Dog Exercise Requirements by Breed: A Quick Guide

Dog Exercise Requirements

When it comes to exercise, it goes without saying that not all dogs are the same. Dog exercise requirements vary greatly by breed. While some breeds are highly energetic, others prefer a more idle life. 

This article covers some of the most popular breeds, ranging from the most chaotic to the most peaceful, and their particular dog exercise requirements. Of course, your dog's scheduled exercise routine will also depend on its personality, age, and health condition because even dogs of the same breed have different needs. For simplicity's sake, we will discuss the dog exercise requirements of healthy adult dogs.

Dog Exercise Requirements: Breeds That Need Intense Exercise

Border Collie

Border Collies are some of the most intelligent, energetic, and hardworking dogs. They are so energetic that it's almost impossible to tire them out. Your adult Border Collie will need around two hours of exercise daily, divided among long walks, swimming, playing fetch, and agility training.

Border Collie Exercise Requirements

Besides physical exercise, this high-energy dog breed needs a lot of mental stimulation through scent games, herding balls, and learning new tricks. Border Collie exercise requirements are less demanding if yours is a puppy or a senior. 

Golden Retriever

Like Border Collies, Golden Retrievers are very athletic and intelligent. These happy-go-lucky dogs need between an hour and a half and two hours of exercise daily. Provide anything less than that, and your couch may become collateral damage. If your day schedule doesn't allow for two-hour walks, you can take Fido to the park, let it zoom around, and play with other doggos. The key to meeting Golden Retriever exercise requirements is to strike a balance. Too little can lead to obesity, and too much may cause joint problems. 

German Shepherd

As their name implies, German Shepherds were initially trained to be shepherds. Back then, these dogs used to run around for hours to keep the flock together. This turned them into a highly energetic breed. As one of the most energetic dog breeds, German Shepherd exercise requirements involve almost two hours daily. It includes running, going on long walks, and playing. If you have a German Shepherd, aim to exercise it in several short bursts throughout the day, and be sure not to overexercise it since this breed is prone to hip dysplasia.  


Like any other highly energetic breed, Dobermans require around two hours a day of exciting walks, runs, and playtime. As a parent of a Doberman, make sure your canine companion gets vigorous exercise throughout the day. Otherwise, it can get easily bored, which can spell trouble for your house. Besides physical activity, Dobermans also need a lot of mental stimulation to develop their intelligence and fitness. 


Rottweilers are one of the most family-friendly dog breeds. However, their exercise requirements are high, making them unsuitable for inactive families.

Rottweiler Exercise Requirements

These highly muscular dogs need around two hours of daily exercise, ranging from regular walks and easy hikes to fast-paced runs and lifting weights. So, unless you're looking for dogs you can run with, a Rottweiler's energy levels might be too much to handle. 

Australian Shepherd

They say that the devil makes work for idle hands—and, in this case, for paws. You can witness that firsthand if you don't meet your Australian Shepherd's exercise requirements every day. These powerful and energetic dogs need at least two hours of physical and mental exercise daily. While walking and learning tricks keep them happy, they will always require more challenging hikes and exciting playdates with their friends to thrive. 


Beagles need proper exercise to boost their life expectancy. By appropriate training, we mean about two hours of moderate to intense exercise, split between chill walks and fast-paced runs and games. Playing in the park with fellow dogs can also help to meet your Beagle's exercise requirements, as they love to run around and play catch. If you're looking for a dog that can run long distances fast, get a Beagle. 


Two things set Siberian Huskies apart from other dogs: they love running around all day and enjoy being a part of a pack. That said, a husky's exercise requirements consist of almost two hours of robust daily activity. If you're into biking, you can have your furry friend run alongside you as you bike on a local trail each day. You can also find an equally energetic companion for your Husky to play with in your backyard or a nearby park. Siberian Huskies are also among the most intelligent dog breeds, so keeping their brains active throughout the day is just as important. 

Great Dane

Another breed of dog that needs a lot of exercise is the Great Dane. Known as one of the largest and tallest dogs, Great Danes have been bred to be hunting dogs. Like most other hunting dogs, a Great Dane's exercise requirements are demanding. If you own one of these beauties, aim to give them at least an hour and a half of exercise daily, including some brain-stimulating games. 

Jack Russell

When looking at dog exercise requirements by breed, you'll notice that most high-energy breeds are larger. That is not true for Jack Russell Terriers. Despite being on the smaller side of the scale, these dogs are known to be among the most high-energy dog breeds. After all, they were bred to be fox hunters in England. While some Jack Russels might be happy with one hour of exercise daily, most require at least two. 


Known as one of the most friendly and affectionate dog breeds, Boxers are another dog breeds that need the most exercise. While a Boxer's exercise requirements might vary depending on the pup, most will need anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes of fast-paced exercise. Boxers often love nothing more than to run around fields and play fetch with their humans. 

Dog Exercise Requirements: Breeds That Need Moderate Moderate Exercise


Pitbulls are the definition of muscularity and enthusiasm, and to keep yours happy and healthy, you need to go for at least 45 minutes a day—emphasis on "at least" because pitbull exercise requirements usually are more than that. This breed's dog exercise requirements include brisk walking, running,  and playing catch. After all, it's their muscles that make them stand out. 

Cocker Spaniel

We can't discuss dog exercise requirements by breed without mentioning one of the hardest-working dogs: Cocker Spaniels. While Cocker Spaniels are a favorite of country sports lovers, they are also popular among families thanks to their affectionate personalities. Of course, Cocker Spaniels require around 70 minutes of exercise a day. That number depends on whether they're working dogs or just a favorite family member.


Labradors' exercise requirements vary depending on whether they come from a hunting show line. Those coming from a show line may be okay with 45 minutes of athletic exercise each day, while those coming from a hunting line may need up to an hour and a half. If a Labrador's dog exercise requirements are unmet, this highly energetic breed might start becoming restless around the house—say goodbye to your pillows and upholstery. 

Bernese Mountain Dog

Sweet and loyal, Bernese Mountain dogs can quickly become a man's best friend. Luckily, a Bernese Mountain Dog's exercise requirements are fewer than other energetic dogs.


An hour of exercising and running around can go a long way for this breed. Remember that Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred to work in the snow, so their bodies can quickly overheat in hot weather. Having said that, adequate shade and hydration are essential. 


Dachshunds are also known as "sausage dogs" because of their short feet and long bodies. Interestingly, these small-sized dogs come with significant exercise needs. Dachshund exercise requirements are a little tricky because even though they need between 50 and 60 minutes of exercise daily, they can't handle long walks because of their short feet. If you have a Dachshund, consider breaking down their exercise routine into three or four shorter daily walks and some playtime at home. 

Dog Exercise Requirements: Breeds That Need Mild Exercise 

French bulldogs

Did you know that French Bulldogs are among the most desired breeds among dog owners? They are one of the dog breeds that don't require a lot of exercise—plus, they're cute. While French Bulldog exercise requirements are mild, they must go on casual walks for 30 minutes daily to avoid gaining weight. Walking should be enough, though, because, like other short-nosed dogs, French Bulldogs tend to have difficulty breathing and quickly get tired. 


Another short-nosed breed of dog that requires little exercise is the Pug. Like French Bulldogs, Pugs get breathing issues when they overexercise. Consider sticking to short walks and gentle play split into shorter sessions. A consistent exercise routine is essential if you don't want your dog to become overweight.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Dog exercise requirements are not limited to high-energy dogs. Even luxurious lap dogs like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels must put in a minimum amount of exercise to satisfy their activity levels and stay fit. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise for your fancy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It's best to split the daily routine into short sessions to avoid exhaustion.

Bichon Frise

If you're a working dog parent, a fluffy Bichon Frise is the perfect pet to adopt. They love cuddles and have minimum dog exercise requirements. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise is enough for the tiny Bichon Frises, who spend most of it zooming around in the house. Their almost non-existent exercise needs and small size make them perfect for apartment living. With Bichon Frises, a lazy day in your cozy apartment won't be a problem anymore. 

Toy Poodle

Toy poodles are one of the dogs that need the least exercise among dog breeds. The fluffy four-legged friends get most of their exercise by zooming around the house and playing little games with their humans. If you have a toy poodle, a couple of 10 to 15-minute walks a day should be all your canine companion needs and can handle. While some can walk around 30 minutes straight, you'll have to carry them at some point. 

Wrapping Up

Whether you live with a highly athletic dog or one that's happy just sitting around at home all day, you're responsible for keeping it healthy. It means getting familiar with dog exercise requirements by breed. But of course, that's not enough. You'll want to know your dog's personality, enthusiasm, and all traits. 

Start with slow and short walks and a few casual fetch games. See how engaged and interested Fido is. From there, you can adjust the intensity and type of exercise based on your furry friend's reactions.

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