How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Breed Need?

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Whether you already have a dog as part of the family or are considering welcoming one into your home, it’s essential to know how much exercise they require. A dog that doesn’t get enough exercise or isn’t stimulated can end up becoming depressed or anxious due to the excess energy that can be mistaken for problem behaviours like barking, whining, or chewing.

The best way to figure out how much exercise your dog needs is to consider its breed. Dog breeds fall into several main ‘classes’ like working, herding, sporting, terriers, hounds, toy and giant breeds.

Benchmark Kennels have put together a handy infographic so you can quickly pinpoint how much exercise your dog needs by its breed!

Dog exercise needs by breed…

Herding breeds

Herding breeds, along with sporting breeds, need the most exercise out of all the dog classes. In the past, they have been bred to work and not relax like many lapdog breeds that are popular today, so need daily exercise that will allow them to burn off energy physically and stimulate them mentally and challenge their brains. Some common herding breeds are sheepdogs, collies and shepherds, all of which require between 1 to 2 hours of exercise every day.

It’s essential to learn all about a dog breed before considering welcoming a new dog into your home to make sure their exercise needs can easily fit into your daily routine. This way, you won’t end up having a dog that has excess unspent energy wreaking havoc around your home, and you can make sure your dog is kept happy and healthy. Experts recommend varying the walking routes you take your herding dog on so they don’t become bored and unstimulated by the same course and mix up the exercise’s intensity by allowing your dog to run around and just walk by your side.

Sporting breeds

Like herding breeds, sporting dogs need a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 2 hours exercise per day, with a mixture of moderate to intense activity. Some common sporting breeds are pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels.

Working breeds

Working dogs like saint bernards, schnauzers, huskies, pinschers, Akitas and Dobermans again need between 1 to 2 hours of exercise each day. However, rather than allowing your dog to run for long distances, it’s best to keep the activity level consistently moderate for more extended periods to tire them out. Working breeds are bred to work, so need exercise that mimics this and allows them to gradually burn off energy rather than become exhausted immediately.

Terrier breeds

Terriers, commonly known to be the yappier and crazier of dog breeds, surprisingly need almost as much exercise as larger working dogs. Terriers may be small, but they still have a lot of energy to burn and can become loud and destructive if understimulated, requiring a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day. Terriers like jack Russells, westies, Yorkshire terriers, and bull terriers are suited to a range of exercise levels, whether you prefer to do intense playtimes for shorter periods of 30 minutes or take them on a longer more moderate walk.

Toy breeds

Toy breeds aren’t bred for any particular functional purpose like working or hunting and are mostly bred for their looks and lapdogs. Examples of toy breeds are chihuahuas, king Charles cavaliers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus and more. Typically, toy breeds will need a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 60 minutes of exercise per day. Although you might think it’s okay to skip a walk here and there with a toy breed, this isn’t the case. Toy breeds still need regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically fit and healthy, so it’s important to exercise them daily, even if its a 30 minute game of fetch in the garden. Toy breeds are prone to gaining weight and becoming obese due to their size, so still, need careful consideration to make sure they will fit into your routine.

Giant breeds

Giant dogs like bullmastiffs, great Danes and Newfoundlands are less commonly seen, however, for those considering whether to welcome a giant dog breed into their home, you will need to prepare to exercise them for 30 to 45 minutes per day. You might assume that the bigger the dog, the more exercise it will need, but this isn’t the case. Giant dog breeds are at higher risk of joint issues due to their size and weight and typically don’t live as long, so it’s crucial not to overexercise these breeds. Where possible in a safe and hygienic environment, swimming is an excellent way for these breeds to burn off energy as it doesn’t put pressure on their hips and other joints.

Order an outdoor exercise pen for your pooch today!

If you’re exercising your dog regularly and meeting its exercise needs but still find it has some energy to burn off, why not install an outdoor dog pen for them to spend time? At Benchmark Kennels, we offer a range of safe, secure and high-quality outdoor dog pens, offering a space outdoors for your dog to relax or play.  Outdoor kennels and pens are a great way to make sure your dog gets plenty of fresh air and has enough room to play without causing any destruction to your home or putting themselves in danger.

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