Dog Exercise: What you Need to Know to Keep Your Pup in Shape

Dogs are naturally energetic creatures who love participating in some sort of physical activity on a regular basis. Some dogs need more so than others. There are a handful of breeds who are notoriously lazy and just want to be lap dogs, just as there are breeds that seem to never stop moving.

Exercise is just as important for your canine companion as it is for you. This is why walking dogs or even purchasing a puppy treadmill is a good idea to keep their physical fitness up. 

Exercise Needs of Puppies Versus Senior Dogs

You won’t need to encourage your puppy to partake in physical activity on a daily basis. They will be the ones telling you to get up and move with them. Puppies go through bouts of the “zoomies” for the first few months of their lives. Anyone who has ever owned a young dog or even a cat knows that these zoomies occur at random, in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. Your pup will suddenly be full of uncontainable energy and begin to run around and around for no apparent reason whatsoever. 

Unlike older dogs who you have to sometimes coax into taking part in daily exercise, puppies have no problem with getting physical activity in. It's just important as a puppy owner that you encourage and support this high energy the best you can, as it is good for your puppy to run around and get their energy out while also exploring and learning in their environment. 

Adult dogs in general do require a daily dog workout of some sort, whether it's a walk around the neighborhood or some time playing with a toy in the backyard. The kind of breed can also have an effect on how much exercise they will want and need. For instance, most collies love to exercise and run around by nature.

While smaller dogs like pugs and chihuahuas get enough physical activity for their breed just walking or running around the home. A daily walk around the block wouldn't be a bad idea for these smaller breeds either. 

As your dog grows older you will have to closely watch their behaviors to determine how much exercise and other physical activities they can tolerate. Regular exercise is just as important for your senior dog's health as it is for your puppy. You just have to be more mindful about your senior dog’s capabilities as they grow older.

Dog Exercise Tips

Below are a few fun activities that many dog owners like to take part in with their dogs as a way of getting exercise for themselves and their pups. Outdoor activities are never a bad idea when it comes to working out with your dog. They love to explore the outdoors with their humans, among many other fun things you can do together. 


Hiking is an excellent outdoor activity that you and your dog can do together for exercise. There are just a few things you need to take into consideration before hitting the trails. Such as if the hiking trails you had in mind allow dogs on them. You’ll also want to make sure you pack some food and plenty of water for your dog. Dogs love exploring nature and hanging out with their human, which makes hiking a great way to bond and exercise with your canine companion. 

Obedience Training

You may not have considered this to be a form of exercise to do with your dog, but obedience training can be a great way to get lots of energy out. Obedience training is also a great way to bond with your pup and build trust between the two of you. Working on simple commands like “sit” or “rollover” is a great warm-up. Fetch or agility training using a course made for dogs will really get their blood pumping. 


If you have a medium-sized dog, jogging might be another great way for you and your canine to get a daily workout together. A small dog or even a very large dog such as a Great Dane might not be ideal jogging partners. 

A small dog like a chihuahua probably wouldn’t be able to keep up or would get worn out too quickly. While a Great Dane might end up taking you for a run at their pace, which might be rather fast. However, medium-sized dogs like Golden Retrievers or Shepherds make great jogging partners.


There aren’t too many breeds of dogs that don’t enjoy jumping in the water and going for a swim anytime the opportunity arises. Swimming is especially great for older dogs who need more of a low-impact workout. You can even consider throwing a life vest on your dog. You can get these at most pet stores. They let your dog have more time in the water for exercise since they won’t become tired as quickly. 


Regular exercise is so important for both your dog's mental health and their physical health. They are naturally energetic creatures, so if they aren’t about to run around and exert energy regularly, they could become unhappy and unhealthy over time. Thankfully, there are plenty of exercises that both you and your dog can do together.

How much exercise does a dog need?

On average, a dog should get 30 minutes to 2 hours of physical exercise daily. The time frame varies from one dog to the next. Depending on their breed, age, and daily energy levels. Some dogs can be lazy but with just a little encouragement or persuasion with a tennis ball, you might be surprised how much a dog loves to run around. 

How long should I walk my dog?

30 minutes to 1 hour is sufficient time to walk a dog daily. How far you go within that time depends on the pace you are walking or jogging with your dog. Just be mindful of your dog’s water needs as well as whether they are becoming fatigued or not when walking for extensive periods of time. 

How much exercise should a puppy get?

Puppies are so full of energy, they should be taken on 1 to 2 walks daily, in addition to lots of playtimes. A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to the amount of time a puppy should exercise, 15 minutes per every 1 month of their age is one way to remember their exercise needs.

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Written by Nenitta Suzon

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