When Do Golden Retriever Puppies Start Walking?

Golden Retriever puppies will start walking around the three weeks mark. They’ll learn to stand and take their first, wobbly steps from as early as two weeks old. Between weeks three and four, the Golden Retriever puppies will be officially walking. 

They quickly graduate from crawling along on their bellies to an unsteady waddle, before perfecting how to properly walk. Don’t worry if your Goldie isn’t exactly on this time frame, some take a little longer than others to pick up the new skill.

However, if your Golden Retriever isn’t passing milestones as they should be, it might be worth making an appointment at the vet to make sure that everything is alright.

Keep reading to find out how long a Golden Retriever puppy should be walked as they get older, puppy milestones to look out for, and more!

Everything You Need to Know About Golden Retriever Puppies When They Start Walking

When you adopt or buy your pup, they’ll be at least 8 weeks old. By the time you get them home, the days of learning to walk are long behind them.

But if you have pups at home, you’ll see firsthand as your pups pass milestones such as learning to walk.

If you want to help your pup figure out walking, there are a few things you can do to make it as easy as possible for them:

  • If you have slippery floors (like laminate or tiles) try putting down a rug or blanket to give them better grip.
  • Puppy proof your home. This includes removing any toxic plants, small objects, wires, and medications – anything that could be a hazard if swallowed or chewed by the pup.
  • Practice walking on a leash. Though they can’t go outside yet, leash training can begin right away. Getting them used to wearing a collar or harness, walking by your side, and listening to commands is the place to start here.
  • Let them take their time. They instinctively know when to start walking and will know how to do it. They just have to practice the new movement. If you’re trying to lift them and lead them to walk before they’re ready, you’ll be wasting your time.
  • Monitor their progress and milestones. If they aren’t walking by the time they’re four weeks old, consider making an appointment with the vet to get them checked.
  • When they’re walking, give them plenty of praise and encouragement to celebrate their achievement!

How to Exercise Your Golden Retriever Puppy

Once your Golden Retriever pup starts walking, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Full of energy, Goldens will need to safely release all of their energy to prevent developing physical and mental issues.

To exercise your Golden Retriever, you can:

  • Play fetch: Using a ball, stick, frisbee, or anything they can safely carry in their mouth. All you need is some space and somewhere safe to play.
  • Go swimming: Golden Retrievers love swimming. When they’re young, they’ll need some training and supervision while they practice, but they love being in the water.
  • Take them walkies: Goldens will happily walk for miles, whether that’s around your neighbourhood, on the beach, or through a field. 
  • Play with toys: Tug-of-war and chew toys are favourites here. Playing with toys is a sure-fire way to tire out a pup. It’s even more exciting if it’s a new toy or one that’s been in the cupboard for a while.
  • Set up a doggy playdate: Dogs love playing with other dogs. Nothing will burn energy as much as rolling and racing around with another pup. Setting up a play date, finding friends in a local park, or checking for dog events nearby should do the trick.

There are plenty of ways to make sure that your Golden Retriever gets the exercise that they need. If you struggle for time, taking them to doggy daycare or hiring a dog walker could be the perfect compromise for you.

Pretty much any physical activity will help them reach their daily activity goals – just remember that Golden Retrievers are people pleasers. They’ll keep going, past their limits, if they think that’s what you want from them. Make sure they get breaks and stay hydrated.

Also, avoid extra intense activities like hiking or running long distances until they’re a little older. Pushing them too early can lead to issues with their bones and joints.

How Long Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Be Walked For?

To make sure you don’t over-exercise your pup you can use the ‘5-minute rule’. As a general rule, allow 5 minutes of exercise per 1 month of age per day. 

If you get your new Golden puppy from a breeder, they’ll probably be around 8 weeks old and at this point, you should exercise them for 10 minutes per day.

Once they reach one year old, their exercise should have increased up to one hour per day. You can use the chart below for a general guideline.

Puppy’s ageAmount of exercise needed (per day)Puppy’s ageAmount of exercise needed (per day)
2 months10 mins8 months40 mins
3 months15 mins9 months45 mins
4 months20 mins10 months50 mins
5 months25 mins11 months55 mins
6 months30 mins12 months60 mins

Once your Golden Retriever is fully grown, they’ll need at least two hours of exercise per day. This can be from walking, swimming, playing, or any number of things that allows them to use some energy and stretch their muscles.

Other Golden Retriever Puppy Milestones

After around 9 weeks of being carried around in their mum’s belly, the pups are born. These are the rough milestones you can look for in your puppy.

  • 2 weeks – the puppies will open their eyes for the first time.
  • 2-3 weeks – first steps! The pups will start walking.
  • 3 weeks – a puppy’s milk teeth will come in.
  • 3-4 weeks – they’ll be properly walking around now.
  • 4 weeks – the move from milk to solid food.
  • 8-12 weeks – weaning and getting ready to go to their new homes.
  • 4 months – they’ll start sleeping through the night.
  • 4 months – their milk teeth will be replaced by adult teeth.
  • 1 year – around this time they’ll be as tall as they’re going to be.
  • 2 years – they’ll reach their full weight around now.

After this, their big milestones will be birthdays and learning new tricks and commands. 

Related Questions

Do All Dogs Take the Same Time to Learn How to Walk?

More or less, puppies follow similar timeframes for walking. They generally start walking after two weeks and can take up to four weeks to get the hang of it. Before this point, they are unable to support their own weight – much like human babies.

Individual pups will vary – they all go at slightly different paces. But all puppies should be confidently walking by four weeks (five at the absolute latest). By the time they’re about to start weaning, eat solid food, and go to their new homes, all the basics should be there.

Are There Any Situations Where You Shouldn’t Walk a Golden Retriever?

You definitely shouldn’t walk your puppy until they’ve had their full course of vaccinations. Up until this point, they need to stay away from other animals and be kept indoors as much as possible.

Also, avoid walking them in unsuitable weather – if the ground is burning hot or if there’s ice for example. 

If they’re sick or injured then they’ll need to skip their daily walk too. Sometimes getting rest is far more important than them walking. Look out especially for limps or yelping when putting weight on their limbs.

Why Isn’t My Puppy Walking Yet?

If your Golden Retriever puppy hasn’t started walking by four weeks, they could have a mobility issue. Such issues can be caused by a birth defect, trauma, or a neurological disorder.

Any issues will have to be diagnosed by a vet. If your puppy hasn’t started walking, make an appointment for a vet to examine them and perhaps run some diagnostics.

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