How far can I walk my puppy?
A slow 20-minute “stroll” once or twice a day is a good rule of thumb for most puppies. Read on for my longer answer on puppy exercise!
There’s a lot of fear right now about walking a puppy or young dog too far and potentially damaging the pup’s developing joints. While it’s good to be cautious, this is too often taken to the extreme.
Before you read on, you should know that my general approach to dog training and puppy exercise is a tired dog is a good dog.
I lean towards exercising all dogs as much as I can within reason. I tend to exercise dogs more than the average person would be comfortable doing.
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When to start leash training a puppy
It’s OK to start training your puppy to walk on a leash right away from when you bring your puppy home. I recommend you use a light/thin nylon leash so it is not too heavy for your puppy.
Most likely, if you start walking, your puppy will follow you. Reward her with treats and praise.
If your puppy is already starting to pull you, here are my tips for loose-leash walking.
How far can I walk my puppy at 16 weeks?
Each puppy is unique!
I was comfortable walking my 16-week-old puppy Remy for about 35 minutes at least once a day. Ideally twice. (And let’s just say he was not at all tired after this.)
In addition to that, Remy ideally got the opportunity to run and play at his own pace off leash for 20 minutes or so each day.
I talked with my puppy’s vet and my puppy’s breeder and this is what worked for us. It doesn’t mean it’s right for your puppy. I’ve received some unkind emails warning me I’m doing everything wrong.
8 Week Old Puppy Training – Janice Gunn
You’ve brought your new bundle of joy home and they’re settling in well but you can’t wait to take them for their first walk to see how they react to the big wide world – and – let’s be honest show them off! It’s also really good for their socialisation too so let’s look at what you need to do to keep them safe before they go out of the house for the first time
Can I take my 6 week old puppy outside? If you have a back garden that is secure, clean and free from other unvaccinated dogs then your puppy can spend time outdoors. You will want to begin toilet training as soon as you can but always make sure they are supervised when outside and keep it quick if it’s cold. You can take your puppy into public places but always carry them and don’t put them on the floor. You could pop them in a satchel bag or carry them in your arms, but hold them tight as they’ll almost definitely try to wiggle their way out, when they see other dogs or people.
Can I take my 8 week old puppy out for a walk? Although your pup can go outside in your safe space, how soon can you take your puppy for a walk? It’s really important to wait until she is fully vaccinated before taking her out walking where other dogs have been. Fully vaccinated means a week to two weeks after the second jab in her primary vaccination course. Puppies are typically vaccinated at eight and ten weeks (although they can be vaccinated as early as four-six weeks) with the second dose usually being given two to four weeks later. On average most puppies will be fully vaccinated at around 14-16 weeks. But as always, it’s best to speak to your vet about the best timings. If she’s not fully vaccinated before going where other dogs have been she could be at risk of contracting parvovirus (parvo) or distemper – both nasty illnesses, potentially fatal to your pup..
Can my puppy get parvo from my back garden? As long as your outside space is secure and free from unvaccinated dogs she will not contract parvo or other viruses from your back garden. Unvaccinated dogs (unvaccinated puppies are most at risk) can catch parvovirus from an infected dog, an infected dog poo or anything an infected dog has touched such as a dog lead, food bowl, bedding, human hands and clothes.
Can my 9 week old puppy be around other dogs? If you are sure the other dog is vaccinated then your puppy can play with his new friend in a safe space, but it may be safer to wait until he has had both his injections so he is fully vaccinated.
For how long should I walk my puppy? Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, the general rule of thumb, is to exercise them for five minutes per month old – so if your fluffy bundle is 12 weeks old they can be walked for 15 minutes a day. When to start walking your puppy? You can start walking your puppy after 1-2 weeks of them being fully vaccinated. This is usually around the 8 week mark. However, make sure you keep a strict eye on them and ask your vet to confirm when they are allowed out on a walk. As well as being fully vaccinated and not over walking them, remember that puppies are much less able to regulate their temperature than older dogs and us! To protect your puppy from heat stroke, it is important not to take them out if it is too hot for them. It is generally safe in temperatures up to 19°C (68°F) but be careful even if it goes only 1°C above that. Make sure you always take fresh water out with you and you can always cool them down with a doggy ice-cream! If the weather gets too cold, it is a good idea for your pup to wear a coat and not be out for too long. You can tell if they are getting cold as they may shiver, slow down or even stop. They may also whine and bark if they are feeling any form of discomfort. Once you have chosen your pup’s outerwear, get them used to wearing it at home for short periods before walking them in it.
Is a harness or a collar better for a puppy? There is a whole array of leads, collars and harnesses to choose from and it’s great fun shopping to see what would suit them best. Whilst a flat collar is best for everyday wear a harness can be better for preventing accidents if your puppy was to pull on a lead. Get them used to wearing it from 8 weeks old for short periods of time and don’t forget to adjust or upgrade them as they grow bigger – which they will in a very short period of time! Hopefully, you will now feel really confident about when your puppy can go outside and when you can take them for their first walk in safety. Remember:
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