What’s in this article?

Brief concepts of dog groups

How long should a dog walk daily?

How much activity and exercise dogs should have according to their breed?

Links to tables with specific breeds information

What are the main dog groups?

Dogs are classified according to their function for humans or specialization. The amount of exercise that dogs require daily is related to the dog group of breed they belong to.

This is a brief overview of the main groups of breeds:

Gun dogs: originally bred for retrieving game during hunting

Hounds: breeds were created for tracking or chasing animals or people

Utility breeds: unclassified breeds (they just don’t fit in other breed groups), bred “by design” for very specific reasons

Toy breeds: breeds of small or very small dogs, usually kept as companion dogs

Working dog breeds: dogs bred to perform practical tasks while assisting human beings

Pastoral dog breeds: dogs are breeds specialized in leading, moving or protecting herds of livestock.

Terrier dogs: These are dogs originally bred to hunt for small animals like rodents

How long should a dog walk daily? This may depend on the dog group. Dog 7 groups and examples of breeds. Toy, pomeranian; Utility, Dalmatian; Pastoral, Collie; Working, Great Dane; Hound, Beagle; Gun dogs, Golden retriever; Terrier, Airedale terrier

How long should a dog walk daily?

Dog breed size is not related to the amount of required daily exercise.

Remember: in dogs, when we refer to exercise we mean walking. However, other activities like playing, sports, agility can be included and counted as exercise. Diversified activities can be made part of an enrichment plan.

The amount of activity required can be divided into three levels:

  1. Low (30 minutes daily)
  2. Moderate-intermediate (one hour per day)
  3. High (more than 2 hours per day -2+ hours)

Many small breeds need just 30 minutes a day but most are in the intermediate level (1 hour per day).

Many medium-sized breeds require 1 hour of walking but some require 2+ hours/day

Large breeds, in general, need 2+ hours of exercise per day, but some breeds just 1 hour.

Overall, most breeds in the dog universe of breeds (to be exact more than half of the breeds) require one hour of exercise per day To check the requirements of exercise of your specific breed, click here <<<<<<<<<

How much activity and exercise dogs should have according to their breed?

Gun dogs: Regardless of their size, gun dogs are very active dogs and most breeds (about 75%) require at least 2 hours of exercise (walking) per day. The rest of gun dog breeds require 1 hour of walking per day. Check here to check what breeds or if your dog breed is included in the gun dogs group and what amount of exercise is required for each.

Hounds: As a rule of thumb, large hounds require 2+ hours per day. Medium-sized hounds will require 1 hour or 2+ hours per day depending on the breed. Most small-sized hounds require 1 hour of exercise per day. To see what size and level of exercise your specific hound dog belongs to, click here

Utility: Small and most medium-sized utility dog breeds need 1 hour of exercise per day (see exception in this complete utility dog breeds list). Large utility dogs all require 2+ hours per day of exercise, except for Dalmatians that need only 1 hour per day.

Toy: They are all small dogs (therefore called “toys”). The majority should have 30 min of exercise per day, except for some more active toys that require 1 hour per day like for instance pugs).

Pastoral: All small-sized and most medium-sized pastoral breeds require 1 hour of exercise per day (some medium herding dogs are very active and require 2+ hours of exercise per day). Large-sized pastoral dogs require 2+ hours, although some require only 1 hour per day. Check here to check what breeds or if your dog breed is included in the pastoral dog group and what amount of exercise is required for each.

Terriers: Terriers are either small or medium-sized dogs. They all require 1 hour of exercise per day. More detailed information can be obtained  from The Kennel Club

Here you can check some lists of dog breeds and find your dog specific recommendations for daily exercise duration:

Dog breeds (general). Complete alphabetic list of + sizes + levels of exercise

What about mixed breed (or even recue) dogs and daily exercise?

The thing with mixed breeds is that we don’t know what is the predominant breed. If your mixed dog is made of two breeds you can check our complete alphabetic list of + sizes + levels of exercise and see if those two breeds require the same amount of exercise. If the two breeds have different levels of activity you can go with the lower level of exercise. For instance, in a Cockapoo (mixed breed of cocker spaniel and poodle) parents will be a Cocker spaniel (Spaniel – American Cocker) and a Poodle. Cocker Spaniels require 2 hours of exercise per day while poodles 1 hour, so most likely a Cockapoo will be better on the level of 1 hour.

Broadly, most dogs will require 1 hour of exercise. If you are underexercising your dog you will probably notice a gain in weight or that your dog is still full of energy after going for a walk or during the day. In over-exercised dogs, you will probably see fatigue or sleeping more often than usual and perhaps some weight loss.

As a rule of thumb, you can follow this guideline (also for rescue dogs in which you don’t know the breed):

  • Small dogs (toys): 30 minutes per day
  • Medium-sized dogs: 1 hour per day
  • Large size: at least 2 hours per day (except for very heavy breeds like mixes of St Bernard or Mastiff that require just 1 hour of exercise per day).

There are kits available that allow you to know the genetic background of your rescue or mixed dog, therefore the proportions of breeds inherited and also disease probabilities (enabling to design strategies of disease prevention.

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