Gassi gehen mit Welpen

Walking with puppies - first steps

Your puppy has moved in with you and now it's time for its first walk. Walks are not only for the dog to do its "business", but also to keep the dog busy and fit. On the daily walks, your pelt-nose can sniff extensively and explore the environment. Walks are fun, can be used to practise leash walking and other commands, and strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. However, your young dog must first learn this everyday time together. Find out now how you can get your dog out and about on a regular basis!

Getting the puppy used to a leash and collar – how to do it

Before going outside, your puppy should get to know the collar and leash - because in many cases he knows neither one nor the other. We will show you how to proceed step by step. Have lots of treats ready for them.

  1. At first, just let your dog sniff the collar and reward him thoroughly.
  2. In the next step, you can try to put it on him. Here you can also lure him with treats, because you want your puppy to associate the collar positively. If your puppy is still reluctant, you can take him on your lap and put the collar on him in this safe place or postpone putting it on until later.
  3. Then distract him with fun games or feed him. Maybe your puppy has already forgotten that he has the collar on? Perfect! Then you can move on to the next step.
  4. Now try to hook the leash. Then reward your dog again.
  5. If you want to play now, just put the leash on the ground so that your dog pulls it loosely behind him. Then you can take the collar off again.

It is best to repeat this procedure or individual steps several times before moving on to the next point or even taking your pet outside for the first time. You should be able to judge whether your pet has become accustomed to the new situation and is ready to face further challenges outside, based on your personal feelings as the owner.

Our tip: If your furry friend is rather lively, excited and pulls on the leash a lot, consider using a dog harness instead. This is gentle on your dog's cervical spine if it pulls hard. You can proceed in the same way as with the collar when familiarising your dog.

Frequently asked questions and answers about the puppy walk

How often should I take my puppy for a walk?

Ideally, you can do your little rounds four or five times a day. Don't worry - it's not too boring if you always walk the same paths. On the contrary: your little four-legged friend can gain security outside more quickly and will feel more comfortable this way.

How long is a puppy allowed to be walked?

Long walks in the sunny forest with your furry friend are a dream come true for every dog lover. However, if you have a puppy, you should refrain from going on long outings in the early days to avoid injuries. Your pet's bones and joints are still growing and are not yet up to the strain. It is important not to overload your little furry friend. Trips lasting several hours are therefore not advisable. It is best to use your own individual feelings and common sense. If you notice signs of tiredness or overexertion in your puppy after a short time, this is sufficient. During the walk, make sure that he doesn't completely exhaust himself and become over-exuberant in order to protect his joints. In the end, you decide what is good for your dog and when it is time to end your walk.

There is a rule of thumb for the length of your walk with your puppy. This says that 5 minutes per day per month of life are allowed (i.e. 15 minutes at three months), no more! It also depends somewhat on the breed, a small dog is more mature than a large one.

The total amount of exercise per day must be well balanced. If you practise driving the bus, you don't need a walk any more. Of course, meaningful games and cuddles are also allowed.

Our tip: Even short distances are very exciting and thrilling for young dogs. Therefore, such short laps are best suited to avoid overtaxing him with the various stimuli of the environment.

When should I take the puppy for a walk?

It is up to you to decide at what times you should take your puppy for a walk. Your own daily routine plays a role here and, of course, whether your puppy is already house-trained. However, it is best to start your walks before you feed your puppy. Give your puppy a break to digest after the meal. In the worst case, this can otherwise lead to gastric torsion and digestive problems.

Walking with puppies in winter

In the cold season, it can be useful to provide puppies with short or little fur on their bellies with a dog coat. In very cold temperatures, your walks should be shorter, as young dogs are particularly at risk of getting hypothermia. If there is snow, keep a close eye on your dog. Puppies often explore their environment by eating or chewing things. The snow could be hiding pollutants that could make your pup sick.

Walking with puppies in summer

On particularly hot summer days, it is best to go for a walk late in the evening or early in the morning so that your four-legged friend does not get circulation problems. At best, find routes with lots of shade and soft ground and take plenty of breaks. The asphalt of the streets can heat up so much in the heat that your pet can burn its paws. This is true for young animals as well as older dogs. On such days, puppies may even be content to go outside just to do their daily "business". To satisfy your puppy's strong urge to move, you can train commands with him indoors or play with his favourite toys.

Not every puppy feels immediately at ease outside and joyfully starts its exploration tour. Many puppies find it difficult at first to find their way in unfamiliar surroundings and to leave the cosy warmth and security of their new home. Therefore, it can happen that your puppy simply stops or even sits down without taking a step. He does not yet associate going for a walk with fun and wild adventures. Achieving this is the first challenge for you as a dog owner.

We have put together 3 tips for your first steps out the door:

1. Facilitate start:

Sometimes it helps to carry your puppy for the first 50 to 100 metres and then put him down. He feels comfortable on your arm and can start your short rounds more positively.

2. Praise and reward:

If your little darling finds it difficult to set off into the environment, reward him for every step he takes. You can use treats or praise him exuberantly with your voice. It is important that you do not lure him with treats as soon as he sits down or stops. Otherwise, your furry friend may show this behaviour more often because he has learned that it is worth it.

3. Patience:

As is often the case in dog training, your patience is most important. If your little darling resists and does not dare to walk, stay calm and do not force him. Every dog owner knows this: Sometimes it's hard because you have appointments or errands waiting for you. Just shorten your rounds and walk up and down the street, for example. If you pull your puppy impatiently, it can make him feel even more uncomfortable and increase his anxiety. If your puppy doesn't want to take another step, wait. Look around or look at your shoes. You can also take out your mobile phone; the important thing is that you don't look at your dog. As soon as he shows the slightest movement in your direction, you can reward him as shown in step 2. You can repeat this until you think it is enough for your round.

Laura from the We love HUNTER team:

"It was very difficult with Paul outside at the beginning. He always sat down and didn't want to run at all. As soon as he moved a little bit towards me, I immediately took out treats and we walked back towards home, where Paul suddenly became very fast. So he learned from many little walks that we always come back and after a few times of practising, my darling couldn't wait to get out."

Why doesn't my puppy want to go for a walk?

Es gibt vielfältige Gründe dafür, dass dein Welpe nicht Gassi gehen will, sondern sich stattdessen hinsetzt, hinlegt oder sich auf anderen Wegen sträubt, weiterzugehen:

  • Uncomfortable fit of collar or harness:
Clarify at the beginning if his behaviour is related to the harness or collar. Maybe he is not used to them enough or they are uncomfortable for him.
  • Overwhelm:
For puppies, everything is new during their first time with you. They are taken from their familiar surroundings at the breeder's or from the animal shelter, must first get to know their owner and find their way around in their new home. For many puppies, an additional new environment, in which numerous foreign impressions await them, can therefore be too much for them. So try to be understanding if things don't work out as well as you had hoped.
  • Fear:
It is also possible that your little darling is afraid of the new situation. Outdoors, he can expect different smells and especially different noises that could frighten him. There can be many different reasons for your pet's fear. Try to prevent negative experiences and offer your dog security. Be attentive to him to find out about his fears. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult a dog trainer who knows about fears in dogs.

In all cases, your perseverance is needed. But your waiting will be worth it: Soon you can start exciting outdoor adventures together.

Teaching the puppy to go for a walk – this is how it works

When you notice that your puppy is getting more confident, you can slowly change your routes. It is important that your young puppy gets to know as much as possible - without overtaxing him. We have listed 5 ideas on how you can proceed:

1. First steps in a safe environment

For your first steps outside, it is best to take paths through the forest or along a field where you will hardly meet people or other dogs. Of course, you can also just walk along your own street if your puppy doesn't want to go far from home at first. The most important thing is to make him feel safe. This works best when your dog is exposed to few stimuli such as loud noises.

2. Extending laps

Once you have mastered your first shorter routes, you can extend your rounds. Show your interested four-legged friend an unfamiliar environment where he is confronted with new smells. It is best to leave your puppy on a leash, even in a quiet environment. There can always be sudden noises that could frighten him enough to make him run away.

3. Enable positive experiences with other dogs

It is also important that your puppy meets other people and dogs outside. This is how you support his social behaviour. Try to give your puppy only positive experiences and avoid meeting dogs that seem unfriendly. At best, you want your young dog to retain the joy of going outside.

4. Getting used to traffic

A busy street is not the best place for a relaxing walk. Nevertheless, your four-legged friend needs to learn that cars are part of everyday human life and that they are not an immediate danger. However, only choose such a route when your dog is already confident on the road and you are sure that a loud noise will not immediately frighten him.

5. Walking in the dark

Walk the different routes in the dark: the surroundings look different, there are different smells in the air and the sounds change.

Conclusion: Teaching your puppy to walk doesn't happen overnight. So don't despair if something doesn't work right away and take a step back. You will soon see that you have mastered the first stages of walking. Then you can slowly start practising to walk on a leash. Or are you already a well-coordinated team? Then we look forward to hearing your experiences and tips!

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