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How often should I walk my puppy?

Puppy golden retriever walking on a leash advice
© Shutterstock

Your new puppy has settled in at home and now you want to take him out walking to show him to the neighbours. The question, is how often do you walk a small pup?

By Dawn Parrish

Before you think about walking your puppy

It’s very important that you begin your new pup’s training and socialisation regime as soon as you can. However, there are other things to consider. Recommendations suggest that you don’t take your pup outside until he has had all of his primary vaccinations. Of course, this depends on when you begin the process. Your pup could be almost 16 weeks old before you finally get to take him into the great wide world. During this time, your pup will certainly have lots of stored up energy and be picking up nasty habits.

Introduce your puppy to a collar and lead

Even though your pup is quite small, you can still familiarise him with a collar and a lead. Introduce the collar when he is busy doing something else, or when you are cuddling him. Certainly, you want this to be a positive initiation. Because you cannot take your pup for a walk outside, this obviously doesn’t mean he can’t walk in the house. With his collar and leash in place, even just taking him around the living room will get him accustomed to this.

Of course, if you have a yard or garden where no other dogs have access, take him on his leash and walk him around. If he begins to pull, which is almost inevitable with a tiny pup, rotate your steps and walk the other way. After a few starts and stops, your puppy will soon get the hang of things. Above all, reward him with treats and praise when he does walk with you.

walking your puppy with a collar and a leash Introduce your puppy to a collar and leash©tamara.bellis, unsplash

How much exercise does your puppy need?

In general, a good rule to follow when giving your puppy exercise is to allow 5 minutes for each month of the pup’s age. Even more important to consider, is how quickly your puppy is growing. Over-exercising a dog who is growing very quickly can damage the pup’s fast-growing bones. There are several other considerations too:

How strenuous is the walk?

Certainly, this depends on where you are walking, and on the type of road surface. Is your pup running freely or is he on the leash? Almost all larger breed puppies need to be extra cautious so as not to impair their growing skeleton.

Is regular walking necessary?

If your puppy is from a smaller canine group, you can probably extend this 5 minutes for each month advice. Certainly, a slightly longer walk isn’t likely to cause any damage. Likewise though, don’t over-exert your pup to the stage of exhaustion.

two puppies Puppy walking and making new friends© gerson.rodriguez, pixabay

Choose alternative activities

When you take your puppy for a walk on the leash, he needs to keep up with you. This can be quite tiring for a small dog. Instead, chose some activities and games to play at home. He will still have to use his brain, give his body a workout, but can also take a little nap in between these events.

Mental stimulation is just as tiring for a puppy

If you introduce early training regimes to your young dog, remember that mental motivation can be just as demanding. Any training routines that aren’t necessarily physical, will also be exhausting over long periods.


First of all, take several factors into the equation. The breed and size of your puppy and also his age will determine his exercise requirements. Probably, two 10-15 minute walks daily should suffice for the majority of pups to cover toilet breaks. Regular playtime and other activities should also be scheduled into your routine. Above all, enjoy your puppy walks! 


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