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What Age Can You Start Running with a Labrador?

Labradors are one of the most common breeds kept as pets around the world. Known for their friendly nature and boundless energy, they often make the perfect running partner. However, before you head off on a long run with your faithful companion, there are things to consider such as what age can you start running with a Labrador?

The rule of thumb is to wait until your dog is 18 months of age. This is when Labradors typically grow into an adult. However, it generally depends upon the dog, and it is possible to run with a Labrador puppy provided you follow a few precautions.

Some of the main factors that will influence how early you can start running with a Labrador include where you will be running, whether your dog has healthy hips, and what temperament they have. There are also a few rules to follow if you do decide to start early, such as building up distance gradually.    

What Age Can You Start Running with a Labrador?

Experts suggest waiting until your Labrador is fully developed at around 18 months of age before taking them out running. However, many owners take their labs running from an early age. If you do want to start earlier, it is important to do your research into how to do it safely.

The problem with taking your Labrador running before their bodies are fully developed, is it can cause problems for their muscles and joints. These can turn out to be permanent issues, which are not only painful for your dog, but they will cost you a small fortune in vets bills too.

According to the American Kennel Club, puppies aged six months and over may be able to go out on short jogs. As Labradors are quite active dogs, taking them out running before they are 18 months old is possible. So, when looking into how far can a Labrador run by age, typically puppies can try out very short runs with caution.  

Running with a 5-Month-Old Puppy

While Labradors are an active breed, experts advise waiting until they are 18 months old before you introduce them to excessive exercise. However, it is possible to begin training them to run with you from an earlier age. At 5 months old, you can introduce your Labrador puppy to short bursts of exercise.

Young puppies are at risk of damaging their muscles and joints if they overexercise. Therefore, long distance runs should be avoided. Instead, work on getting your lab puppy to walk calmly beside you and follow basic commands such as “come” and “stay”. That way, when you begin to run together, they are less likely to run off.

Once you have trained them to walk without pulling, you can start introducing them to jogging. You’ll want to keep these sessions very short, lasting no more than five minutes at a time. As they get older, you can begin lengthening the sessions, letting them jog with you for 10-15 minutes.

The key to running with a 5-month-old puppy is to do it gradually. Be aware of the signs your puppy has done enough exercise. If you are in any doubt over how much exercise your puppy can undergo, it’s worth seeking advice from your vet.

How Far Can I Walk My Puppy at 5 months?

At 5 months of age, puppies can walk for around 25 minutes at a time. Their muscles and joints are still in development, which means over-exercising them could cause serious complications. The general rule of thumb is five minutes of exercise for each month of age.

Provided you don’t overexercise your puppy, walking together can deliver some fantastic benefits. For example, from such a young age, it will be easier to teach them basic commands that will really help when you introduce them to running.

Walking with your puppy isn’t just great for their wellbeing, it is beneficial to you too. According to research carried out in Tokyo, dog walking can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It also helps you to get adequate exercise, aiding in weight management.

3 Tips for Running with a Labrador Puppy

If you want to run with your Labrador puppy, you’ll need to take several factors into account in order to do it safely. Make sure you start out gradually, that your puppy has the right gear, and that you are taking them on the right type of routes. The more preparation you do, the easier it will be.

Start Slowly

The most important tip to follow when starting to run with a Labrador puppy, is to start out slowly. While you can take a 5-month-old puppy for a 25-minute walk for example, they will only be able to manage a five-minute run. Always take the age and ability of your puppy into account and avoid running long distances.

The Right Equipment

When you take your puppy on a run, it is a good idea to use a harness. This will help to prevent them from pulling, giving you much better control. The harness you choose should be comfortable and breathable to ensure they don’t overheat while wearing it.

Choose the Best Route

To protect your puppy’s paws, you should pay attention to the route you plan to run. Remember, your dog’s paws can take a battering when walking or running on asphalt. They will find it much more comfortable to run on softer ground like grass or dirt trails.


Trying to figure out what age you can run with a Labrador? Labs can start to go on long runs once they reach 18 months of age. However, you can introduce them to running from just five months of age if you follow a few safety precautions. Making sure you don’t overdo it and paying attention to cues from your puppy that they have had enough, are just some of the tips you can follow to introduce them to running in a safe, enjoyable way.

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.