How much exercise does my puppy need?

The 5-minute rule for exercise as a puppy

The first steps in life with the new family member have been taken, but then the question arises: How often do I have to go out with my puppy? And is it normal for the little bully to sleep all the time when he's not stealing socks and darting through the apartment?

Fortunately for you, there are a few helpful rules of thumb that you can follow in the first few months with the puppy, so that the little fur nose gets enough exercise, but can also learn to be house-trained more quickly.

The 5-minute rule

The younger the puppy, the more unfamiliar it is to constant movement. Because newborn puppies actually oversleep 90% of the day and only take a few steps a day to eat or to play with their siblings for a short time. The older the little dog gets, the more exercise it needs because it becomes more active and more curious. Nevertheless, you have to get the puppy used to the movement and make sure that its joints, which are still growing, are not overused.

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The 5-minute rule states that the length of walks can be calculated based on the puppy's age. You should go for a walk with the puppy for about 5 minutes per month of life. So for a 2 month old puppy, 10 minutes per walk is enough. A 3-month-old puppy can walk for 15 minutes at a time and a 4-month-old puppy for 20 minutes. That doesn't sound like much at first, but you also have to take into account that you only take short walks with the puppy, but repeat them more often during the day. So: often outside, but only briefly - that's the motto for puppies.

From the 6th month of life the puppy can walk for 30 minutes to an hour per walk and the number of dog walks can be limited to 3-4 times. When the dog is fully grown, 2 walks are often enough, but that always depends on the breed and the dog's urge to move and can be found in this article (Reference blog post) can be read again in more detail.

The 2-hour interval

As already mentioned, very young puppies are not allowed to go for long walks to protect their bones and joints. However, you should go outside regularly, as the little bully is not house-trained either. To start with, it is recommended to go outside every 2 hours. It is important to be very consistent here, because dogs are creatures of habit and learn to be house-trained more quickly if they know exactly when they come outside.

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Of course, at the beginning the puppy will also do its business in the house, here it should be taken outside immediately and praised as soon as it finishes outside. Apart from these trips to the garden, the 2 hour interval should still be observed, even if the dog was outside due to an "incident" shortly before.

Gradually, this distance can then be increased and you can go for a walk every 3 hours instead of 2 hours. If the puppy does not spend more time in the apartment, it can be extended to 4 hours, and so on.

15-20 hours of sleep

Aside from the trips outside, you will find that your puppy sleeps a lot. A short game here and there or a small training session in between and the little one is back in the dream land.

This is quite normal for puppies, because the little ones need up to 20 hours of sleep a day to regenerate and to recharge their batteries for walks, playing and parenting. 

Climbing stairs - no thanks!

Finally, it should be pointed out that the puppy should always be carried up and down stairs, because not only too long walks at a very young age, but also climbing stairs puts an immense strain on the puppy's joints, so that joint problems can arise more often in older age . This can be counteracted if the puppy is carried at least up to the 4th month of life, or if possible even up to the 6th month.

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A few short steps shouldn't be a problem for the little bully. It is important that you watch the puppy and not let him climb stairs alone.