How much exercise does your dog need? Some breeds need more exercise than others, and the age of the dog can play a major factor as well. As a rule, though, all dogs, large or small, need at least some daily exercise and mental stimulation. Here is a basic guideline for keeping your dog healthy and satisfied via exercise.
In general, all dogs need at least 15 minutes of exercise a day, and 30 minutes or more of walking, play, or outdoor stimulation of some sort (fetch, swimming, training etc) is preferable. It doesn’t matter if your dog is small enough to fit in a fanny pack or large enough for a small child to ride, all dogs, just like all people, need at least some type of daily exercise to stay physically and mentally fit.
A good rule of thumb is to give your dog as much exercise as they are active. My Australian Shepherd mix who is 8 years old used to require a 2 hour walk a day, and now enjoys a walk of an hour or so. When she becomes bored or tired, she lies down. When I would walk my grandma’s Pomeranian mix, she would lie down after 15 minutes, requiring me to carry her for the majority of our daily walks. Every dog is different, and your dog’s activity level will tell you how much exercise they want and need.
Professional dog trainer Jeff Millman of Chicago, Illinois, claims that in his experience herding and working dogs need the most exercise of all breeds of dog, sometimes 2 hours or more a day to keep them from becoming bored or destructive. However, he also claims to have seen pugs and Yorkies outperform larger dogs in exercise. As a general rule, he suggests at least an hour of exercise daily for all dogs, with leeway given for breed and general health of the dog.
Millman suggests watching for signs of boredom, like chewing, digging, and barking constantly, to determine the amount of exercise your dog needs personally. Some dogs are content to lie around the house or yard all day, while others just can’t sit still. In at least providing a half hour walk daily (or a few walks a day of 15 minutes each) you can ensure that your dog is getting some mental and physical stimulation throughout the day and working off some of their ample energy.
If you have an older dog and want to make sure that they are getting enough exercise, you can talk to your vet to see how much exercise your dog needs. Arthritis, age, weight, and health of your dog in general can help determine if your dog needs more than 15 minutes of walking daily, or if more exercise would do more harm than good. In my experience, simply walking my dog until she decides she is done works just fine for me. She walks a lot less than she used to, but she is getting enough exercise to keep her from pacing around the house whining all day.
my personal experience