September 17, 2019 4 min read

Dogs have varying requirements for exercise depending on their breed and the type of life that you lead with them. If you live on a farm and your dog as the run of the entire farm every day, there is a good likelihood that he gets plenty of exercise to suit himself. Dogs that are confined to the home or apartment are more dependent upon their owner to see to it that their exercise requirements are met. How much exercise does a dog need every day? You could basically say that it depends on the dog. Let’s go more in-depth and try to explain so that you’ll be able to judge a fit dog from a not-so-fit dog. This will help you gauge how well your dog is doing with the exercise he gets now.

Why Does Exercise Matter?

For starters, a healthy person or dog, or cat for that matter, is one that gets plenty of exercise. Did you know that when you exercise you have less stress? This is also a factor for animals. In short, a worn-out dog is a much better-behaved dog.

Therefore, if walking your dogsdoesn’t seem to keep them from chewing the sofa when you leave the room, it is possible that they still have a lot of pent-up energy. The more a dog is exercised, the more likely he is to be calm and relaxed around the house. Dog trainers teach their clients that the number one key to making training effective is to incorporate plenty of exercise for their dogs.

When you see the behavioral issues cropping up, like chewing on things inappropriately, they are likely bored with excess energy. Time to get them to a dog park where they can run like the wind. If you’ve got a back yard to throw a ball in, that’s even better!

A dog that gets exercised regularly will be better behaved, more bonded with you, happier, and less likely to have health-related issues in life. They will be a perfect weight, have great blood pressure and all of those things that our doctors tell us to do.

A Chihuahua doesn’t have the same exercise needs as a German Shorthair Pointer. A Beagle will run and run if you allow it to. They are hunting dogs and it is part of their breed history to have incredible stamina. They will thrive on running with you if you like to jog.

Siberian Huskies love to run and are also a dog that can run for five miles without much effort when they are in good condition. They are bred for this type of physical work. A bulldog may drop from a heart attack or overheating if you try to take him for a run. Know your dog breed. This is important to understand how much exercise does a dog need every day?

There are some dog breeds that simply don’t need a lot of exercise once they’ve outgrown their puppy phase. Other dogs have very high needs and when you adopt or purchase a dog, you’ll really want to take these things into consideration.

Are you an outdoors person who will go hiking and take your dog with you everywhere you go? Then you’ll have a dog that is getting more exercise and be happy. If you are a couch potato (which there is nothing wrong with if that suits you) then you need to choose a dog that will be a happy little couch potato with you. There are very cuddly breeds that don’t need a ton of exercise.

That said, all dogs need some exercise, so see to it that they get that time. Keep them healthy. Check their ribs and if you can’t feel them, they are overfed and under-exercised.

Walks Aren’t Usually Enough

Your dog is chewing shoes, digging holes in the yard and being very disobedient in general. You call a dog trainer and they come out to meet you and talk to you. One of the first questions they will ask if they are a good trainer is, “how much does your dog get to run?” Invariably people answer this question with how often they walk their dog.

For most situations, walking your dogs is not enough. Dogs are bred to run in most cases and you can walk them for miles and miles and it won’t wear them out. They truly need to stretch out and run full speed for a good twenty minutes no matter what breed they are.

Younger dogs will benefit from running the most. Sporting breeds, herding breeds,  and working breed dogs absolutely must run. If you don’t have time to run with them, then go throw a ball for them in the back yard or get the kids to do it.

If you are limited in your physical ability, you can still exercise your dog by playing fetch with a ball, frisbee, or a stick. Swimming is also a great way to wear them out if they are a breed that loves water, such as Labrador Retrievers that will fetch all day long.

It’s important to know your breed because a Labrador Retriever will often keep running and retrieving until they have a heatstroke in the summer. Don’t over-do. Learn what they can tolerate and wear them out well though. You should use a portable floatation device designed for dogs so they don’t drown if they exhaust themselves.

Not all dogs will be good swimmers but will have a complete blast at a water park, chasing the sprinkler in the backyard, or sitting in a shallow pool cooling off after a rousing game of fetch. Don’t expect them to go exercise themselves in the backyard. You are the center of their universe and they want to spend time with you. It’s up to you to determine how much exercise does a dog need every dayand make sure that they get it.