A detailed guide to dog exercise requirements by breed

A detailed guide to dog exercise requirements by breed Much like humans, exercise needs may vary significantly for different dog breeds based on their energy levels and physical capabilities. It’s important to address the exercise requirements for different dog breeds to ensure their overall health and wellness.

In this blog post, we will discuss dog exercise requirements by breed and the types of exercise they should be doing to maintain good health. Furthermore, in this guide, you’ll also know the time and intensity for exercises so that you can tailor a perfect exercise plan for your dog.

So without any further ado, let’s just explore the exercise needs of your dog and tailor an exercise plan to keep your furry companion healthy and happy with the right amount of exercise every day.

Dog Breeds with High Exercise Needs

1. Sporting Breeds

As the name suggests, sporting breeds of dogs are athletic and are filled with energy so you can take them for long walks and hiking.

Moreover, these dogs were used by hunters which makes them active and they quickly get along with people so they are also the best family dogs.

In addition, they also enjoy swimming and can accompany you with your long outdoor interests which will burn their energy and keep them healthy and active.

Dog exercise requirements by breed

Daily Exercise Time- Sporting breeds of dogs need one-two hour of exercise every day. They get along with both intensive and moderate levels of exercise.

Examples- Retrievers, Pointers, Setters, and Spaniels.

Retrievers- Golden, Nova Scotia, Visla, Labrador

Pointers- German Wirehaired, German Shorthaired, Pointer, Weimaraner

Setters- English, Irish Red and White, Irish, Gordon

Spaniels- Boykin, English, Cocker, Irish Water, Welsh, Sussex

Types of exercises for dog breeds in sporting groups:

  1. Running and jogging- This helps your dog maintain his physical health.
  2. Swimming- A lake or a beach would be an excellent option for swimming for your dog, you can also prefer a dog pool in your backyard.
  3. Agility training- It helps your dog to be physically and mentally active. You can also set up an obstacle course race in your backyard.
  4. Retrieving- These dogs do well with fetching and chasing frisbees and balls as they are natural retrievers.
  5. Biking- It can be a good option for cardio exercise for your dogs.
  6. Hiking- Sporting breeds can tolerate long hiking as it burns off their energy and help them with mental stimulation along with physical training.

2. Exercise needs for Working breeds

The list of dog exercise requirements by breed also involves “Working breed” These dogs are mainly powerful, focused, and intelligent and are mostly known for outdoor activities like pulling weights, herding, and hunting.

Furthermore, these dogs perform great when their minds are occupied, however, they can be difficult for their first-time owners and they can also be overprotective and your guests might feel a little uncomfortable around them.

And not just that, you can also see them around working on the farms or as service dogs for the police and the military. They are mostly known for performing herding, guarding, hunting, and pulling.

You can take care of their health by engaging them in different activities like wearing backpacks on hiking, Skijoring, and cart pulling which will keep their minds occupied and keep them physically healthy.

Lastly, working dogs require lots of exercise if you love outdoor activities they can get along pretty well with you.

Dog exercise requirements by breed

Examples- Doberman & German Pinscher, Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard, Alaska Malamute, Bernese Mountain dog, Portuguese Water dog, Great Dane, Standard & Giant Schnauzer, Bullmastiff

Daily Exercise Time- You can put them for one to two hours of moderate exercise daily. Start slow and gradually increase the intensity and avoid high-intensity exercise.

Types of Exercise for dog breeds in the working group:

  1. Running- Although running can be a great form of exercise for many working breed dogs, not all dogs may respond well to it, especially if your dog is overweight, so it’s better to start slow and increase the time gradually.
  2. Agility training- You can set up an obstacle course that will help your dog with speed, coordination, and endurance.
  3. Fetch- This will make your dog more obedient along with increasing their focus. Moreover, playing fetch is a great way to give your dog a cardiovascular workout.
  4. Swimming- If your dog is having a joint problem then swimming would be a good moderate exercise for him.
  5. Hiking- Working breeds might enjoy hiking as it gives them mental stimulation and keeps them physically occupied and healthy.

3. Exercise needs for Herding group

Let’s talk about Herding groups in the list of dog exercise requirements by breed. These dogs originated from the Working group which includes German Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Shepherds, and Collies. At the same time, they are highly intelligent and help farmers in managing the herd and move them from one place to another.

In addition, these dogs are highly trainable and are also used for rescue and law and enforcement operations, and not just that they are also good at assisting people with disabilities.

That being said, these dogs are highly energetic so they are happy to work for you and tend to enjoy high-intensity physical and mental exercises.

Herding dogs are quick learners and respond well to training, and will eventually follow commands and behave well.

Dogs exercise needs

Examples- (Collies, Shepherds, and Sheepdogs)

Sheepdogs- Welsch Corgi, Old English, Shetland, Belgium

Collies- Bearded, Rough Collie, Smooth Collie, Border Collie

Cattle Dogs- Australian Cattle Dog, Red Heeler, American Cattle Dog, Queensland Heeler

Shepherds- German Shepherds, Belgian Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds

Welsh Corgis- Cardigan Welsch Corgi, Pembroke Welsch Corgi

Daily Exercise Time- These dogs need at least one hour to 90 minutes of intense exercise and one to two hours of moderate exercise every day to stay healthy.

Types of Exercise for dog breeds in Herding Group:

  1. Playing Fetch– This activity provides the dog with mental and physical stimulation and improves their problem-solving skills.
  2. Hiking– They can enjoy nature along with having a good course of exercise while hiking.
  3. Swimming– Australian Cattle Dogs seem to enjoy swimming, and it is also a low-impact exercise for dogs with weak joints and injuries.
  4. Running– Herding breeds can be your favorite running companion and at the same time this can provide them a great cardiovascular exercise.
  5. Agility training– It is an excellent way to provide mental and physical stimulation to your dogs.
  6. Walking and jogging– Herding dogs like to explore new sounds and smells which can be mentally stimulating for them and will help them to stay healthy and happy.

4. Exercise needs for the Terrier group

The Terrier group is the main element in the list of dog exercise requirements by breed. These are Highly energetic dogs known for their pointed ears, besides, Terriers were originally bred to hunt and dig out rodents and vermin.

Similarly, they have a natural instinct that makes them a good companion to play hide and seek, they also navigate well through the large pipes and tunnels to find their prey.

As a result, if you have a beautiful garden, you wouldn’t like them to go there because they start digging wherever they go.

Examples- Jack Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Rat Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Boston Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Border Terrier, Border Terrier, West Highland White Terrier

Daily Exercise Time- Terriers need one hour to 90 minutes of exercise every day. These dogs love to play fetch and tug-of-war which can provide them mental and physical stimulation.

Types of Exercise for dog breeds in the Terrier Group:

  1. Running– You can consider taking your terrier for a run but not all terrier groups are great runners so you need to slowly build the running intensity.
  2. Brisk Walks– Your terrier needs at least 30 minutes of brisk walking to stay healthy.
  3. Hiking– Choose a Hiking trail that as per your dog’s age and fitness level, it helps to provide great mental and physical stimulation.
  4. Agility training– This training will help your dog stay healthy along with having a good physical workout.
  5. Swimming– Not all terriers are good swimmers so you need to start slow and see how your dog responds to it.
  6. Playtime– Terriers enjoy games such as fetch and tug-of-war which also burns their energy.
  7. Agility training– These dogs are quick learners and enjoy a good physical workout.

Read more: Can dogs really eat dried mango?

5. Exercise needs for the Scent Hound group

We can’t forget the Scent Hound group in our checklist of dog exercise requirements by breed. These dogs are known for their innate ability to chase and hunt game animals by following their scent for miles.

They are also used as search dogs or in finding a person or animals by following a specific trail of scent left behind them. Moreover, scent hounds can be loyal and have a gentle temperament which can make them a good pet for home.

However, you should keep in mind that these dogs are highly energetic and need regular exercise to behave well and stay happy.

Exercise needs for the dogs

Examples- Bloodhound, Hanover Hound, Basset Hound, Plott Hound, Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, Beagle, Otterhound, Harrier, Beagle

Daily Exercise Time- Scent Hounds need moderate to intense exercise for up to 1 hour to 90 minutes every day.

Types of Exercise for dog breeds in the Scent Hound group:

Scent Hounds generally need high-intensity exercises but dogs like Basset Hound might need moderate exercises, take notice of your dog’s exercise needs and increase the intensity gradually.

  1. Engaging games– Set up some puzzles or scent-detections plays for your dogs which would keep them both mentally and physically stimulated.
  2. Walking– You can adjust the time for a walk as per your dog’s energy, initially, you can start with a 30-minute walk each day.
  3. Playing in the park– Most of the Scent Hounds enjoy running in open areas, however, it’s important to monitor them while doing so.
  4. Hunting and tracking– These dogs might enjoy such activities as they were originally bred to do so, but make sure they are doing these activities in a safer environment.
  5. Agility training– This training will help improve the focus of your dog along with making him more obedient and physically active.

6. Exercise needs for Non-Sporting Group

These breeds are generally more diverse and serve a variety of purposes so it’s hard to categorize them in a single group of breeds.

As a result, non-sporting breeds have distinctive qualities and physical traits which are used for different purposes like guarding, companionship, and herding and are the prominent breed in the list of dog exercise requirements by breeds.

These dogs are famous as family pets and include breeds such as Bulldog, Poodle, Dalmatian, Boston terrier, Lhasa Apso, Chow Chow, and many more.

Non-sporting breeds have low energy levels and need less exercise which makes them suitable for small apartments.

Examples- Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Japanese Chin, American Eskimo Dog, Keeshond, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Tibetan Terrier

Daily Exercise Time- These dogs generally require 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, however, some dogs like bulldogs and pugs may not be able to tolerate intensive and long duration of training.

Types of Exercise for dog breeds in the Non-Sporting Group:

  1. Interactive toys– Playing with soft toys help your dog overcome his destructive behavior and boredom.
  2. Walking– It is a great way to provide physical and mental stimulation to your dog.
  3. Playing fetch– You can play fetch with your dog either indoors or outdoors.
  4. Tug-of-war– This exercise also helps in strengthening the bond with your dog along with providing him a good exercise.
  5. Swimming– It will help to build your dog’s muscles and is suitable for dogs with joint problems.

Dog breeds that demand medium to low exercise

1. Exercise needs for Brachycephalic Dog Breeds

Next comes the Brachycephalic dogs in the list of dog exercise requirements by breed. They are also known to be short, flat-faced dogs with unique physical appearances and need an appropriate amount of exercise to stay healthy as they are more prone to obesity.

Due to their compressed skull and the shape of the airway, they can experience heavy breathing and heat stroke, but with proper care, these dogs can live happy and healthy lives.

Ultimately, you need to avoid intensive exercises with them in hot and humid weather and serve them smaller meals so there is less pressure on their airways.

Examples- English Bulldog, Pug, Boxer, Shih Tzu, Boxer, French Bulldog

Daily Exercise Time- These dogs need not more than 20-30 minutes of low-impact exercise every day. A harness instead of a collar will be suitable for proper breathing.

Types of Exercise for Brachycephalic Dog Breeds:

  1. Short Walks– Walking can be a good exercise for these dogs, however, you need to avoid taking them for a walk in hot and humid weather.
  2. Treadmill– Start with low intensity and gradually increase the pace under your supervision.
  3. Nose work– You can hide the scented toys and ask your dog to find them this can burn off your dog’s energy without much pressure on his respiratory system.
  4. Swimming– It helps Brachycephalic stay cool even in heat waves and helps your dog stay active with this low-impact exercise.

2. Toy (or Small Dog) Group Exercise Requirements

These toy or small group dogs are mostly attention seeking and like to spend time with their owners and are convenient for small places and homes.

Furthermore, Toy Breeds are generally not more than 2 to 15 pounds with low energy, and don’t need more exercise to stay healthy.

Even though toy groups are small in size they are still resilient and can walk really fast to more distant places. Moreover, due to their small size, they feel scared most of the time and prefer to stay close to you constantly.

Dogs exercise needs by breed

Examples- Bichon Frise, Silky Terrier, Shih Tzu, Yorkie, Pekinese, King Charles Cavalier, Maltese, Miniature, Pinscher

Daily Exercise Time- Toy group needs not more than 30-60 minutes of daily exercise per day to stay healthy. You can also train them indoors because of their size.

Types of Exercise for Toy Groups:

  1. Short walks– You can take your dog for a walk but due to their tiny legs it is recommended to start from a small distance.
  2. Swimming– This is a great low-impact exercise for your dogs if they like water.
  3. Playing with toys– Your dog will enjoy playing with toys and simultaneously burn off his extra energy to stay healthy.
  4. Indoor exercise– Toy groups like playing indoor games like hide and seek and tug of war at home. This will also help to provide mental stimulation to your dog.
  5. Agility training– This exercise can be fun and stimulating for your dog and will eventually leave a positive impact on your dog’s health.

3. Sight Hound Group Exercise requirements

Let’s know about Sight Hound Group from the checklist of dog exercise requirements by breed. These dogs were bred for their abilities to hunt by their vision and rapidity instead of identifying their scent just like Scent Hounds did.

Sight Hound can even capture fast-running prey and have long legs along with a lean head. Also, most Sight Hounds are said to have existed for around 5000 years.

Furthermore, they have high energy levels and are driven by the natural instinct to chase their prey. Lastly, they need only moderate exercise to stay healthy and active.

Examples- Afghan Hound, Whippet, Scottish Deerhound, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, Italian Greyhound, Basenji, Borzoi

Daily Exercise Time- Sight Hounds need only 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise every day. You can also take them for a running session occasionally in an enclosed area.

Types of Exercise for Sight Hound breeds:

  1. Running without a leash– Find a secure place where your dog can stretch his legs and flourish in an open space.
  2. Long-distance walking– It provides mental stimulation and keeps your dog healthy and active.
  3. Lure Coursing– Your pet will chase the mechanically operated lure and enjoy going after its natural instinct along with having a high-intensity workout.
  4. Tug-of-war– This exercise will give him mental and physical stimulation and provide a means to channel his physical energy.
  5. Obedience and Agility Training– This will improve the bond between you and your dog and make him more obedient.

4. Giant Dog Breeds Exercise Requirements

Last is Giant dogs on our list of exercise requirements for dogs. These dogs need unrestricted movement to exercise and freely navigate their energy due to their larger size and height extending over 30 inches. Despite their stature, they hold themselves with a calm demeanor and are good family pets.

These dogs have lower exercise needs and are more prone to joint issues as they age further. Moreover, you need proper care and regular visit to your vet to ensure their good health.

Besides, they will benefit from moderate walks, swimming, and any such exercises which is less intensive.

Dog exercise needs by breed

Examples- Great Dane, Newfoundland, English Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound, Saint Bernard, Old English, Sheepdog

Daily Exercise Time- A daily exercise of 30-40 minutes would be good enough for Giant Breed dogs.

Types of Exercise for Giant Dogs breeds: 

  1. Daily Walking– Your dog will feel physically and mentally stimulated with 30 minutes of daily walking.
  2. Playing freely– Let your dog play freely in a safe environment and allow him to run and play fetch but make sure to not overdo it.
  3. Interactive games– Your dog might enjoy interactive games and puzzles which will also provide him with mental stimulation keeping boredom at bay.
  4. Swimming– Giants breeds are good swimmers and it can be one of the best exercises for them as it is gentle with their joints.


In conclusion, understanding dog exercise requirements by breed is the first step towards providing them with a healthy and happy lifestyle. The amount and type of exercise for a dog are determined by your dog’s breed and energy levels.

You can start with low-intensity exercises and gradually increase the duration as your dog gets used to the exercise.

Lastly, you can tailor an exercise program for your dog based on the fitness level of the dog and always consult your veterinarian before introducing any new high-intensity exercises.

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