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If I Walk 1 Mile, How Far Does My Dog Walk?

If I Walk 1 Mile, How Far Does My Dog Walk?

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For many dog owners, nothing can be compared to the pleasure of walking their dogs.

It is an enjoyable exercise for both you and your dog.

Professionals recommend that dogs exercise every day, so such walks are an essential part of dog care.

Your dog also needs mental stimulation, which he can find when savoring smells, sounds, and sights outside your property or yard.

Walks are also an opportunity to bond with your canine pal and build mutual trust.

But how far can your dog walk compared to you?

Are you over walking your dog and is he simply tagging along without enjoying the walk?

Due to their loyalty, dogs will hardly complain and can put up with some abuse by sticking to your side.

How do you know when to stop and give your dog a break? 

Let’s investigate…

How Far Your Dog Walks If You Walk 1 Mile

If you are walking your dog, the distance he covers may not be the same with the distance you cover.

If you are walking your pup on a short leash, there may not be a significant difference in the distance that both of you cover.

On a short leash, it can be assumed that your dog will stick by your side or stay consistently behind or ahead of you most of the time.

So, if you cover 1 mile, you dog will also have covered roughly 1 mile.

On the other hand, if you are walking your dog on a long leash, retractable leash or flexi-lead, the distance he covers will increase a bit.

An active dog will definitely take advantage of the long leash by running back and forward, circling around, etc, thereby covering considerably longer distance.

On average, the dog will cover nearly twice the distance that you do.

So, for 1 mile walk, your pup will have covered about 1.5-2 miles depending on his movement patterns.

Finally, if you are walking your dog off-leash, the distance he covers may be triple or quadruple considering that the dog’s movements will now be freer.

A dog that’s off-leash will range ahead of his owner and then come back, thus covering the same distance twice.

He may also range back and come forward again, covering already covered distance two more times.

In some cases, the dog may still go forward to meet you trudging along the same track.

I hope you get the picture…

With such movement patterns, a dog can easily cover a given distance 3-5 times.

Add this to side excursions, and you’ll agree with me that if you cover 1 mile, your dog could easily do 4+ miles off-leash!

You may also want to check: 10 Worst Dog Breeds off Leash

How Much Should You Walk Your Dog?

Now that you know the distance that your Fido is likely to cover on 1 mile walk with him, how many miles should you do on a normal dog walking day?

In other words, how much should you walk your dog?

Well, to ensure your dog isn’t over-walked, it’s important to monitor his behavior during walks.

Look out for distress signs such as exhaustion, heavy panting, or mobility difficulties.

You can also tell that things aren’t okay if your dog lies down, lags, or takes too long to recover from the walk.

Beyond this, other factors come into play when considering how far your dog can walk, including:

1. Age

The older your dog is, the more fragile he is on long walks.

That’s because of their weakened physical conditions such as frail joints or other physical limitations like hip dysplasia or arthritis.

Consequently, you can only walk aged dogs for shorter distances than younger dogs.

Keep in mind, however, that even diseased dogs such as arthritic ones still need exercise to keep their muscles strong.

2. Breed

 Different dog breeds have different walking needs due to their different energy levels.

 For example, herding dogs (e.g. collies, corgis), and sporting dogs (e.g. retrievers, spaniels) can go up to 10 to 15 miles.

However, toy groups (e.g. Maltese, poodle) can handle just 2 to 5 miles.  

The number of times per day that you walk your dog may also be dictated by the breed type.

Some breeds may need several shorter walks instead of one long session.

For example, the short-muzzled bulldog may tire easily due to his compromised breathing passages and may do better with short walking sessions.  

3. Size

 In general, larger dogs can walk longer distances than smaller dogs.

For example, don’t expect a Yorkshire terrier to last as long as the bigger Labrador on long walks. 

Smaller dogs also spend more energy when you walk them considering that they have to trot along to keep up with your pace while bigger dogs are able to comfortably match your pace, thus tiring less quickly.

4. Walk Intensity

 The more intense the walk, the quicker your dog will be exhausted.

Therefore, if you go on a brisk walk, you will have to spend less time such as 30 minutes for each walking session.

Slower walks can extend for longer times and you can cover longer distances without your dog feeling exhausted 

5. Fitness Levels

Dogs are not always at their peak fitness levels since this tends to come in cycles.

When his fitness level is low, your dog will need to gradually build up his fitness again. 

So, you will be over-walking your dog if you are making him walk harder when he’s not at peak fitness level.

When walking a dog that is out of shape, you can begin with 20-minute walks and then gradually add 5 more minutes each day.

Alternatively, you can have an extra walk in the afternoon. 

6. Personality

Your dog’s temperament and exertion level may also dictate the amount of walk he can tolerate.

A dog that gets excited fast or likes pulling may tire much faster than one in a calm, loose-leash walk.

Again, if your dog is obsessed with side excursions, he may tire faster.

7. Weather Conditions

If the weather is too hot, your dog tends to get exhausted much sooner on the walk.

This is because the heat causes him to dehydrate and lose stamina. 

Consequently, you can cover much longer distances in cooler weather. 

Parting Thoughts

Hopefully, you now understand the distance that your dog covers if you walk him for a mile or two.

Generally, dog walking can be a delicate balancing act, in order to avoid over-exercising or under-exercising your dog.

 Don’t assume that just because you are enjoying the walk, the feeling is mutual for your canine companion.

While it’s a pleasure for both you and the dog, there are limits beyond which your walk can turn into agony for your dog.