There’s a general rule of thumb and then, there’s my own recommendation. Let’s talk about both.
So how far can a 12-week-old puppy walk? The general rule of thumb is that a puppy can walk for an average of about 15 minutes.
However, as a trainer, I look for whether you SHOULD walk a puppy this small or not.
I don’t count the minutes, instead, I see if the puppy has the capacity to walk even a few paces outside its usual routine of crawling here and there.
How Far Can A Puppy Walk? The General Rule Explained
Most trainers tell you to walk your puppy for 5 minutes every month of its age. That’s done to give you a starting point.
So, if your puppy is 12 weeks old, you should walk it for about 15 minutes because 12 weeks equate to 3 months.
Each month has roughly 4 weeks, so 3 months: 3 x 4 = 12 weeks.
Should You Follow General Rule?
As a trainer, I’ve trained puppies of many breeds. The training usually starts right from the first month.
Experts say that you should socialize your puppy as early as three months. During those months, they learn about new things happening around them. It’s like a little lab for them and just like any newborn, your puppy explores, too.
Their little experiments range from nipping at things, crawling under impossible holes, and landing in trouble for trying to meet that squirrel.
That’s particularly why you should always socialize your pup under your supervision.
- Throw dog parties to let it be comfortable around other breeds and people but make sure the dogs are vaccinated.
- Play with it aplenty to tire it out because you know how babies are a bundle of energy.
- Let it experience its surroundings inside the house by only intruding if it’s in danger.
Walking Does Not Mean Socializing
While the puppy could walk for 15 minutes, I don’t recommend doing that under the umbrella of socializing.
My main concern is vaccination. As a three-month-old puppy is under vaccination so the vets complete the whole course in about 4 months or 16 weeks.
Until then, we trainers and vets do not recommend walking your puppy anywhere outside your house.
- You should only walk the puppy in your backyard where you know other animals’ feces does not exist.
- Taking the puppy outside to the streets may be dangerous because it could contract many dog diseases.
- The diseases are chiefly transmitted through contact with the feces of another dog or animal but your pup could still catch some diseases by sniffing the infected air.
- Whenever you want your pup to interact with other dogs or animals, make sure that they have completed their vaccination.
- Take the pup in your arms, possibly wrapped in a blanket if you are unsure about other animals’ vaccination history.
When Should You Walk The Puppy Outside?
The answer to this question is obvious. When the puppy has completed its vaccination past 16 weeks, taking it out for walks shouldn’t be much of a problem.
However, if you’re unsure how many minutes you should walk the dog, follow the general rule that I’ve talked about above.
Your puppy may show signs of distress by walking that much and that’s completely fine. Whether a puppy of a certain age could walk for a certain time depends not only on its breed but also on its general health.
For example, a 4-month-old healthy Great Dane pup may not be able to walk for 20 minutes because of the general limitations of its breed. A Chihuahua puppy of the same age would have no problem reaching that limit. This breed is energetic despite its size.
However, if the same Chihuahua has some medical condition, it may not be able to walk for 15 or 20 minutes. The idea is to look for the limitations of your pup. Take it as an individual regardless of its breed. You should answer its individual needs.
I’ve followed this for my whole tenure as a trainer and it has allowed me to train each puppy based on its needs.
Before walking, you’ll have to teach the pup leash walking, here’s how.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the FAQs related to puppy walking.
Can A 12-Week-Old Puppy Walk 2 Miles?
Again, that depends on the health and breed of the puppy. It also depends on whether the puppy could cover that much in 15 minutes because that’s the recommended time for walking a 3-month-old pup. Look for the individual signs of distress in the dog and then decide if you want to take it to the streets. I don’t recommend you walk an unvaccinated puppy outside.
How Many Walks Can A 12-Week-Old Puppy Have?
It could have only one session of 15-minute walks per day. You can increase the sessions based on the individual level of energy of the pup among other factors such as general health. Remember that over-walking the pup would put stress on its tiny bones, which may impede its growth.
What Happens If I Walk My Puppy Too Much?
Your puppy bones are small and fragile. They are still undergoing consolidation. So, if you walk your puppy too much, you may end up hurting its bones and thus, overall health. Make sure that you listen to the dog’s needs when you’re walking it. Follow the general rule of 5 minutes walk per month to not overwalk the dog.
Is It Ok To Take The Puppy Out After 2nd Vaccination?
I recommend walking your puppy outside after 16 weeks because that’s when they get their 2nd round of vaccination. However, just to stay on the safe side, take a week or two after the 2nd vaccination before you could walk the puppy.
It could walk for about 15 minutes per the general rule. However, you should look at the puppy’s limitations as a whole before following this rule. More often than not, the health, breed, and overall outlook of the dog limit the time you could walk it for.