At what age can you start training a dog to walk on the leash?

I have a border collie puppy and I was just wondering when is the best time to teach them to walk on a leash. I don't want to actually start walking him until 6-7 moths as I have heard that any earlier and you can risk straining their muscles because they are not fully grown.

Asked by Shep on Jan 9th 2009 in Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



Shep, you can start teaching loose lead walking earlier than 6 months, and better if you can start by 3-4 months. You can begin in the house with the puppy following you around. Check out puppy kindergarten classes if have access and can swing the $$. It is the best way to learn about raising a puppy. If your local library has the book My Smart Puppy by Kilcommons, borrow it. We loved it.

I think you will want to begin regular outdoor walks after you have your final round of shots at the latest. Puppies need to socialize and the walks are a way to do that. You'll be able to introduce many smells, sights, cars, trucks, people of all colors, clothing and accessories (e.g. hats, backpacks, coats...), and bicyles and people of all age groups. If a dog gets exposure to these things as a young puppy, and it's a good experience, they learn not to fear them as an adult.

Growth plates don't typically close until ~10-14 months for small to mid size dogs

Lilliana answered on 1/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer



Shep is NOT fully grown, so that means you can take him on short walks, but not more than a mile at the most. Taking short walks is GREAT for your pup, but too much can put his muscles and joints at risk. I looked on his profile and saw that he was just one month old. (Shep is SO cute, by the way) Once Shep gets all of his puppy shots, you can start introducing him to other animals and take him on walks. You should have already started introducing him to household things (such as vacum, sink, door, family members, etc.).

Hope this helps!

Jet answered on 1/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Zackintosh CJ

You can walk a dog thats at least 12 weeks old as long as you don't overdo it! Just walk like 1/3 of a mile to start with.
Don't wait until he's had his shots to socialize him, that would be too late.
Take him to friends houses that have dogs, to a training class or wherever you know there are friendly, healthy, vaccinated dogs.
I started walking my dog at 10 weeks old and he's suffered no ill effects.

Zackintosh CJ answered on 1/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Loose leash walking can begin MUCH earlier than 6-7 months, the sooner the better!! At the boarding facility where I work, we offer a "Puppy Kindergarten" class for dogs 8-18 weeks of age and we DO teach loose leash walking in class. WALKING will not strain their muscles, have you not noticed how much your collie RUNS AND BOUNCES AND PLAYS AND CHASES BALLS when he plays??? He WALKS around the house all day, whether it be to go to his food bowl, or to his bed, or to play with his toys or go outside and potty!!
The problem is from OVER exercising your puppy before his bones and muscles are grown, usually from RUNNING, or agility work, herding, etc. You can practice loose leash walking inside your house for even just a few minutes a day and have NO worries!! Its probably LESS exercise than he would be getting if he were off leash! Take Shep outside in the yard and do a few back and forth walking passes (with treats/rewards for staying at your side) and it should be NO problem!!

Flip answered on 1/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer