Puppies are very cute during their first days or weeks of life, especially when they start to walk. Unfortunately, this period won’t last forever, so you need to enjoy every moment with your young pup. To be honest with you, there’s nothing more fun to play with newborn puppies!
As you will see, dogs are growing way faster than humans. You might know that puppies are born blind, deaf, and toothless, but that’s not the only thing you should know about their early life development. Young pups are also taking some time before standing up and being ready to play with you. I recently questioned myself about when do puppies start to walk and at what age? Let me share with you what I’ve found about the early stages of puppy development!
In general, puppies take anywhere from 15 to 21 days after birth to stand. Then, they can start walking at an unsteady gait between 3 and 4 weeks old. Most puppies will be ready to walk and play when they reach around 6 or 7 weeks of age. But at this early development stage, you should stick with short walks!
Providing your young dog with proper exercise isn’t very difficult. Short walks and free playtime should be enough to keep your pup healthy and happy. Nevertheless, you need to be careful not to overdo it. While your puppy is still growing (until 1 or 2 years of age), the bones and joints are extremely fragile. At the end of your reading, you will know everything you need to walk, play, and exercise with puppies safely!
At What Age Do Puppies Start Walking?
Dogs can stand on their legs relatively quickly. After only 2 or 3 weeks of age, puppies should be able to stand up fairly well. Of course, every dog will develop his physical abilities at his own pace depending on his breed, health, and many other elements. Nonetheless, most puppies will start walking around 3 or 4 weeks. After learning how to walk, they become more independent and start to explore the world!
Here’s a video as visual support to see when puppies are starting to walk!
How To Help Your Puppy To Start Walking?
Your puppy might have some difficulty taking his first steps alone. In this case, you can help him by giving him better odds to stand up. For example, slippery floors will make it harder for puppies to walk because they won’t have any traction. Thus, providing them with a sticky floor, rug, or blanket could be very useful to help them start walking!
But it might not be necessary, because a puppy is usually adopted between 7 and 9 weeks of age. That’s why you probably won’t have the chance to see the first steps of your dog. On the other hand, it’s more fun because puppies will be ready to walk, play, and run as soon as you get them!
When Can You Start To Walk With Puppies?
To make it clear, going for a more serious walk isn’t necessarily good for young puppies. Just because your pup knows how to walk, doesn’t mean that he’s ready for more intense exercise. So you don’t have to be in a hurry. Anyway, you will first have to get your puppy used to wear a collar. Then, you can start training him to walk on a leash. However, young puppies don’t need a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy!
At What Age Your Pup Can Walk With You?
Before you hit the streets with your puppy, you need to make sure that it’s safe for him to do it. Most veterinarians recommend waiting around 16-18 weeks before exploring the neighborhood with your dog. In the meantime, you could start training him to walk on a leash if he’s over 8-10 weeks old!
Some Conditions To Walk With Your Young Dog!
Age isn’t the only thing that makes a dog suitable to walk. Other factors, such as health, breed, personality, and special conditions can restrict your puppy to do physical activity. For example, you must wait until two weeks after your pup’s final vaccination booster to walk with him. That way, he will be old enough and properly protected to go out with you!
When Can Your Puppy Start To Go Outside?
Vets recommend waiting at least 10-14 days after receiving the final vaccination booster before taking a puppy outside. To give you an idea, this is usually after 14-16 weeks of age that puppies are ready to explore the outdoor world. Taking your new pup out isn’t only fun for both of you, it’s also essential for good socialization!
Whether you’re inside or outside, I’m sure you will have fun with your puppy. To be honest with you, he won’t always be young and playful like that. Therefore, you should make the most of that early stage of your dog’s life!
How Far or Long Should Your Puppy Walk?
As you should know, young dogs aren’t well-suited for long walks. You shouldn’t avoid walking your puppy, but it’s good to be careful not to overdo it. Anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes of walking is generally a safe time to aim for with puppies!
However, the ideal distance or time to walk with your pup will vary depending on many factors. Elements such as energy, breed, exercise needs, age, health, and several other conditions could influence how much you should walk with your puppy!
For example, a young Border Collie will probably be able to walk faster and for longer distances than an English Bulldog puppy. Thus, general advice or “rules” aren’t always accurate for your dog!
The only thing common to every dog is that it’s essential to start with slow and short walks. Whatever breed or age your puppy is, he needs to build up strength and stamina to walk long distances. That’s why it’s so important not to go on a long hike right away without any preparation. Besides that, you should also adapt your walking pace and distance to your dog’s conditions!
Learn more about how far you can walk a dog!
How Much Exercise Does Your Puppy Need?
Even if young dogs have a lot of energy, that doesn’t mean they need plenty of physical activity. In general, puppies will require around 5 minutes of moderate exercise (1 or 2 times a day) per month of age. For example, a 12-week-old (3 months) pup will need around 15-30 minutes of daily physical activity. However, you shouldn’t follow this rule blindly!
Using common sense is crucial to exercise your dog properly, especially at a young age. This previous “rule” is only useful to give you an idea of how much your puppy needs to play or walk. However, the best way to know if he requires more physical activity is by knowing him well. Besides, regular vet checks will also help you to know your dog’s conditions better to exercise him properly!
For more intense activities such as hiking or running, you must wait until your puppy is fully grown. Otherwise, you increase the risks of causing him pain, injuries, or other complications. In general, most dogs are suitable for some intense exercise around 12 to 18 months. Before that, your pup’s bones and joints are too fragile for high-impact physical activity!
Other Important Steps For Puppies!
Walking isn’t the only thing that newborn dogs need to learn. Another very important development phase of puppies is socialization. Once they can walk and go outside, it’s time to introduce them to other people and dogs. Nonetheless, you need to be careful if your pup doesn’t have all of his vaccinations. Therefore, you should only let him socialize with healthy pets!
Furthermore, you should start training your puppy relatively soon to avoid behavioral problems in the future. The first essential thing to do is to begin house and crate training unless you plan to let him live outside. Then, you should seriously consider teaching him the basic commands for the safety of everyone. With good fundamental skills and manners, your puppy will be an awesome companion!
In this article, I only cover a few aspects that new (or future) dog owners should know. There’s still much important information that you should know to take care of your puppy properly. For example, I didn’t mention what type of nutrition he will need or how to take care of his health. Again, every companion has different needs, but it’s normally common sense. With all the information you can find online and some work, I’m sure you can make your pup happy and healthy!
Puppy Timeline: Growth Stages!
To be honest, taking care of puppies isn’t always fun and easy. Nonetheless, this unique experience will make you understand the beauty of nature. Besides that, it could be difficult to remember everything about the growth stages of dogs. Thus, I’ve made a simple timeline to help you understand how puppy development works!
Stages According To Puppy’s Age:
- Puppies Born Blind, Deaf & Toothless. (Day 0)
- Their Eyes And Ears Open. (2 to 3 Weeks)
- Puppies Start To Walk And Play. (3 to 4 Weeks)
- They Start To Go Potty And Eat Solid Food. (4 to 6 Weeks)
- Pups Learn To Bark. (7 to 8 Weeks)
- Puppy Socialization And Training. (8 to 10 Weeks)
- Pups Are Vaccinated. (8 to 12 Weeks)
- Puppies Are Ready To Be Adopted! (7 to 9 Weeks or More)
After all these stages, your young buddy has the fundamentals to have a good life. Of course, his development doesn’t stop when he’s ready to get adopted. Things such as obedience training, teething, adulthood, and other maturation phases are still to come. Nonetheless, the puppy timeline is very interesting to know better how dogs are growing at their early stage of life!
You can find more details about your pup’s development in this article from the Hills Pet site!
Why Walking With Your Puppy Is Important?
Before letting you go, I want you to understand the reasons why daily walks are important for dogs. Like humans, they will need regular physical activity to stay healthy. Your pup’s exercise needs will depend on his breed, age, and several other conditions. However, every dog should have at least one and preferably two walks per day around 15 to 20 minutes. This simple habit will provide your buddy with the basic physical and mental activity he needs!
Very young puppies are one of the few exceptions that won’t be able to enjoy daily walks. Otherwise, walking with your dog is crucial for his well-being. Besides that, this activity can be very fun and good for you too. This moderate exercise will allow both of you to benefit from better physical and mental health. In other words, there’s no reason not to walk every day with a puppy that’s older than 16-18 weeks and vaccinated!
Last Thoughts About Walking With Puppies!
Finally, there are many things you need to understand to take care of your puppy properly. As you will see, he won’t be small and cute for very long, so you must enjoy his youth. Whether your dog is young or old, I’m sure you will have plenty of fun with him. When your puppy has become an adult, it’s the best time to start doing more serious walking, canine sports, or other fun activities together!
Keep in mind that every dog will grow at his own pace. Thus, there’s nothing to be scared about if your pup doesn’t follow the general development timeline. It’s the same thing to know if he’s ready to walk with you. Some pups will take more or less than 16-18 weeks to be able to hit the streets with you safely. I hope this article helps you to understand better when puppies start walking. Now, you should go play with your dog to keep him fit, healthy, and happy!