My puppies are almost 6 months old and I want to start taking them on walks in our neighborhood. My question - how far is too far for their little legs?

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Comment by CJ Rostad on August 26, 2009 at 12:56pm
thanks to everyone for the sage advice! My major take-away from this discussion is to allow the "boys" to set the pace and duration of the walk and to be prepared to carry home 20 lbs of puppies :)
Comment by Cassie and Jaunty on August 26, 2009 at 11:49am
Jaunty is seven months old and goes 3 miles a day. I started walking him at 12 weeks, and he plopped too. So we walk as far as he wants. And actually, I carry water for him, but we never go too far (maybe 1 mile) on hot days. I've paid close attention to his pads, although most of our walk is in the woods so he has never had a problem. And now for much of our walks he is off lead and if he wants to rest once in a while, we do. Before Jaunty, I have always had VERY large dogs that needed a lot of exercise, I've never had a growth plate problem, but I. have always stopped feeding puppy food at 5 months to avoid that malady. Start walking though, it is part of their socialization!
Comment by Deanna on August 26, 2009 at 10:24am
Yep, I agree with Amanda -- they'll "plop" and then not budge -- that will tell you they've had enough.
Comment by Melinda (Penny's Mom) on August 26, 2009 at 10:07am
Penny is 5 months and we take a 1/2 hour walk every evening. I think she would go farther if I wasn't panting and needing a drink of water so badly! LOL
Comment by Sky and Lyla on August 26, 2009 at 8:56am
Just watch their cues. Some puppies would walk all day if you let them, and other have had enough by the time you get to edge of the driveway. Start small (15-20 min like someone else said), and work your way up.
Comment by Amanda on August 26, 2009 at 7:29am
We started walking Dax right after he finished his puppy shots. A small walk should be fine, just don't push them. A word of caution, though -- when we first started walking Dax, we judged him kind of by how far he would go. He would walk down the street and then plop down in the middle of the road and refuse to move, no matter what, and I'd end up having to carry him home. I don't know how many puppies you'll be walking at one time, but that can get to be a lot to carry. :)
Comment by David on August 26, 2009 at 1:21am
Yoda is doing 20 minute per walk and 2 walks per day. He still has plenty of energy left!
Comment by John Wolff on August 26, 2009 at 1:06am
Carrie the breeder was quite firm with me: no hikes or long walks until 1 year of age. You want the growth plates in the bones fused before any big challenges.
Once fully grown, I've not asked them to do more than 23 miles with 8000' of elevation gain in 14 hours, with two 10-15 miles days after that.
Al, as an adult, has gotten central pad flappers from soccer on wet pavement. Dry pavement seems no problem. He & Gwynn have gotten sore feet from spring snow or loose sand (roads, beach) in between the pads in the soft skin.
Comment by Beth on August 25, 2009 at 9:56pm
Probably you need to worry more about toughening their pads than their legs. You don't want sore paws. I would start with two short walks (a few blocks) a day and gradually increase. Make sure they can walk in grass part of the way, but have them on pavement some of the time too.

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