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.
We share with you how far a 12-week-old puppy can walk and some tips for walking a puppy.
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?
When Can I Start Walking My Puppy?
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.
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 your dog first so that they will be on their best behavior once they are ready to walk outside.