How much exercise should your dog get?

Well, just as with people, there is not necessarily one that that will fit all of us. A good fitness routine for your dog depends on a few things: your pup’s physical condition, your likes, and, most certainly, your dog likes.

First, you are able to determine some of his or her preferences, in part, by the breed.

Breeds Of This Type
Physical Tendencies
Good Exercises
Herding Dogs

Bred to herd larger animals.

Moderate/high energy levels, highly intelligence, adventurous

Almost any games or sport, the more challenging the better.

Runs and challenging hikes are good too.


Bred to catch small prey like vermin and rabbits.

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier

Clever, high energy, bold

Chasing games.

Games with obstacles.

Best activities will engage the mind and body with active play and more complicated games like obstacle courses or Frisbee or exercise toys.


Bred to search based on either sight or scent.

  • Scenthound
  • Coonhound
  • Dachshund
  • Harrier
  • Sighthound
  • Basenji
  • Greyhound
  • Irish Wolfhound

Single-minded, switch easily between work and play.



Hiking Long, low key walks are actually extremely interesting to them.

Guardian Dogs

Bred to guard homes, people, and livestock.

  • Bullmastiff
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenee
  • Rottweiler

Hearty, strong, dependable, steady energy.


Games with obstacles.

Establish limits when playing games, as they can take them seriously quickly.

Companion/Toy Dogs

Bred to be easy companions as opposed to workers.

  • Bichon Frise
  • Chihuahua
  • English Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu

Tend to have minimal exercise needs.

Walking, at least, a walk a day.

Some working companion breeds like Dalmatians and Yorkshire terriers may need more walks or more vigorous walks.

Gun/Sporting Dogs

Bred to accompany hunters.

  • English Cocker Spaniel
  • Irish Setter
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Standard Poodle

Bred for lots of activity requiring stamina.




These require long walks all their lives.

Northern Dogs

Defined by the geographical region of their origin.

  • Chinook
  • Chow Chow
  • Siberian Husky
  • Malamute

Energy to burn.



Games/activities with packs, like sledding.

Because of their energy, keeping these dogs active is a good idea.

Personality counts

Dog ExerciseBoth of you will be happier if you incorporate activities in your routine that are compatible with your dog’s style. What kind of personality does he have?

Dominant dogs are harder to train, insistent, and competitive. Because they can easily be provoked into biting, a walk or a run (in an area without crowds) may be preferable to games. When you do play games, you should keep them short and you must maintain control before Fido gets serious.

On the other hand, confident dogs are dominant, but they readily accept their owner’s leadership. Most any type of physical fitness will suit this type of pooch, especially games or sports that challenge them or play that includes other dogs.

Apprehensive or shy dogs will likely prefer quiet walks in less populated areas. If you want to work in games in your routine, start very slowly with mild games. In fact, she or he does best with predictable, structured routines that are not overly demanding.

A dog with an independent personality is not demonstrably affectionate and has a low need for human companionship. These dogs sometimes seem so low-key you may think they don’t need much exercise. Not so. If in good health, these dogs do well in steady, endurance activities like runs, bike rides (with proper equipment), and hikes.

You will probably need to experiment a bit to find a fitness routine that is a good fit for you and Rover. But do take some time to do just that. If the routine doesn’t work for the both of you, it will be harder to stick to it. Find something fun for the both of you, you both are rewarded.