Last Updated/Info Checked on October 18, 2023 by Linda Michaels
A puppy doesn’t have a lot of stamina for walking as an adult.
Therefore, you cannot simply put on a leash and take it out for hours.
I didn’t do that to my Lab puppy. He was feisty, full of energy, and always looking for trouble just to get my attention, but he had his limits.
Your dog does too.
So, how far should you walk your puppy? How far can a 4 month old puppy walk? There’s a general rule of thumb that you should walk it for about 20 minutes.
You may also be interested in: How far can a 12 month old puppy walk
How does that apply and what’s my take on it, let’s talk about it.
I’ll also share my knowledge on the right age to start your puppy walking, introducing walks without stressing it out, and things to consider for a safe and healthy walking session.
Make sure to read my puppy walking tips to walk your puppy hassle-free.
The General Rule of Puppy Walking
I’ve seen many trainers and people talk about the so-called general rule of thumb.
They say that you should walk your puppy for 5 minutes if it’s 1 month old or 4 weeks old. That gives us an equation:
1 month = 5 minutes
Based on this equation, 4 months would equal:
4 x 5 = 20 minutes
A 4-month-old or 16 weeks old puppy can walk for about 20 minutes without tiring out or showing signs of exertion.
Should You Follow General Rule? My Take
Whether a 4-month-old puppy can walk for 20 minutes or so depends on many factors other than just age.
It’s About The Breed To Decide How Far Can A 4 Month Old Puppy Walk.
Not all breeds were created equal. Some were created for jobs, while others were merely companion dogs – or ornaments as I call them.
Just as their motive for breeding isn’t the same, so are their needs.
For example, my labrador is a hound dog. He has an insane prey drive and so, he loves roaming around, digging, and chasing squirrels.
Compared to him, the bigger breeds that I’ve trained such as the Great Danes and the Great Pyrenees are not that active.
Yes, they too have prey drives and all that, but they are huge. Their bodies do not allow a lot of exercise.
Now, come toward the likes of Chihuahuas. Their small bones could only take a few minutes to walk.
So, before applying the general rule, make sure that you know about your breed and its needs. If you take a 4-month-old Chihuahua on a 20-minute walk, it’ll break down.
General Health Of Pups
Your puppy should be healthy enough to walk for a few minutes.
Reduced health causes a reduction in the overall strength of the dog’s body. That’s obvious, right?
I’ll always check on my lab puppy. I’ll see if his emotional health allows walks or not, let alone his physical health.
I’ll also check out his temps, any signs of infection, and muscle or joint harm to rule out anything that could make his walks weigh negatively on his health.
Therefore, before walking your puppy, do a thorough check-up on its health. You don’t want to mess things up.
At What Age Should You Start Walking Your Puppy?
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends that you should socialize your dog in the first three months of its age. That makes about 12 weeks.
The vaccination goes on for about 16 weeks or 4 months. So, you could walk your puppy after it outside your house to keep it safe from all kinds of diseases or harm.
I started walking my lab after 4 months. We would go on for destination walking mixed with leisure walking for 20 minutes or less.
I always made sure that I didn’t hit the 20th minute. The walks were always for 17 to 18 minutes.
In the last two minutes, I’ll massage his legs, pet him, and reward him with plenty of treats.
How To Introduce Walking?
Let’s begin with the steps.
Try positive reinforcement and teach your puppy the meaning of come, sit, or fetch on leash. Do not tug on the leash too hard.
Just a gentle push with “come” and if it comes to you, reward it.
Walk it around your backyard and let it wander away a bit. Remember, this is going to be your little experiment with it.
You’ll get to know it and in turn, it will learn your cues.
Choose a traverse that doesn’t include stray dogs, too many other animals, or anything too distracting.
You should introduce each thing one at a time.
Listen to your puppy. If it’s not comfortable, it will let you know by whining, pulling on the leash excessively, or showing distress.
How Do You Know If You’re Walking Your Puppy Too Much?
You read that the general health of your pup factors in a lot in its capacity to walk. Sometimes that may elude your eyes and you inadvertently walk it far more than it could. This goes on for super healthy pups too. There’s a limit, you see. When you keep on crossing that limit, here are some signs that should tell you to stop.
- Examine the paws. If there are small wear and tear indications, let the pup rest.
- A change in behavior is another sign. A formerly eager pup would refuse to walk. You’ll see a hint of aggression in their behavior. Or, you’ll struggle to make them get up from the pavement.
- Young dogs or puppies have a hard time regulating their body temperatures. Their mechanisms are not as efficient as they are in adulthood. Walking them too much could potentially increase their temperatures beyond their control and cause them to heat up. That could lead to debilitating situations such as hypothermia.
- Muscle soreness is yet another indication that you have walked the puppy too much. But finding it out takes a day when the pup rests well after the exercise. You’ll find it struggling to get up or not get up at all, preferring to stay and rest.
When you experience these indications, refrain from taking your pup out for walks for a few days and let it rest. Pushing the pet further could cause joint injury in the long run, which is not only painful but also a life-long situation.
People Also Ask
Following are the questions that people ask frequently in my dog training sessions about puppy walking.
Can A 4-Month-Old Puppy Walk 2 Miles?
You shouldn’t walk your 4-month-old puppy 2 miles even if it can or even if the breed is energetic enough to do so. A puppy’s bones are still in the making, so putting undue stress on them could have harmful effects. I will never recommend this.
How Do I Know If I’m Over-Exercising My Puppy?
Your puppy will be panting excessively, lagging behind you in the walk, or stopping and pulling on the leash when it’s tired. That could mean that you’re over-exercising it or that it’s not ready to go out at all. Listen to the cues your puppy gives you. Therein lies the answer to this question.
How Far Can A 4-Month-Old Puppy Walk – Conclusion
You should walk your puppy for about 20 minutes if it’s 4 months old.
However, before applying this rule, make sure that you know that the breed you own could withstand 20 minutes of exercise.
You should also consider his general health before every walk and introduce walking as early as possible.