Experts agree that puppies should not be exercised for too long as it can result in joint and bone problems.
This means that, while puppies are curious creatures that want to explore their surroundings by running and playing, they should not be exhausted too much.
If you have a new puppy, you’re probably wondering how far can a 12-week-old puppy walk?
We share with you how far a 12-week-old puppy can walk and some tips for walking a puppy.
When Can I Start Walking My Puppy?
Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise a puppy. However, you shouldn’t jump into it right away with a young puppy.
There is no exact age on when to start walking your furry pal. But here are some considerations.
You shouldn’t start walking your puppy until they are fully vaccinated. This is because puppies do not have a developed immune system yet.
Vets usually recommend waiting until two weeks after your dog’s final vaccination booster before taking them for walks. Usually, they are 16-18 weeks old by this time.
Is your puppy leash-trained? If not, then walking them may be a problem.
But before doing so, you have to get them used to their collar and leash first. This set from the Beebiepet Store is adjustable and has a quick-release buckle.
Try to associate their leash and collar with positive things like playtime, treats, and petting.
You can leash-train your dog when they are eliminating, walking them to their bed, or when they are heading to their food.
Puppies are usually open to new experiences and learning, so it’s highly recommended to socialize them as early as possible.
Teach them to be confident and friendly to humans and other animals while also being alert about threats.
Don’t overstimulate your puppy at first, so start in the yard and with short walks.
Make sure that your dog’s meeting with other dogs is a positive experience. Allow them to meet other calm and friendly dogs and not aggressive ones.
Be sure to ask other dog owners first before letting your puppy approach.
How Far Can a 12-Week-Old Puppy Walk?
The question shouldn’t be how far they can be walked. But rather where and how long can you walk a 12-week-old puppy?
As mentioned, you cannot take your puppy anywhere when they are not yet fully vaccinated. This means you can only walk your puppy in your house or yard until then.
Vaccination protects against life-threatening diseases. Your puppy is vulnerable to these diseases when they are not yet vaccinated especially because they are inquisitive.
This video has more on why it is important for your puppy to be vaccinated.
They will sniff, lick, and eat everything. So, you must watch out for them even when you’re walking them in your yard.
But just because your dog can’t go out yet doesn’t mean you should let them sit around until they are old enough.
Movement is healthy for their developing joints, so make sure to exercise them regularly.
Once they are complete with immunizations, you can start walking them around the block or in your local park. Make sure that the dogs you encounter are also vaccinated to avoid illnesses.
So, how long can you walk your puppy. According to the Kennel Club UK, you can use the general guidelines of five minutes of walking per month of age.
You need to build up slowly when walking a puppy as their bones are still fragile and their growth plates haven’t closed yet. You want to protect their joints to avoid causing damage later in life.
This means you only need to walk your 12-week-old puppy for about 15 minutes in your house or yard.
If you have a large-breed puppy, you know that they are more prone to joint challenges in later life. So. discourage them from rough play, running up and down the stairs, or jumping on furniture.
As for how frequently you need to walk them, it must be every day.
Remember that this ratio is just a guide. At the end of the day, you know your puppy best. You know their genetic background and you know their energy levels.
Watch your puppy for signs of fatigue and stop when they are getting tired. Regular short bouts of exercise will steadily build up their stamina.
Talk to your vet if you are still unsure or if your puppy seems to tire too quickly.
Tips for Walking a Puppy
Here are some tips for walking your 12-week-old puppy.
Go for a Walk Inside
Once you have introduced your pup to their collar and leash, walk them at home inside first. It’s much safer here especially if they are not yet leash-trained or vaccinated.
If you have a yard, bathroom time would be a great time to walk them there.
Remember that you shouldn’t be running with your puppy or dragging them around the yard. Walks are naturally slow with puppies at first, so do not rush them.
It’s also normal to do a lot of stopping, even if the walking area is as small as your yard. Give your puppy time to explore their environment and become familiar with it.
Teach Basic Commands First
By the time your dog is ready to walk outside, make sure they are also equipped with following basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “down.”
This will keep them well-behaved while you are out on walks. For example, if your neighbor passes by and you want to have small talk with them, the “sit” command will be helpful.
Make sure to give them treats to keep them motivated! Try Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Treats. They are packed with real meat and fatty acids to provide nutrition for your pup!
Make Sure They Don’t Run Away
Once your puppy is old enough to be walked outside, make sure they do not run away.
Usually, a 12-week-old puppy is much too curious to stay by your side when they see a wider, more entertaining environment.
If you don’t intend to put them on a leash, they will simply be too excited and run out in the street.
Leash-training and obedience training will prevent this from happening
Check out this video from Zak George for some tips to stop this behavior.
What Happens if I Walk My Puppy Too Much?
If you have taken your puppy on a long walk before reading this, don’t worry. Chances are, they may just feel a little more tired than usual.
But you shouldn’t do this again. Walking your puppy too much every day can lead to:
- paw tears
- sore muscles
- joint injury
- behavioral changes.
Your puppy will most likely be fine, but if you are at all concerned then take them to the vet for a checkup.
Don’t beat yourself up if your puppy has been running and jumping around a lot. Just take some steps to prevent it from happening again.
FAQs Puppies and Exercise
Should I Leash-Train My Puppy First?
Yes. Leash-train your puppy to make daily walks fuss-free for both of you.
You should leash-train your puppy as young as possible, although ten weeks old is the ideal age.
Leash-training is important as it helps avoid so many behavioral problems in dogs. It aids in housebreaking, outdoor exercise, and training.
Check out what age to start leash-training your puppy now.
What Type of Leash Should I Use for My Puppy During Walks?
The best dog leash will help you control your dog better and make both of you comfortable while doing it.
It should be around six feet long to keep it from dangling loosely on the ground. You also want to consider a strong clip made of metal to ensure its longevity.
We have the best dog leash recommendations for you to check out!
What is the Best Way to Exercise My Dog?
The best way to exercise your dog depends on their age, breed, and energy levels.
It also depends on where you’re doing it. If you’re exercising them outdoors, try hiking, playing fetch, obstacle courses, and swimming.
But if you’re exercising them indoors, the best exercise is using a treadmill or obstacle course.
Find out the best way to exercise your dog now!
How Long Should I Play Fetch with My Dog?
The game of fetch is an enjoyable and rewarding game for your dog. How long you should play depends on your dog.
Some factors to consider here include their health, energy levels, age, and breed. But generally, the recommended amount of time spent on playing fetch is at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Learn more about how long you should play fetch with your dog!
Wait Until Your Pup is Ready for Walks!
It would be fun to take your jolly pup out for the world to see their cuteness! However, it is important to wait until they are ready.
A 12-week-old puppy is usually not yet fully up to date on their required vaccinations, so they are more prone to infectious diseases.
They are also not yet trained to walk on the leash, so walking them outside may not be a great idea.
In the meantime, walk them inside the house or in the yard for up to 15 minutes at a time so they are not over-exercised.
Leash-train them first so that they will be on their best behavior once they are ready to walk outside!