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At What Age Can Dogs Go For Long Walks: Your Complete Guide



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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As a dog owner, you may be wondering when it’s safe to take your furry friend on long walks. The answer to this question isn’t straightforward, as it depends on various factors. In this guide, we will explore the appropriate age for dogs to go on long walks and the factors that influence it.

It’s important to remember that all dogs are different, and what works for one dog may not work for another. By understanding the factors that impact your dog’s ability to go on long walks, you can create a safe and enjoyable walking routine that suits their individual needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dogs can start to go for long walks around the age of six months, depending on their breed and size.
  • Different factors, such as breed, size, and overall health, influence your dog’s ability to go on long walks.
  • Gradual introduction to long walks is essential to prevent overexertion or injuries in dogs.
  • Regularly monitoring your dog’s health and adjusting their exercise routine is crucial for their long-term well-being.

At What Age Can Dogs Go For Long Walks?

At What Age Can Dogs Go For Long Walks Your Complete Guide

Dogs can typically start going for longer walks once their joints are more developed which is after six months of age.

Before this time, they may not be physically prepared to go for longer walks, as their joints may still be developing.

Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that your pup has an up-to-date vaccination record before taking them out on long walks, and that you stay up-to-date with their flea and worming treatments.

It’s a good idea to introduce your pup to the outside world gradually. Start by taking them for short walks close to your home, and then gradually build up their stamina over time.

This will help ensure that they are not overwhelmed or tired out from too much exercise too soon.

When you do take your pup for long walks, it’s important to make sure that they are comfortable and have the right supplies. Make sure you bring plenty of water for them, as well as treats in case they need a pick-me-up.

Understanding the Growth Stages of Dogs:

Before determining the suitable age for long walks, it’s crucial to understand the growth stages of dogs. Puppies go through various developmental phases that impact their physical capabilities and endurance. By learning about these stages, you can ensure that you introduce walking gradually and appropriately to avoid any potential health issues or injuries.

There are typically four growth stages in puppies:

  1. Neonatal Period: The first two weeks of a puppy’s life, where they are still blind and deaf and rely on their mother for all their needs.
  2. Transitional Period: Between two and four weeks of age, puppies begin to open their eyes and ears and become more aware of their surroundings.
  3. Socialization Period: From four to twelve weeks, puppies develop their social and physical skills, and their personalities begin to emerge.
  4. Adolescence: From three months to a year, puppies continue to grow physically and mentally, and their behavior becomes more stable.

It’s important to note that during the first four months of a puppy’s life, their bones and muscles are still developing, making them more susceptible to injuries from physical activity. Prolonged exercise during this time can lead to joint problems and growth plate injuries. Therefore, it’s best to keep exercise short and frequent, with gradual increases in intensity and duration as they age.

As a puppy enters the socialization and adolescence periods, they can typically handle longer walks as their physical and mental capacity improves. However, it’s essential to continue monitoring their behavior and adjusting their exercise routine accordingly to avoid overexertion or fatigue.

Factors Influencing the Walking Age of Dogs

The ideal age for dogs to walk long distances can vary significantly and is influenced by various factors. One critical consideration is the breed and size of your furry friend. Large breeds tend to mature slower than smaller breeds and are therefore not ready for lengthy walks until they are older.

Another determining factor is the growth stage of your dog. Puppies are still developing their bones and muscles, and their stamina is limited. Therefore, it’s important to avoid overexerting them with long walks until they reach an appropriate age.

Furthermore, your dog’s overall health and fitness level are crucial factors to consider. If your dog has pre-existing health conditions or is not in good physical shape, you may need to adjust their walking routine or wait until they are better prepared for longer walks.

It’s also important to note that individual dogs have unique needs and abilities. Their temperament and energy levels can influence their walking age as well. Some dogs may be ready for more extended walks at a younger age, while others may require more time to build up their endurance.

Ultimately, the appropriate walking age for dogs will depend on various factors, and it’s essential to consider all these factors before introducing lengthy walks to your furry friend. By doing so, you can ensure that your dog stays healthy, happy, and injury-free.

The Importance of Early Physical Activity for Dogs

Engaging in physical activities from a young age is essential for dogs to develop good overall health. Puppies that have regular physical activity and exercise have improved muscle tone, cardiovascular health, and mental stimulation. It is essential to start exercising puppies from an early age and continue exercising them throughout their entire lives, as it helps enhance their well-being and quality of life.

The ideal starting point for exercising puppies depends on their breed and individual development. Therefore, consulting with a veterinarian to determine an exercise routine suitable for your puppy’s age, breed, and overall health status is important. Typically, puppies can start with short walks as young as 8 weeks, gradually increasing the duration of walks as they grow stronger.

Gradually Introducing Long Walks to Your Dog

Introducing long walks to your dog requires patience and a gradual approach to ensure their physical health and safety. Walking duration and distance should be increased gradually, taking into account your dog’s age, breed, and size.

Start with short walks and gradually increase the time and distance over several weeks. For puppies, start with short, 10-15 minute walks, gradually increasing to 30-45 minutes as they grow older. As a general rule of thumb, dogs can walk for 5 minutes per month of age, up to twice a day.

Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior during walks and make adjustments as necessary. Signs that your dog may be experiencing fatigue or discomfort can include excessive panting, lagging behind, or lying down during walks. If your dog shows any of these signs, it’s crucial to take a break and reduce the intensity of the walk or return home.

If you plan to increase the duration and intensity of your dog’s walks, gradually introduce uphill or downhill walks and more challenging terrain. This will provide additional exercise and mental stimulation for your dog, but should be introduced gradually to avoid overexertion.

Tailoring Walks for Different Dog Breeds

Different dog breeds have unique characteristics and abilities, which means not all breeds can handle long walks at the same age. For instance, small dog breeds may not have the energy or endurance to handle long walks as early as larger breeds.

When determining the appropriate age for your dog’s long walks, it’s important to consider their breed and size-specific needs. For example, smaller breeds may need shorter bursts of exercise throughout the day, while larger breeds may require longer walks to release pent-up energy.

BreedAge for Long Walks
Chihuahua6 months
Labrador Retriever12 months
German Shepherd18 months

However, it’s important to remember that each dog is unique, and their individual health and fitness level must also be considered. Even within the same breed, some dogs may be more active or have a higher endurance level than others.

Additionally, certain breeds may be more prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia or joint problems, which may affect their ability to handle long walks. If you’re unsure about when to start long walks with your furry friend, consult with a veterinarian who can provide guidance tailored to your dog’s individual needs.

Precautions and Safety Measures for Long Walks

Long walks can be enjoyable for both you and your furry companion, but they require certain precautions to ensure safety and well-being. Here are some important safety measures to consider:

  1. Leash Training: Ensure your dog is trained to walk on a leash and follow your commands. This will help prevent them from running off or getting into dangerous situations.
  2. Proper Hydration: Bring plenty of water and a collapsible water bowl to keep your dog hydrated. Be mindful of signs of dehydration, such as excessive panting or lethargy.
  3. Protection from Extreme Weather Conditions: Avoid walking during extreme temperatures or inclement weather, as dogs can be susceptible to heatstroke, frostbite, or hypothermia. Protect their paws with booties in extreme heat or cold.
  4. Beware of Potential Hazards: Keep an eye out for potential hazards such as toxic plants, wildlife, or unfriendly dogs. Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid areas with heavy traffic or crowded spaces.
  5. Know Your Dog’s Limits: Be aware of your dog’s physical limitations and adjust the duration and intensity of walks accordingly. Watch for signs of fatigue, pain, or discomfort, and take breaks as needed.

By following these precautions, you can create a safe and enjoyable walking experience for both you and your furry companion.

Monitoring Health and Adjusting Exercise Routine

Regularly monitoring your dog’s health and adjusting their exercise routine is crucial for their long-term well-being. As your dog ages, their physical capabilities and endurance will change. Pay attention to any signs of fatigue or discomfort during walks, such as heavy panting, slowing down, or lagging behind. These may indicate that your dog is overexerting themselves and needs a shorter or slower walk.

Additionally, it’s important to assess your dog’s overall fitness level on a regular basis. This includes monitoring their weight, muscle tone, and cardiovascular health. If you notice any changes or concerns, consult with a veterinarian for guidance on adjusting your dog’s exercise routine as needed.

If you have any doubts about whether your dog is ready for long walks, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and start with shorter, more frequent walks. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of walks based on your dog’s individual needs and abilities.


Q: At what age can dogs go for long walks?

A: The appropriate age for dogs to go on long walks varies depending on various factors such as breed, size, and overall health. It’s important to consider their growth stages and physical capabilities before introducing extended physical activity.

Q: How do the growth stages of dogs impact their ability to go on long walks?

A: Puppies go through different developmental phases that affect their endurance and physical capabilities. Understanding these stages will help you introduce walking gradually and appropriately to prevent health issues or injuries.

Q: What factors influence the walking age of dogs?

A: Several factors, including breed, size, and a dog’s overall health and fitness level, influence the age at which they can go for long walks. It’s important to consider these factors to make informed decisions about increasing the duration and intensity of your dog’s walks.

Q: Why is early physical activity important for dogs?

A: Engaging in physical activities from a young age is crucial for a dog’s overall health and well-being. Early exercise promotes muscle tone, cardiovascular health, and mental stimulation. It’s important to provide age-appropriate activities to avoid strain.

Q: How should I gradually introduce long walks to my dog?

A: Gradual introduction to long walks is essential to prevent overexertion or injuries. We provide practical tips on increasing the duration and distance of walks based on your dog’s age and physical abilities. Look out for signs that indicate your dog may need a break or adjustment in their walking routine.

Q: How do I tailor walks for different dog breeds?

A: Different dog breeds have unique characteristics and physical limitations. The age at which different breeds can go on long walks may vary. We provide breed-specific considerations to ensure you cater to your dog’s needs and prevent potential health issues.

Q: What precautions and safety measures should I take for long walks?

A: Long walks require precautions to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being. We discuss important safety measures such as leash training, proper hydration, and protection from extreme weather conditions.

Q: How do I monitor my dog’s health and adjust their exercise routine?

A: Regularly monitoring your dog’s health and adjusting their exercise routine is crucial. We provide guidance on assessing your dog’s overall fitness level and recognizing signs of fatigue or discomfort. Involving a veterinarian in determining the appropriate age for long walks can be beneficial.


Determining the right age for dogs to go on long walks requires careful consideration of various factors. As discussed in this guide, understanding the growth stages of dogs, breed-specific needs, and overall health is crucial in determining when to introduce extended physical activity.

Early physical activity is essential for a dog’s overall well-being, and a gradual introduction to long walks is necessary to prevent overexertion or injuries. It’s equally important to tailor walks to different breeds and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friend during walks.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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