Q: When is the right time to start taking a puppy out for a walk? Since my puppy is so small, he has to walk extremely fast while I’m walking in normal pace. Is this normal or should he be older before I take him for walks?

A:  Most puppies do not like to leave their immediate surrounding until about the age of four months. You should not force a puppy to do anything. The first 12 to 14 weeks are the most important for socializing your puppy to the sights, sounds and smells of the world in a friendly, non-threatening way.

In addition, it is important your puppy has at least three of the series of four vaccinations before allowing her to explore the world. Short walks in unfamiliar territory should begin around the age of 14 to 20 weeks. If the location is safe, you can let your dog explore and lightly hold a light-weight leash, 6 to 10 feet long. To get her used to a leash, simply clip it on just before her meals and let her drag it along. Remove it 10 minutes or so after she finishes. Within days she will associate the leash with something positive.

I highly recommend hiring a professional dog trainer who uses only positive methods to help you set up a daily training program.

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Also, there are some excellent books and DVDs available to help. Those include of course, my book, The Puppy Whisperer, and DVD, The Dog Whisperer, Beginning and Intermediate Dog Training for Puppies and Dogs. Good luck!