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Dog Training Survival Guide
Dog Training Survival Guide

As a dog owner, you may be wondering: “How often should I walk my dog?” After all your dog’s happiness and health depend on getting enough walks. So it’s only natural that you want to get the right answer to this question.

As a pet care professional and dog trainer, I am often asked this question in one form or another. And I’ll start by saying this: There are a lot of things to consider when answering this question.

Every dog owner and dog is different; what works for one dog owner and their dog may not work for you and your dog. So focusing on yourself and what you know is best for the two of you should be the main focus.

In light of this, searching the internet or YouTube, and asking other dog owner friends, family, or social media influencers may add more stress and lead you farther from figuring out the question: “How often should I walk my dog?”

So I wrote this blog post so you can get vetted advice so you can make the right choice for you and your dog, and stop feeling guilty, stressed, unsure, and constantly searching for answers.

How Often Should I Walk My Dog?

There are a lot of things to consider with your dog when it comes to deciding how often to walk your dog. These include:


The breed of your dog is a major factor to consider when it comes to deciding how often to walk your dog. If your dog is brachycephalic i.e. has a short muzzle, then you need to take that into account when considering the frequency of walks.

Brachycephalic breeds include Boston terriers, boxers, bulldogs, and French bulldogs.

These breed of dogs can have a harder time breathing during walks and overheat easily. So keeping this in mind if you have these breeds of dogs will help you not overdo it on walks.

I have a client who has a Labrador retriever that does not take long for him to start panting when I take him on a walk. Knowing that this will happen, especially on warmer days, makes me adjust how often I walk this particular dog.


Having a puppy (depending on his/her age and vaccination status) typically means walks will be more frequent due to potty training , taking the opportunity to socialize your dog, and leash training while going on walks.

On the other hand, if you have an adult dog (2 years old) you may be farther along on your training on the leash so things are going smoothly. So your walks would be less frequent than in the puppy stage.

If your dog is considered a senior, how often you walk your dog and how long you walk your dog will be reduced. Also watching out for cues such as your dog dragging his/her rear legs, or slowing down on a walk will let you know it’s time to head back to your house.

Realizing and recognizing these limitations with your senior dog can actually help you both by not going on long walks, but rather focusing on short walks that you can both enjoy together.


The size of your dog is another crucial factor when deciding how often to walk your dog.

For instance, a smaller dog has smaller legs and could tire sooner, than a larger dog. So fewer, shorter walks would be best for a small dog.

The size of your dog can be a factor when choosing treats to use on your walks. Giving too many to a small dog could fill them up as well as lead to an upset stomach. Nevertheless, a large dog does not need to have a lot of treats either as that can impact their weight and health to go on walks as easily with you.

Activity Level

Having a more active breed like a fox terrier for example could mean your dog is always busy and a nice walk will give him/her a chance to smell, use that brain, and get tired.

A puppy could have a lot of energy as well as not know how to walk on a leash. So your puppy will need more frequent, and longer walks.

On the other hand, your senior dog will need fewer walks due to lower energy levels.

Dog’s Health Status

Your dog’s health status, i.e. your dog’s physical and mental status also plays a role in figuring out how often to walk your dog.

So your dog’s existing medical issues, your dog’s behavior, and knowing what can come up during walks due to it, as well as mobility are part of your dog’s health status. This is key information that can help make the right decision when it comes to figuring out how often to walk a dog.

For instance, having a puppy who is not fully vaccinated could limit how many walks you go on each day. I would check with your veterinarian depending on how close your puppy is to being fully vaccinated and if they have specific recommendations on how often to walk your puppy.

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Are you prepared for your next dog walk?

  • Checklist of the supplies you need for your walk with examples of each
  • High value and low value dog treat examples
We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Living Environment

Whether you live in an apartment or house can affect how often you walk your dog. For instance, living in an apartment can add another dimension to how often you walk your dog as your dog may not be as active at home due to tighter living quarters.

On the other hand, living in a house often means larger living quarters for your dog to roam around, particularly if you have a backyard. As a result, you can shorten the frequency of your walks.

General Recommendations

So as you can see, how often you walk your dog is open to interpretation as it depends on a variety of factors. However, here are my general recommendations as to how often to walk your dog.

For adult dogs (not senior dogs) taking your dog on two walks a day for at least 30 minutes is what I recommend. Senior dogs can have one or two walks a day but keep it on the shorter side like 5 – 10 minutes depending on their mobility.

A puppy can go on three walks a day and the time could vary on where he/she is on their vaccination schedule.


Is It OK to Walk Your Dog Once A Day?

If that is the best you can do then once a day for a walk is better than nothing. I know every dog owner lives a different life with many factors that can impact the frequency of dog walks.

That being said, walking your dog once a day is the bare minimum; anything less than this is suboptimal. Looking for outside help could be another option if this is your reality when it comes to walking your dog every day.

Do You Have to Walk Your Dog Everyday?

Yes, you need to walk your dog everyday. Walking benefits your dog not only physically but mentally too. Walks provide an opportunity for your dog to release energy, sniff and explore his/her environment, and engage in social interactions.

It must be noted that some dogs may have limitations on the frequency of walks as well as restrictions depending on their health status. Therefore, having a balance with exercise like walks, mental stimulation, and rest are other things to consider when it comes to walking your dog everyday.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without a Walk?

The answer to this question would depend on whether you are seeing more destruction in your house with your dog.

Also, is there a medical reason that’s preventing your dog from going without a walk.

Nevertheless, I would not want you to see how long your dog can go without a walk because that wouldn’t benefit either one of you.

What Happens If You Never Walk Your Dog?

If your dog never goes on walks then there will be a struggle when you decide to put that leash on your dog.

It would make getting that leash on way more difficult and put you and your dog at a disadvantage when you do decide you want to go on walks and/or take your dog with you to new places for walks.

Walks provide so many chances to get your dog used to new things, noises, and environments, as well as opportunities to work on training. Not having those walks could lead to undesirable behaviors in your dog.

This could add stress to you and your dog whenever you go out together in the big wide world.

How Often Should I walk My Dog to Pee?

If your dog has access to water all day then he/she is going to need to go on a walk often to urinate. The more opportunities that you give your dog a chance to pee on a walk the better it will be for both of you.

My Dog Keeps Stopping to Sniff on Walks. Is This OK?

Dogs are going to stop to sniff on walks and that is totally fine and something that is desirable for them to do. Sniffing may lead to your dog going to the bathroom which is something every dog owner wants in order to avoid accidents at home.

Every dog is different so keep that in mind with the sniffing if that leads to your dog pulling you everywhere.

Encouraging the sniffing is great but if it unintentionally promotes something you do not want like pulling, then that is something you need to monitor and stop from happening.

Final Thoughts on How Often Should I Walk My Dog?

How often you walk your dog is individual and fluid, as it depends on your dog’s breed, age, size, activity level, health status, and living environment.

As a result, when I talk to my clients about how often to walk their dogs, I provide tailored tips and information as each of them is different.

In this blog post, I have shared how the various factors impact how often to walk a dog. So you can use the information I provided as a blueprint, and fit the information to your specific circumstances.

This is something I would tell you to do when going on walks and looking at how often you go on them. Trying to be more consistent with walks is great, but if that is something you know is not realistic then you will set your dog and yourself up for failure.

Look at your walk schedule and be realistic about it. If you want to add another walk then that could be your next step. Having the right supplies on you for a walk is another thing that can make walking with your dog easier.

I have a free Dog Walk Supplies Checklist that can help with that. With this checklist, you can compare what you currently have, and add a few extra things that may be even more helpful to optimize and increase the frequency of your dog walks.

resources guide for product recommendations:

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mini leash manners:

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stop the jumping:

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