Most dog owners know how important it is to take their pets on walks. All breeds need some form of daily exercise, and taking walks is one of the best ways to get it in.
However, not all dog breeds have the same level of exercise needs. Some dogs, like Border Collies and Terriers, tend to need more exercise to accommodate their high energy levels.
If you’re the proud owner of a Poodle, you may be wondering how far can a Poodle walk? The answer will depend on your dog’s size, age, and general health. That being said, most Poodles can keep walking for up to an hour. However, in warm weather you’ll probably need to break that hour up into shorter sessions.
Younger and smaller Poodles typically do better when you walk them for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. The same applies to dogs that aren’t used to walking on a leash yet. If your Poodle is a rescue, this may apply regardless of age. And if you have a senior dog or one with joint and mobility issues, a walk around the block may suffice.
Let’s look at what you can expect when walking your dog and explore the question of how far can a Poodle walk.
How Much Exercise Does a Poodle Need?
A dog’s exercise needs vary by breed, age, and health. Three different types of Poodle breeds exist. These Poodle breeds or types include:
As you may have guessed, there are some similarities and differences between the three sizes. However, all Poodle breeds are fairly active. These are not Bulldogs that will be content with lying on the couch or floor for most of the day. Poodles enjoy daily walks and need stimulation.
Many Poodles learn to enjoy other outdoor activities like swimming or playing in the water. You can also play games of fetch in a yard or dog park. But for adult dogs, getting in an hour’s walk will help keep any destructive behaviors in check.
Younger Poodles will usually need less walk time. A six-month-old puppy, for example, can get by with 30 minutes each day. As Poodles approach adulthood, you can gradually increase that walk time up to an hour.
Should I Break up Walking Sessions?
Many Poodles do better if you break up their walking sessions into smaller ones. So, if your adult Poodle needs to walk up to an hour each day, take two 30-minute walks. You can walk your dog for 30 minutes in the morning and go on another 30-minute walk in the evening. Some dog owners come home for lunch and take short walks during this time instead.
The younger your Poodle is, the more they’ll benefit from multiple walking sessions. You may find your dog does better with three smaller sessions than two. Let’s say your puppy needs 45 minutes of walk time each day. Break it up into three 15-minute sessions and see how they respond.
Whether you get a new Poodle as a puppy or adopt one from a shelter or rescue, you should introduce your pet to walks slowly. Like humans, dogs need to build up endurance and tolerance to exercise. While Poodles are energetic, they may not be able to sustain a three-mile walk at first.
Start introducing your Poodle to walks by going around the block. Then, after a few weeks add a little more time and distance. See how they do and respond. If you see signs of distress or your Poodle wants to rest or turn around, don’t force them to continue.
You might also find it helpful to include occasional rest sessions during your walks.
What About Winter Weather?
It’s definitely more challenging to walk your Poodle during cold winters. However, you shouldn’t use snow and ice as an excuse not to walk your dog. Just because it’s cold and snowy outside doesn’t mean your dog’s exercise needs go away.
Dogs can get cabin fever and go stir crazy if their exercise needs aren’t met. You may notice your Poodle starts begging for you to play and take them on a walk, or becomes destructive. If you have a yard, they might start digging. Or, worse, they could start destroying things in the house.
Chewing, barking a lot, scratching, and tearing up fabrics are signs your Poodle has too much pent-up energy. You can still safely walk your dog in the winter by dressing them in a warm coat or sweater. You might also find it helpful to have your Poodle wear boots.
However, not all dogs tolerate boots or booties right away. They do a good job of protecting your dog’s paws from ice and ice melt, but your dog may try to take them off. You might need to get your dog used to wearing them first. Alternatively, you can use a paw balm to help protect these delicate areas.
What Should I Do in the Summer for Poodle walking?
Some of the same guidelines apply when the weather’s hot and humid. Summertime, like winter, is not an excuse to avoid walking your Poodle. But you do need to pay attention to the temperatures and the conditions outside.
Obviously, you don’t want to walk your dog in the heat of the day. Hot concrete and pavement can burn your Poodle’s paws. Not only is this extremely painful, but you’ll probably end up taking a trip to the vet.
Instead, walk your Poodle in the morning or evening hours when the temperature is cooler. Anything over 85 can be problematic but test the concrete before you go.
Also, watch the skies for heavy thunderstorms and lightning. The metal on your dog’s harness, leash, and collar can become a magnet for lightning. You don’t want to be outdoors during a downpour, tornado, or when there are any signs of lightning in the area.
Can I Take My Poodle on a Hike?
This will depend on your Poodle’s endurance and tolerance. Some dog owners can take their Poodles on shorter hikes and others find their dogs can periodically walk on longer hikes. If you’re not sure if your Poodle can last or if this is the dog’s first hike, plan on a short trek.
You should also plan on carrying water for the dog. Dehydration can happen in pets and humans when hiking in the elements. Plan on taking a raincoat or a warmer coat in case the weather changes. In some states like Colorado that have dry and rapidly-changing weather conditions, taking enough water and protective gear is a must.
When you’re taking your Poodle on the trails with you, don’t neglect their basic needs. You’ll also want to pay attention to any leash laws and restricted areas. You may not be able to walk your Poodle off-leash or take them on some trails. There should be signs in the area, but it’s a good idea to check with the local government or park ranger first.
Should I Walk My Senior Poodle?
Just because your senior Poodle might be slowing down, it doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from daily exercise. Remember Poodles are highly active breeds. Because of this, Poodles can take longer to age and lose their get up and go.
While a Cocker Spaniel might mellow out at age five, your Toy Poodle might still be going strong at nine. Technically, a dog that is seven or older is a senior. But not all dogs act the same as they age and some don’t develop joint or mobility problems until the last few years of their lives.
So, yes, you should continue to walk your senior Poodle. However, you may need to shorten the walk time and use shorter sessions. You should also pay attention to how your dog is responding to the walk each day. If your Poodle seems tired or worn out, don’t keep going. Cut the walk short and try again tomorrow.
With that said, senior dogs can start to lose their sight and hearing as they age. You may need to be extra vigilant about where you walk and help your dog navigate your walking path. If you’re concerned about the health and condition of your senior dog, always consult with your vet.
So, how far can a Poodle walk? While adult dogs should be able to tolerate up to an hour each day, each Poodle is different. You may find your dog does better with a few shorter 30-minute sessions. Or, you might try a 20-minute session, a 15-minute walk, and a third 25-minute sprint.
Your Poodle’s general health and age will influence their walking needs. However, Poodles have a ton of energy and need daily exercise to prevent them from going stir crazy.
Whether it’s rain or shine outside, you’ll want to put the excuses for not walking them aside. The best thing to do is start out with shorter walks and work your Poodle up to longer hikes.