Advice & Tips
how long should i walk my puppy

How Long Should I Walk My Puppy? - New Pet Owner Tips

Written by Steph McCulloch


The amount of time you should spend walking your puppy will generally depend on their breed and size. As puppies, dogs don’t need as much exercise as they do when they’re fully grown.
Puppy running through forest on lead


The amount of time you should spend walking your puppy will generally depend on their breed and size. As puppies, dogs don’t need as much exercise as they do when they’re fully grown.

However, we understand that it can feel a bit confusing knowing exactly how long you should walk your pup which is why we’ve put together this handy blog post. Instead of spending hours searching for how long you should walk your puppy, you can read our simple guide and get back to the stuff that really matters, like cuddling your new puppy, obviously.

How much exercise does a puppy need?

As a general rule of thumb, it’s advised that on average, puppies can enjoy walks for up to 5 minutes of exercise for every month of their age either once or twice a day. So, for example, a 6-month-old puppy can enjoy up to half an hour of exercise through walking every day.

It’s still very important to look at your puppy’s needs as an individual. Although it’s suggested they can walk twice a day, this may not be suitable for your pet and with larger breeds, it may cause more damage than good.

Benefits of walking your puppy

a dog owner walking a puppy

Walking your puppy has lots of physical health benefits for both of you! We’re talking about an increase in cardiovascular health as well as low blood pressure and strong muscles. Something as simple as walking your puppy for half an hour can help you to maintain a healthy weight and positive mindset.

Walking with dogs has incredible effects on mental health and has been shown to dramatically reduce feelings of stress and depression in humans. This is because humans have a natural desire to feel a connection with others. Having a dog can help us share this bond and strengthen it.

Walking your puppy can help you to share a deep bond as they associate their fun times with you. Because puppies can't walk too far at a young age, lots of puppy owners let their dogs engage in ‘sniff walks’. This is a slower walk that provides dogs with excellent mental stimulation as they follow whatever scents they focus on.

A sniff walk often tires out a puppy more than a fast-paced walk, meaning you can go home and watch your puppy nap instead of worrying about what they’re going to get up to next.

If you have any concerns about the right amount of exercise for your puppy, it's always best to consult with a vet for advice to ensure a positive experience for both you and your puppy. Keep in mind that different types of exercise may also be suitable for your new doggo. This is especially true, if you have a pup with high energy levels, who just loves to play.

Types of walks

When it comes to puppies, no two days are alike. The same thing can be said for dog walks. There are lots of different types of puppy walks to help your pup socialise, train, and learn to enjoy their surroundings.

Lead walks

a dog being walked on a lead

This is the standard puppy walk that helps your new family member get used to wearing a collar or harness. It can also help to desensitise them to wearing a lead - something that, if not checked, can cause lead aggression as they get older.

Leash training is an important aspect of a puppy's basic training, and can help ensure they remain a well-behaved member of your family.

Off-lead walks

a dog walking off lead

This type of walk is the best time to practise recall with your pup, it also helps them to gain independence. Though do make sure if you are letting your dog off their lead, they are in a safe and secure environment. It’s also worth doing your research on the recall level of your breed.

For example, some dogs like Bloodhounds and Shiba Inus have high prey drives and are far more interested in the scent of a squirrel than your voice!

Adventure walks

Dog on lead playing with football

Adventure walks are also known as socialisation walks and focus on proactive exposure - this means creating both neutral and positive associations with other dogs, people, and places.

An adventure walk is a way to help your puppy explore different environments out in the big wide world. It’s also a good time to practise correct lead behaviour and responsiveness to their name.

Training walks

puppy sitting on grass

Training walks are a more serious kind of walk and are kind of like taking your puppy to school. Here they’ll learn all sorts of things like good manners when meeting others and walking on a lead.

Training walks are also the best time to get your puppy up to scratch on the commands you want them to learn such as ‘heel’ and ‘stop’ when you come to cross a road.

A note on health

In order to provide your puppy with the best possible experience, it’s important to ensure they receive the necessary core vaccinations and have a sufficient level of activity each month in accordance with their specific breed guidelines.

As mentioned, the average suggested exercise session is 5 minutes per month of age, with a total of 30 minutes of physical exercise per month being recommended for a 6-month-old puppy.

However, it’s also important to take plenty of time to allow your puppy to play at home which helps to build strong bones and aids muscle development.

This is an important part of puppy training as it teaches your pup what the boundaries of acceptable behaviour are.

Tips for successful walks

Puppy with harness on

To have a successful walk with your puppy, there are many things you need to take into consideration. All of our following top tips will help your pup to enjoy their walks well into their older years! Take a look at our list below.

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the distance you walk over time. Don’t rush into things because you could end up causing damage to your pup whilst they’re growing, something no doggy parent wants.

  • Make sure you take lots of breaks and go at a pace that suits your puppy. Also, bring along a water bottle and bowl so your puppy can remain hydrated at all times.

  • Using a comfortable lead and collar will help your pup to enjoy their walks instead of feeling distracted. It will also reduce the chances of your puppy slipping out of their collar. Lots of collars have specific size measurements so it’s best to check your puppy’s size before purchasing to ensure the right fit.

  • Finally, don’t forget to use positive reinforcements both vocally and with treats. Your puppy will really appreciate this and begin to understand that walks are a fun time of day when they can practise training and commands whilst making friends and socialising.


Walking your puppy has major benefits for both your physical and mental health. Taking your pup on a 30-minute walk can significantly boost your mood and lower your blood pressure at the same time! Not only are puppies super cute, but they also help with our health.

Making walking a regular part of your puppy’s routine will ensure their health and happiness too. From mental stimulation to meeting new dogs, a regular walk routine can help your puppy learn lots of new things to help them in adulthood.

But don’t forget, just because they might seem full of energy, puppies can tire out very quickly so don’t overdo it. Before taking your puppy out, check the recommended walk time for their breed and age.

And most importantly, have fun! You’ve just bagged yourself a new walking buddy.

Want to read more about puppies and dogs? We’ve got blogs for days. Why not check out everything you need to know about puppy vaccinations and how to stop your puppy biting? Oh and whilst you’re there, you might want to learn why dogs lick their lips (it’s pretty interesting stuff).

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

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