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How long should I walk my puppy for?

Puppy on a walk

Walking a puppy can often give owners a dilemma. To work out how long to walk your puppy for, start with our general rule then consider your own dog's circumstances.

A general rule when walking a puppy is five minutes per month of age. 

This suggestion is particularly good for dogs who are going to grow rapidly and whose skeleton can be damaged with over-exercise. However, there are other factors to consider which could alter your routine:

  • Consider how strenuous the walk is. A lot depends on what type of surface you are walking on and whether the puppy is on lead or free running. Bigger breeds, in particular, should not overdo it as it can damage their fast-growing bones.

  • With a smaller dog you can probably safely do a little more than this recommendation and an occasional longer walk is unlikely to do harm. However, regularly walking your puppy to the point of exhaustion isn’t sensible and can cause skeletal damage to growing youngsters.

  • Play games at home and devise other activities that employ his brain. At home he can break off for a nap if he is tired, but on a walk he may have to keep going.

  • Mental exercise is equally as important and is just as tiring for your puppy. If you start to introduce training, particularly using clicker training, you will find that 10 minutes’ training is just as good as 30 minutes’ free running in terms of settling the puppy down.

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