How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

How much exercise do puppies need?

According to the U.K. Kennel Club, “A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes of exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is full grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.”

Short games of fetch with small exercise balls. swimming and short walks are all great forms of puppy exercise!

Avoid high impact exercise for your puppy, jumping etc is best left until they are a little older.


How much exercise do adult dogs need?

Most adult dogs require at least 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise daily. Hiking, games and play dates with doggy friends are exciting, rewarding activities.


Exercise by Breed

Every dog breed is unique in its own way. Research your dog’s breed (or breeds for mixed-breed dogs) to get more information on how much exercise he may need.


Low-Energy Breeds

  • Smaller Breeds: Smaller breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Poodles and Maltese, tend to be less active.

  • Giant Breeds: Despite their size and strength, giant dog breeds such as Great Danes, Mastiffs and Newfoundlands are known to be less energetic, as well.

  • Flat-nosed Breeds: Flat-nosed breeds, which include Bulldogs, Pugs and Shih Tzus, are brachycephalic dogs. They suffer from breathing and respiratory issues that cause them to live a more sedentary lifestyle. Swimming is not a suitable form of activity for these dogs. They may also be very sensitive to getting overheated, which can be dangerous for them.

An adult toy or low-energy breed requires anywhere from 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. For some dogs, that means a slow walk around while for others, it’s a few games of fetch in the back garden. Of course, all dogs’ activity needs depend on their age and ability.


Moderately active dogs

From the Terrier or Utility Groups, and possibly the Gun Dog group

Some examples: Airedale terrier, Scottish terrier, Cocker spaniel, English setter.

Moderately active dogs typically:

1-3 hours per day,

Like to go for 2 walks each day to stretch their legs, love being let off their lead to roam. They tend to fall asleep at home after they’ve been out and about. These dogs enjoy being trained and are mostly confident and well behaved with strangers.

High energy, active dogs

From Working or Hound Groups, and possibly the Gun Dog Group

Some examples: Border collie, Labrador, Golden retriever, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd.

High energy dogs typically:

3-6 hours a day

  • Like to go for more walks than you do, preferably somewhere they can run free, disappearing off into the distance when let off their lead! Are always ready to go and are active around the house, even after a lot of exercise. These dogs tend to never get bored of playing ‘fetch’ and may be a little underweight. Probably a little over-enthusiastic when meeting new people!