How Long Should You Walk or Exercise Your Dog? [Info About Each Breed Type]

How Long Should You Walk or Exercise Your Dog? [Info About Each Breed Type]

We don’t need to even begin to tell you the benefits of walking and exercising your dog. It’s a great bonding time and exercise for your dog, but the question that we often get is “How long should I walk my dog for?” I’d love to give you an easy answer, but it’s not that simple because it really depends on quite a few factors such as your dog’s breed, health, and age.

But don’t worry, the point of this article is to give you some general guidelines and then delve into some specifics based on the above criteria, which should give you a good idea the ideal time and frequency to walk your dog for. These are by no means strict rules that you have to stick by. You know your dog best, so you can adjust as necessary or speak to your vet who will be able to give more professional advice.

General Guidelines

In general, a healthy dog should get between 30 - 120 minutes a day. So just to be clear, that is 30 - 120 minutes of exercise, which means that it doesn’t all necessarily have to come from going on a walk. It is best to make up these 30 - 120 minutes with a mix of walking and high intensity exercises.

This can include things like playing fetch, chasing a ball, swimming, playing with other dogs, or running with you. So, if your dog is getting a good amount of high intensity exercises, then your daily walks can be a bit shorter.

When you are walking your dog, make sure that you have the right equipment. If your dog pulls, then it is best to use a harness. We have some tips here that can help you can train your dog to not pull when you’re walking. Depending on the environment where you are exercising or walking your dog, its important to have the right length leash as well.

What Happens if My Dog Doesn’t Get Enough Time Exercising or Walking

If your dog is not getting enough exercise or walks a day, you may notice some strange behaviors. Although it may seem funny that your french bulldog is running circles all around the house non-stop, this is not a good sign and generally means that your dog is craving more exercise. Other signs include obesity, excessive barking, or restlessness.

Dogs are not meant to live a sedentary lifestyle, so it is important for their physical and mental health to get plenty of exercise. Depending on the breed, their bladder size may also be different, so if your dog is not getting enough walks and needs to hold his urine, he may be at a higher risk for a urinary tract infection.

A sign that your dog is getting enough exercise is if he is tired and content to lounge on the couch.

What About Different Dog Breeds and Age?

Sporting Dogs

Sporting dogs include breeds like retrievers, pointers, setters, and spaniels. These dogs are very athletic, great swimmers and runners. They are made to be active and need a lot of mental stimulation because they were bred to track down animals. We would recommend at least 60 - 90 minutes of high intensity exercise a day. If possible, even twice a day if you can manage that amount of time in your schedule. You can then make up the rest of the exercise that your dog needs with a 30 minute walk.

Herding Dogs      

Herding dogs include breeds like the German Shephard and Border Collie. This breed of dogs are very similar to sporting dogs and were bred to herding animals, which means that they also need a similar amount of exercise as the sporting breed. So again, this is about 60 – 90 minutes of high intensity exercise with a walk that lasts approximately 30 minutes.


Terriers include dogs like the Irish Terrier, Airedale, Miniature Schnauzer, and Scottish Terrier. These dogs are generally smaller, but are still used to a fair amount of exercise because they were bred to hunt small animals. This isn’t great news for the rabbits living in your backyard, but it does mean that sometimes they can meet their exercise requirement just in your back garden. Anything about 60 minutes a day of exercise would be enough. We’d suggest that at least 30 minutes of this is made up of high intensity exercise and 30 minutes of walks.


Hounds include breeds like greyhounds, beagles, whippets, daschunds dont need quite as much exercise. About 30 minutes a day with a few sprint workouts mixed in will give your dog all the exercise that he needs. For small breeds like daschunds, a good sturdy dog harness will also be a great addition for any hike.

Toy Dogs

Because these breeds are typically the smallest breeds, they can get exercise even indoors. However, you should still take your dog out for walks about 20 30 minutes a day. Dogs like pugs and bulldogs with shorter snouts do not need as much high intensity exercise. Their squashed snouts does mean that it is harder for them to get air, so be careful when they are exercising because they may overheat easily.

Senior Dogs and Dogs with Health Problems

Regardless of the breed, older dogs will need less exercise. Older dogs may also have health problems such as aching joints. This is the same for dogs with health problems. If a dog has an injury or illness, slow, short walks will be better. It is best to speak to your vet to talk about the specific health issues, and how this impacts the amount of exercise your dog should get. Puppies are in a category of its own and you can read about the exercise requirements of puppies here.

Okay, so enough of sitting on your butts reading. Get out there and exercise with your dog!

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