Click below on the exercise regime that you think is right for your breed of dog. 

These are obviously averages and are meant to apply for a healthy adult dog. Just like humans every dog within a breed is different and requires some individual assessment. At the end of their exercise they should be nicely worn out. If they are still chasing around the garden, or seeking plenty of attention etc. chances are they wanted more!

These are primarily the sporting (Gun) dogs. They were used by hunters to find and retrieve small game. They are intelligent dogs and need lots of vigorous exercise and stimulating play games.

They include:

All Setters - Springer Spaniel - Cocker Spaniel - Pointer - Retriever - Vizla - Munsterlander - Clumber, Field, Water and Sussex Spaniels.


We would also include the "Utility" breeds of Akita and Dalmatian in this section.

These are the hounds who were bred to use their keen senses to track game. What hounds need most is room to sniff and run in the open air. Some love water and appreciate the opportunity to swim.

They include:

Afghan - Bassets - Beagle - Bloodhound - Datchunds - Deerhound - Foxhound - Greyhound - Irish Wolfhound - Saluki - Whippet

Here we have the working dogs who were bred to work; some guarding livestock or property, some rescuing humans or pulling sleds and carts. They are capable, determined and quick to learn and include:

Boxer - Bullmasiff - Dobermann - Canadian Eskimo - Dogue de bordeaux - German Pinscher - Giant Shnauzer - Great Dane - Newfoundland - Rottweiler - Siberian Husky - St Bernard.

This exercise regime is for the Terrier group. They were born to hunt, sniff and dig out their prey and were bred to lead extremely active lives. The recommended exercise is for the larger Terriers, the smaller ones can be a little less but need regular play indoor or out during the day. They are quick witted little dogs and love to learn and play games.

They include: Airedale - Border - Bull - Cairn - Fox - Irish - Scottish - Welsh - Staffordshire Bull - Wheaten - West Highland.

Also included in this section are the "Utility" breeds of Bulldog - Schnauzer - Poodle - Shar Pei.


This is for the Pastoral (or Herding) dogs. These strong, intelligent dogs were bred to herd sheep or cattle and work the whole day doing their job; so plenty of stamina. This group includes the most intelligent of all dogs (allegedly) the Border Collie so plenty of games with a purpose are a must to keep this group of dogs stimulated and mentally exercised.

This group includes:

All the Collies - Australian - Belgian and German Shepherd dogs - Old English Sheepdog - Pyrenean (Sheep & Mountain) - Samoyed - Corgi      

This group known as Toy Dogs bred for looking cute and sitting on laps (although you seem to find them in handbags these days)! For these reasons they require less exercise but be careful an active Yorkshire Terrier for instance can and will want to do a lot more.

The breeds include:

Bichon Frise - Cavalier King Charles & King Charles - Chihuahuas - English Toy Terrier - Lowchen - Maltese - Miniature Pinscher - Pekingese - Pomeranian - Pug - Yorkshire Terrier.

In addition we would add the "Utility" breeds of Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu.


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Alphabetical list of breeds

A full alphabetical list of breeds and their recommended total daily exercise duration can be found here.

More information related to dog exercise

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“Daily exercise is important for pets as well as people, not only to keep weight in check but to keep joints and muscles healthy. Consult your vet for exercise advice as different dogs need different amounts of exercise. Ideally though, a healthy adult dog should have two or three walks a day, one of which should last at least 30 minutes.” PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sean Wensley

Generally, the exercise regime best suited to your dog depends on the breed not its size. That is, what a dog was originally bred for has far more relevance to the amount and type of exercise best suited to it's needs. This applies equally to mixed breeds as it does to pedigrees. A careful study of a mixed breed can usually determine it's predominant influences.

Breeds are categorised into 7 groups. They are Sporting (Gun), Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Herders (Pastoral), Non sporting (Utility).

See the exercise groupings above for a brief background description of the breed categories and the main reason for their development. 


Dogs are intelligent pack animals. We don't just acquire a dog we also become their pack leader. This is part of the endearing nature of owning a dog; their loyalty and lack of judgement is our human label for their behaviour. They see it rather more simply as responding to the pack leader. If they do not receive enough physical exercise or mental stimulation in "their pack" some or all of the following behaviour traits are likely to surface to some degree.  

  • Destructive chewing, digging or scratching
  • Investigative behaviours, like garbage raiding
  • Hyperactivity, excitability and night-time activity
  • Unruliness, knocking over furniture and jumping up on people
  • Excessive predatory and social play
  • Play biting and rough play
  • Attention-getting behaviors like barking and whining

The effects of too little exercise for dogs are very similar to those in humans. The key issue is weight control which brings with it a range of health risks and consequences. Just like humans the older the dog the more difficult it becomes to shift excess weight.

Obesity contributes to the following risks:-

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Heart disease.
  • It exacerbates common orthopaedic concerns such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.
  • It can stress joints, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Older dogs, in particular, have a hard enough time getting up without the added problem of lifting excess pounds.
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