How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?
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Thread: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

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    How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Hi all,

    Just hoping for some advice on how far/long I can walk my 3 month old puppy. I've heard 5 min for each month of age, i.e. 15 min for a 3 months old, but how many times a day can I do this without stressing his joints? Otis would love more than 15 min a day.

    Cheers,

    Luce

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    I tend not to follow that rule within reason, I take the puppy (in a safe area, no other dog feces etc) to walk as far as the puppy wants to go(they usually don't go that far..lol), but prepared that I may have to carry the puppy back. Each dog is different and a lot depends on the substrate the pup is walking on. If you are doing concrete sidewalks, then less is better, for example. What breed is your pup?

    Puppy walks are more for socialization opportunities than they are "exercise". Stop and meet people with your pup. Expose him to traffic noise and different places. Carry him around to new areas etc. Take him on short car rides.Socialization includes people of all different types, sounds, sights, other dogs (controlled circumstances only), different forms of transportation and different types of flooring (carpets, cement, tile floors, metal grates etc). Umbrellas, canes, crutches, wheelchairs, old and young people, kids of both sexes etc etc etc. All of these circumstances that he may encounter in his life, they must be POSITIVE associations so don't force it, just keep it pleasant and frequent.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member Purley's Avatar
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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    After experiencing Parvo, I wouldn't be walking any three month old puppy anywhere in public. My son walked his pup for about two minutes in a public parking lot. He was picking up his puppy from the breeder. There were two puppies being handed over. They both walked their puppies and BOTH got Parvo. My son's dog survived. The other one didn't. The bill for getting Cooper better was $1,500.

    My advice is - stay in your own yard until at least two weeks after the puppy has had its whole set of Parvo shots. Having the first shot is not enough. Those pups had both had their first set of shots, including Parvo.

    Parvo virus can stay on surfaces for years. Just because there is no evidence of dog poop, doesn't mean the area is safe. You can't see a virus!

    Just my two cents worth!

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Unfortunately, getting a puppy out is a risk you must take. The period between 6-12 weeks is a dangerous time. One sniff where a sick dog relieved itself in the last 6 months can bring on parvo or another life threatening disease. Fail to expose it to strangers, including men, women, children, noise, etc. and you could end up with a misfit you can't take out in public. They also need continuing contact with other dogs, but it must be limited to ones you know are getting good care. See http://www.apdt.com/po/news/docs/Messer_Nov06.pdf

    I wonder how much science is behind that 5 minute rule and a bunch of other rules? I have walked puppies far more than that, and they did just fine. There are times I have further to go than the puppy is up to. If it starts lagging, I pick it up and carry it. I seldom walk a puppy just to be walking the puppy. I walk the puppy because I have somewhere to go and am taking it along. Of course is some cases, that means walking the puppy until it eliminates before taking it in somewhere.

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    I would walk them as far as they want to go as well, on safe surfaces.

    aaaand, I wouldn't take him out either. He won't form any fears before 12 weeks and will be just as easy to socialize and train. We didn't get Frag until 12 week and he's not a misfit and he's the best behaved puppy in public. Better safe than sorry.

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Purley View Post
    After experiencing Parvo, I wouldn't be walking any three month old puppy anywhere in public. My son walked his pup for about two minutes in a public parking lot. He was picking up his puppy from the breeder. There were two puppies being handed over. They both walked their puppies and BOTH got Parvo. My son's dog survived. The other one didn't. The bill for getting Cooper better was $1,500.

    My advice is - stay in your own yard until at least two weeks after the puppy has had its whole set of Parvo shots. Having the first shot is not enough. Those pups had both had their first set of shots, including Parvo.

    Parvo virus can stay on surfaces for years. Just because there is no evidence of dog poop, doesn't mean the area is safe. You can't see a virus!

    Just my two cents worth!
    Woah! That's scary. Otis had his last set of shots about 3 weeks ago and the vet sad to wait a week before we took him out or even bathed him, which we did. So I hope he'll be OK!

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Oh and I should have been more accurate about his age. He is just over 3 months, he was born October 20, which makes him 14 and a half weeks now

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
    I would walk them as far as they want to go as well, on safe surfaces.

    aaaand, I wouldn't take him out either. He won't form any fears before 12 weeks and will be just as easy to socialize and train. We didn't get Frag until 12 week and he's not a misfit and he's the best behaved puppy in public. Better safe than sorry.
    The initial socialization period is not written in stone, but waiting until 12 weeks to socialize CAN be an issue as the best time for imprinting new things and achieving puppy "bounce back" from stress is between 8 and 14 weeks give or take. Your puppy's temperament (genetically) and early socialization at the breeder and in your home may be why you got lucky here.

    Purley, I'm curious as to when your son's pup developed the symptoms of Parvo, it can take ten days or more to incubate...I would hazard a guess that the parvo came from the breeder rather than the short walk through the parking lot. Young pups get their initial immunity from their mother, if the mum wasn't utd on shots or had a stressed immune system this can weaken the immunity of the puppy.

    Either way, you have to weigh the risks. I always choose on the socialization side...dealing with the dogs I do with their fear issues; proper, safe socialization as a puppy would have gone a long way towards a happier and well adjusted adult dog.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luce View Post
    Hi all,

    Just hoping for some advice on how far/long I can walk my 3 month old puppy. I've heard 5 min for each month of age, i.e. 15 min for a 3 months old, but how many times a day can I do this without stressing his joints? Otis would love more than 15 min a day.

    Cheers,

    Luce
    It really depends on the breed you have. If it's a giant breed, for example ( great danes, etc. ) before 2 years of age, you do not want to over work their joints - you can do serious growth damage to them and weaken their bones.

    Other breeds can get over heated extremely quickly ( which can lead to heat stroke/death ).

    So what I suggest is doing a little research on the breed and figuring out how much exercise is necessary ( or contact your vet ), some breeds only need as little exercise as playing fetch in the yard for 10 minutes.

    I have a chihuahua mix that I walk twice a day for about 10 min, give or take on how distracted he gets/plays ( we only walk around the block ).

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    For my girls (both giant breeds) we started slowly and as they showed more interest we increased their walks. Because of their breeds and age we still don't do more than a mile a day, but most dogs can start doing that or more before a year old. Basically watch your pup and if he looks tired don't force him to keep going. He'll tell you when enough is enough.

    I started taking them out and about almost right away. I just watched closely to make sure they weren't stopping to sniff things. Parvo is fecal-oral transmission. That means the dog has to ingest some of the parvo virus to become infected. Now granted, it doesn't take much, but if you keep to sidewalks or roads it's fairly easy to do. Parvo cannot survive as long on that sort of surface, it needs dirt or grass to stick around a long time.

    I also invited a ton of people over to meet the puppies. We even purposely planned a few small parties at the house shortly after they came home since they were at the perfect age to be meeting and greeting a lot of people. Socialization is the single most important thing to be doing with a pup at that age.

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    The best thing about pavement is that most dogs won't eliminate on it if they have a choice.

    I was giving 9 week old Tux a chance at the grass before taking him inside to a meeting. He was pulling toward a pole. No, you aren't getting near that.

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    I'm not too concerned about the socialisation part - that seems to be coming along pretty well. Otis loves going out, he thinks every person on the street is there just to pat him, and every dog wants to sniff him (he's not far wrong, he's a popular boy! ). Whenever we arrive home from our short trip round the block, he's so reluctant to go inside! He just wants to stay out with all the noises and people and smells and other dogs (we live in the middle of the city). Or if I take him downstairs for a toilet break, he wants to go for a walk up the street and say hello to everyone, or try to steal popcorn from outside the cinema, or chase a pigeon, or a leaf, or do anything other than go back inside. So I just wanted to know how firm this '5 minute' rule is.

    He's an English Cocker Spaniel. Maybe 3 short 10 min walks would be OK?

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    They'd easily be okay. When we got Frag we didn't really have anywhere to "walk" him, but we played fetch non-stop in the front yard for about 45 minutes a day and took him to petsmart for about a half an hour and he was good. So if you cocker wants to walk that long, let him. If you don't have anything going on and can walk longer when he wants, let him.

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    Senior Member Robrowe's Avatar
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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Length of the walk depends on the dog breed and the individual dog. They ALL need excercise whether it be you taking them with you when you go somewhere of setting time aside. To Judge distance start with around the block and see how puppy reacts. If they are still ready for more take another round, and another etc until you see what distance they are ready, willing and able to go. Then you can change the scenery if desired once you have figured out the distance. Keep in mind that little pads are soft and need to build calluses before getting too carried away. Puppy may go for more once conditioned as well. I dont think you can over walk a dog and cause joint damage. Running, jumping etc is another story. I take spend about 30 minutes a day walking with my pooch. when warm weather returns I am going to condition him to a gallop beside my bike.

    Excercise and socialization is important in puppy's development. There is always the chance of spread of virus but at the same time puppy needs to be exposed to other non harmful ones to build their immune system. IMO it equates to the use of antibacterial everything in a household. Recent studies have shown that over use of this stuff has a negative impact on the development of the immune system and that kids raised in such a household are far more likley to get sick more often than a household that uses in moderation. Same goes for puppies. At the early age they are fearless and want to check out everything, this is the time for socialization and to expose them to every type, color etc of people you can imagine as well as sights and sounds that will be part of your everyday life that the dog will be exposed to. Play loud music, run the leaf blower, take them for rides in the car etc. When to opportunity passes you by when they grow out of the age of discovery you cant turn back the clock and desensitizing and unsocialized puppy takes far more time and is sometimes not successful. This period in their life is probaly the most important developmentally than any other.

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Circling the block insures a fairly short trip if you have to carry the puppy back home.

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    OK, the breed gives us something to work with. Assuming that Otis has all of his shots, three 10 minute walks should be just fine. You can keep doing that or build up to more.

    When he can handle it, one or two 30 minute walks might be better. But don't feel guilty if you can't, because one or two 30 minute runs for most of us people would be better for us, too... but we don't suffer much from a little less exercise.

    I'm in Texas, so I can't say much about too cold (altho this year has been extreme ... even a White Christmas !) But I watch for two signs that my dog is getting overheated.

    1. He normally walks with his tail up. When it starts to droop, I know we need to get home, and when his tail is down and dragging, he is getting too hot.

    2. When he is panting he is normal, when his tongue is hanging out of his mouth (or to the side), it's time to start heading home, and if his tongue ever goes flat to convex (it is normally concave), then I need to stop and give him water.

    Even though we walk in 100+ degree weather in the summer, I have never seen his tongue go convex, but that is a really bad sign of potential heat exhaustion.

    Note: I believe that most conditioned dogs (puppies 5 months and older) don't get tired, but get overheated first. Dogs usually pant from the heat, rather than from being tired. - My opinion, not clinical.

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Purley View Post
    After experiencing Parvo, I wouldn't be walking any three month old puppy anywhere in public. My son walked his pup for about two minutes in a public parking lot. He was picking up his puppy from the breeder. There were two puppies being handed over. They both walked their puppies and BOTH got Parvo. My son's dog survived. The other one didn't. The bill for getting Cooper better was $1,500.

    My advice is - stay in your own yard until at least two weeks after the puppy has had its whole set of Parvo shots. Having the first shot is not enough. Those pups had both had their first set of shots, including Parvo.

    Parvo virus can stay on surfaces for years. Just because there is no evidence of dog poop, doesn't mean the area is safe. You can't see a virus!

    Just my two cents worth!
    omg, i did not realise they could get ill so easily. I let my puppy out in my back garden, just for some fresh air and a little run. sometimes, there are foxes at night...Would their wee or anything affect my puppy? if so I am not going to let him out until he has had all his vaccinations!

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    The period between 6-12 weeks is a dangerous time. One sniff where a sick dog relieved itself in the last 6 months can bring on parvo or another life threatening disease. Fail to expose it to strangers, including men, women, children, noise, etc. and you could end up with a misfit you can't take out in public. They also need continuing contact with other dogs, but it must be limited to ones you know are getting good care. http://www.apdt.com/po/news/docs/Messer_Nov06.pdf

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    my friends dog is well looked after...can i take my puppy to his house to see that dog?

    I have friends over quite often so socially on the human front he should be okay? it's just the dog front now..

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    Re: How far/long can I walk my puppy and how many times a day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Labsnothers View Post
    The period between 6-12 weeks is a dangerous time. One sniff where a sick dog relieved itself in the last 6 months can bring on parvo or another life threatening disease. Fail to expose it to strangers, including men, women, children, noise, etc. and you could end up with a misfit you can't take out in public. They also need continuing contact with other dogs, but it must be limited to ones you know are getting good care. http://www.apdt.com/po/news/docs/Messer_Nov06.pdf
    you've already stated this in this post.

    you can take your dog to play with any other dogs as long as you know that they're utd on all their shots and aren't aggressive.

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