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Hello all!

I have a 15 week old mini dachshund puppy, though she looks to be more of a chiweenie. She is fully vaccinated and always a ball of energy. I was wondering how long/often you walk a dog per day? Do you go off of distance or time?

I'm worried about walking her too much, but since we don't have a backyard she loves to go for walks. We normally take about 3-4 15-30 minute walks a day.

I ask because I was considering taking her on a hike with me tomorrow. I know I'm supposed to wait until she is "fully grown" but I don't see why a 1-2 mile hike would push her limits more than her walks. I'm well rehearsed with what to bring on hikes (and what to bring when being joined by a pup).

Please no rude comments, I am asking to be sure. I left a message with my vet a few days ago but haven't heard back, and am seeking advice as well as reason. Thank you all in advance!
 

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Are you anticipating rude comments? They aren't tolerated on this forum. What kinds of forums have you been visiting?

My very first dog was a runt dachshund - pretty much the size of a miniature and my son has a mini long-haired doxi. In both cases, the dogs would let us know when they'd had enough walking, primarily by refusing to walk any further.

So my suggestion would be to walk your pup no further than you're prepared to carry her for the return trip. Maybe even wear a backpack if you think she'd tolerate a ride in one.

There is nothing quite as stubborn as a dachshund - unless it's a schnauzer. Hmmm. Both German breeds.
 

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The theory behind the shorter-walks-while-they're-young thing is to protect the growing skeletal system and hopefully prevent future issues with joints...this is probably a bigger concern for breeds with a propensity for joint troubles later in life, and I'm not sure if dachshunds/chihuahuas tend to have these issues.

I try to generally follow the rule I read in a puppy book, but I keep in mind it was written by a labrador breeder; around 5 minutes per day per month of age, starting at 4 months. So starting with a 20 minute daily walk at 4 months, and increasing as the puppy ages. Has my puppy walked longer than that in a day? Probably, we don't even time our walks if we're out on a hike. But it's a general guideline I keep in mind, and we really didn't try any long walks until after 4 months. I think it's more about the prevention of future issues, rather than injury now.
 

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If this holds true for all growing creatures. The reason for not doing forced activities (forced- that they don't have a choice, ) is that the muscle and ligaments are not developed during the first year of growth. So when the body is tired it can not support hold up the structure having the joint areas bone grinding on bone grinding on cartledge. so you looking at young dogs with future long term damage , arthritic
 

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General rule is 5 minutes per month of age. If you force them to go too long, it can damage their joints and lead to problems like arthritis down the road.

Personally, I would not take a pup that small and that young on a 1-2 mile hike and expect her to walk the whole way. Not yet. She should really only be going about 30 minutes. Since she is so small, you could probably carry her when she gets tired, too, if she will allow it.
 

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There was just a conversation about this in a Fenzi group and honestly? I hate puppy culture's exercise requirements. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. It's impractical, it doesn't work for most dogs and breeds, and it's so cautious as to the point of being ridiculous - and it absolutely panics people when their dog does normal stuff.

Don't put your puppy on a leash and go on a 2 hour long walk at a decent clip where the puppy trots endlessly along. That's not good. If you want to do 2 miles over an hour, with a lot of sniffing and meandering and maybe sit down if the puppy's tired or a stop to play if the puppy isn't? Not an issue, IMO. In fact if you want to do FOUR hours of stopping when the puppy is tired, playing other games, letting the puppy determine the pace and it gets regular food/water/a nap, I doubt you're going to do any harm.

Different breed/a giant breed, I'd have different attitudes, but I don't. I have a 19 week old, 21lb puppy. Whom, at 9 weeks old, came into my house and without even hesitating ran up the stairs. We play tug. He chases balls (on the ground), rollers (discs rolled on the ground) and a flirt pole and me. He swims in the river and jumps off rocks into the water. He jumps on and off the furniture. He tears around and plays rough with other dogs. We go to to large parks with grass and wooded trails and we meander through them, stopping to sit on a bench and people watch or in a quiet place under a tree where he chills out and takes a nap or we do a little quiet training with sits and stays and tricks if he isn't sleepy. The first time he was out into the big world at something like 13 weeks old we did a two mile loop in a park, it just took us almost 3 hours to do it - my walking speed, while chatting with friends and strolling rather than exercising, for context, is 20 minute mile.

He is a freaking Border Collie/Cattle Dog mix and while he is fully capable of chilling out (okay mostly capable) without exercise 4 15 minute periods of exercise more intense than a walk is less than he was getting at 9 weeks old, playing with other dogs in the house and back yard.

Be careful. Train the off switch and ability to chill but if you want to walk and she wants to walk and you're not taking her on jogs on pavement or otherwise teaching her to NEED two hours of exercise a day, take her on a walk. Take breaks. Don't go further than you're prepared to carry her back. Don't do directed jumping or encourage her to leap up and catch things. And with a doxie watch her back and maybe don't do jumping at all. Use common sense.

She's a puppy, not a china figurine. Let her be a freaking puppy.
 
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