How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

Recognizing your dog’s energy level is the first step in providing enough exercise, which will be discussed here.


Although dogs are highly individual animals, their energy levels can be attributed to their breed.  For instance, dogs that were originally bred for work, such as Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, and Border Collies have the highest energy levels.  On the other hand, dogs that were originally bred as companion animals, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, have the fewest exercise requirements.


If your dog is a mixed breed it can be more difficult to determine their energy level.  A second way to make this determination is to observe your pet’s playtime behaviors. A dog with low energy is likely to engage in short bursts of play and typically does not initiate playtime.  Play sessions are not sustained, and a low energy dog tires out quickly.

A medium-energy dog, on the other hand, tends to jump on you or other animals for attention and initiates interactions.  This dog can appear pushy in their playstyle, and will readily play a sustained game of chase or tug of war.  

A high-energy dog will be easy to spot because they will always be looking for a playmate.  This pet greets you at the door by jumping and racing around the house and will continue to bring you toys throughout the day and night.  These pets will continue to play as long as they have a willing partner. 

Boredom Behaviors

Another indication of your dog’s energy level is boredom behaviors.  If your pet has destructive tendencies and is no longer a puppy, chances are that he or she is a medium-to-high energy pet whose exercise requirements are not being met.

How Much Exercise is Required?

A low-energy pet should receive at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to stay healthy.  A medium-energy pet requires 1 – 3 hours of daily exercise, while a high-energy animal can require over 4 hours of vigorous exercise and playtime!  Let your dog’s behavior be your guide: if after an extended play session your dog naps for the rest of the day and exhibits no boredom behaviors, you have found the right amount of exercise for your dog’s energy level!

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Have you enjoyed this article? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive other interesting blog posts delivered directly to your inbox! If a dog doesn't have enough activity, they may have various problems, such as obesity!

Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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