to 5 or 10 minutes. Let your puppy choose the speed and take breaks as needed. If she’s too tired to walk, carry her home.

As your puppy grows, she can gradually walk longer walks. A puppy at 12 weeks old can walk for about 15 to 20 minutes. Again, let your puppy choose the speed and get enough rest to sniff. Avoid trying to pull the puppy.

Puppies’ muscles and bones are still developing, so long walks can be difficult on their bodies. If you must walk on the sidewalk, shorten your walk. Walking on grass or dirt is more likely to irritate your puppy’s growing bones than walking on sidewalks.

Increase the number of walks as your puppy grows

By 16 weeks of age (4 months old), most puppies can take a 30-minute meandering walk. When your puppy is 6 or 7 months old, increase the time to 45 to 60 minutes.

Don’t go on actual hikes or long, purposeful walks on the sidewalk until your puppy matures.

Long walks can stress your puppy’s body

Your puppy’s bones are still growing. Physical maturity occurs at approximately 12 months for small dogs and between 18 and 24 months for large dogs. Puppies have soft “growth plates” at the ends of their bones where new bones are created as the puppy grows. Growth plates are not as strong as mature bone and are therefore more susceptible to damage. Even worse, injured growth plates can cause bones to stop growing prematurely. This can lead to lifelong orthopedic problems.

Change to free run

The best exercise for a puppy is to run freely and safely. Let your puppy choose his own adventure and play at his own pace.

If you have access to a fenced yard, allow your puppy to roam freely, choosing her speed and direction. Stay with her! She will naturally adjust her activities, going faster when she wants and going slower when she’s tired.

If you don’t have a fenced yard, let your puppy play on a long line, about 15 feet long, so that the puppy has a safe space to play. Hold the end of the line as loosely as possible while she plays.

Longer walks to come

Taking your puppy for a walk can easily tire her out, but resist the urge. Instead, cherish these meandering strolls as her body grows and matures. Try seeing the world through your puppy’s eyes and enjoy her antics as she meanders around the yard exploring the world. Let her know the world.

When you want to go on a more purposeful walk and cover the ground, you can leave your puppy at home and bring your older dog, or head out on a solo outing. As your puppy matures, you’ll have plenty of time for hikes and long walks, and the healthy joints you developed when your dog was a puppy will last longer.