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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you started with a puppy, how old were they when you started extending time of walks? And how long is the longest they can walk in general when full grown? Can your small dogs keep up with the big guys?
My tiny mutt puppy is 14 weeks, he's just started going for short walks(5-10mins)because of his delayed vaccine schedule, we're going to up it to 20-30mins within a week or two but I'm hoping to take him on the hour+ walks with my big dog eventually. Just curious if people think he'll be able to handle that? Not just energy wise but also considering his growing joints. Everyone I know with small dogs only walk them short walks, or almost no walks and I've never had a dog smaller than a corgi so not sure of the limitations of smaller dogs.
 

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That sounds like a fine length for a walk for now. If your dog seems tired though, then shorten it.

Also, I have to say people often underestimate the stamina of small dogs. It does depend on the dog, but many small dogs, particularly terriers, can be little energizer bunnies. Our 10 lb Tyrion is a Maltese/Yorkie (with bad knees no less!) and sometimes I think he could run all day long chasing my Cattle Dog mix. What sort of dog do you have? That might be an indicator of how much energy/stamina he will have. I do think the biggest difference though is that while a small and large dog might both be able to do an hour long walk, the small dog might have trouble keeping up with the big one.
 

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I'm not a small dog owner, but as long as you keep an eye on him and take a break when needed, I think you're okay with that pensum. :D
 

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I ran into a similar conundrum my lab mix and the two boston terriers I've had with her.

I had a 5 year old Boston when we got the lab mix who was very lazy and slow, but perked right up once we got the new dog and was like a puppy again. She has since passed, but even into her old age/sickness she would try to keep up and did a pretty good job of it.

Now, the lab mix is 6 and I also have a new Boston that is now 6 months old. When I got this new puppy she was 11 weeks, but she had full vaccinations a week later, and I immediately started walking them together. I actually found shorter walks alone were pretty useless in getting her to mind her manners. She would either shut down and not want to move or pull and go crazy. My lab mix is great on the leash and when I took them out together after 5min or so the puppy would start walking nicely and stay walking nicely for at least 15-20min. If she really shut down and seemed overwhelmed I would carry her home. I liked carrying her because she got the social experience of the walk (scary sounds, meeting people and dogs, etc) without the physical stuff that was maybe too much for her at such a young age. IMO walks are a great time for new dogs to bond, and my puppy seemed to enjoy the walks more when she had the big dog with her. At 3.5 months she was doing 30min walks without a problem. Now, at almost 6 months, she is more in shape than I am. She can do a 30min hike running most of the time and still want to play when we get home and has no problem keeping up with the big dog.

I would agree that breed(s) will effect energy level but I wouldn't worry about your little guy keeping up. I think the reason little dogs often don't get walked is because they're easier to entertain indoors. I can play ball with my Boston inside for 30min and tire her our, but I can't really do the same with the lab mix because she'll knock over chairs and tables. Also, being able to keep up doesn't necessarily mean they will get crazy without extensive exercise. My Boston doesn't get destructive and will usually be calm without a walk, but if she thinks its time to get up and go she can go for hours.
 

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Tee hee hee. Kuma is my ratter mix and he can easily keep up with a 100+ lb malamute. He can even do a sprint and still have energy to spare. (We did not raise him as he was a rescue at age 6.)

But as others have said it depends on the dog. When we got kuma I thought I was going to have to run him for hours to get rid of his energy and as it turns out, he's lazy, but will jump up to run or do tricks. (True to the ratter breed of adjusting their energy to the families energy.)
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I almost posted a similar question after a discussion at a small dog group on Friday. :) I'd mentioned our walks are generally an hour to longer and several people voiced concern and shock I take them out for so long as they do 20 minutes max. I was really surprised!

Finlay did long walks through the summer, 4-5 hours wasn't unusual though with frequent stops as she loves to play Sherlock. (I do have a regret with that as we were told she was over a year old when we got her, and only in late fall getting paperwork did we find out she was so young. :( )

We started slow with Javva as he was in rough shape when we got him and the weather was colder, so I carried him a lot at first. He's much stronger now and we regularly have 90 minute walks in good weather. If it's really rainy I'll shorten that with no complaints, but if it's clear out and we head home within 40 minutes, they both want to stay out longer.

It's not just the one walk; on an average day we start with an hour walk, then mid-day an hour to 90 minutes, a 10-30 minute late-afternoon, then a 20-40 minute before bed. In the summer we'll do longer ones again. I'm in a really dog-friendly area where dogs are allowed on restaurant patios and in most stores so if we spend 6 hours walking around town doing errands and grabbing lunch, Fin would share that time with us, and I'm sure Javva will be up to that too.

Is there any reason small dogs wouldn't/shouldn't have long walks?
 

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a lot of the small dogs were originally bred fror hunting.
do you really think that the hunter would have turned around after such a little while just because his Dackel is "not allowed" to walk more than 20 min?
I'm sure most small dogs can easily keep up with us slow humans as long as it is not too cold and you've got an eye on them.

it is probably more important to check the time with young big dogs, since they often need longer to be fully grown and they carry much more weight with their growing bones, ligaments and joints, so overuse has a lot more drastic consequences.
small dogs are often pretty robust.
 
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My 25lbs Fox terrier mutt, climbed mountains, swam in the ocean, ran circles and was still NEVER EVER TIRED EVER. I had a backpack that I could put her in if she got tired, but she was known to run 10+ miles at bike speed. If I dared to slow down or stop she'd yank on the leash. That dog had more energy than it knew what to do with.

My 45lbs German Shepard/basenji butt will run around in the back yard, swim but in general prefers the status of dozing dog to any other one. She will go one mile....maybe 2...depending on her mood.

My parents had German Shepards over the years and they varied, but usually my aunts small fuzzy things were still active while they were ready for a break.

Run the dog till you notice they are tired. Most dogs are pretty good at letting you know what they want.
 

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Length of walks, time spent walking is different for every dog. Our Samantha, a poodle/bischon mix, can walk a mile sometimes two, but it is very dependent on weather. She does well when its cool and the sun is not on her, but even in 70 degree weather, is the sun is on her, she tires and overheats quickly. after six years walking with her, I can pretty well tell how she is feeling, and when she shows signs of over heating, I do not push her. So the advice is, get to know your dog, and learn to read his body language and interpret how he is doing, and adjust your expectations accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, lots of responses! He's chihuahua/dachshund/mini pin/something. Both parents are 13lbs so that'll probably be his max too.
I started just carrying him before his vax were completed, and now he does the 10 minute walks and doesn't seem tired when outside(although we do have to walk slower for him because he's so small) but when we get home he crashes for a few hours every time, does that sound normal? I was told it's probably just very stimulating for him but that's why I figured I'd up the walk time slowly.
My old dog is not crazy active or anything, it's not like we jog. It's all just longer distance city walks, an hour in the winter but in the other seasons we do multiple hour walks a day. I've just never had a dog so small before. I know they can definitely handle activity(and definitely believe they need more than the almost nothing most people give) just had no idea how much, these answers have helped a lot!
 

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@miniaturehorse


dogs generally sleep a lot.
Sancho also sleeps for a few hors after his after noon walk...and he's neither a small dog, nor are our walk that long (perhaps 1-1/5 hours).
perhaps he's just tired.
 

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@miniaturehorse That sounds like a similar mix to our Finlay, she's 12-13lbs and has unending energy. We also are all about city walks in Vancouver, and live 15 minutes from the beach so she gets long walks on the seawall too. Only twice have I noticed her seeming tired and I carried her a while until she was anxious to get back down and walking, but those were both during the hot summer and after 6 hours of walking.


When we get home she'll lay down and sleep deeply for a couple hours, and then be up and energetic again. I plan to get her into agility as she loves running and jumping. I think her energy levels and endurance will always exceed ours!
 

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Poppy is 6 months old now, 12 pounds, and my, she has so much energy! We could go walk/run in the park, train, and still come home for more games! Then she sleeps most of the day, and we go out again in the afternoon.

When she was younger I would take her for a little walk around the block, play a short game at home, and she would pass out! Slowly I was able to take longer walks (with me carrying her part of the way).

You really just watch your dog and see how he feels. Sometimes mine would actually act way too energetic, pulling every which way and trying to run, but it was because she was tired (like a child), so I would carry her the rest of the way home. At this state she was happy to comply.
 

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I often go horse riding on trails and there are always small terrier-type mixes following of their own accord. 40km later we are back at the barn and they have enough energy left over to harass the barn cats. These are adult dogs however.
 
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