25 dog breeds that need a lot of exercise

Each dog enjoys a daily walk. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore, meet friends, and stay fit and healthy.

Like humans, regular exercise can prevent obesity and relieve stress and tension in animals. But the exact amount of exercise needed depends on the breed, age, health, and personality of the dog.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a useful rule of thumb is that dogs need 30 minutes to two hours of exercise per day.

Smaller dogs, like Bichons and Maltese, may be content with a shorter walk. But bigger, more rowdy dogs will need a lot of time to stretch their legs.

And owners will need a lot of endurance as well.

25. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Portrait of a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy looking at the camera wearing a black collar
Robbie Goodall / Getty Images

Staff members need more than an hour of exercise to release all of the energy accumulated during the day. Without it, they might show signs of restlessness, such as barking, digging, and escaping.

24. Border Terrier

Border terrier
New owners can take on a real challenge in training a Border Terrier because the instinct of these little bundles of energy is to chase anything that moves.
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Border Terriers were first bred to aid in the hunt by driving foxes from their hiding places for dogs to run after. It is therefore no wonder that this breed requires more than an hour of exercise per day.

23. Saint-Bernard

Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard dogs are gentle but energetic dogs.
Fabrice Coffrini / Getty

Saint Bernard’s may need a lot of exercise, but they don’t do well as jogging buddies or in hot weather.

21. Basset Hound

Basset hound
Basset Hounds are quite intelligent dogs and often refuse to cooperate in the face of excessive repetition.
artist / Getty Images

Although Basset Hounds were bred for endurance, the breed can be lazy when left indoors. To avoid weight gain, Basset Hounds need about an hour or more of exercise per day.

20. Shetland Sheepdog

Sheepdog
The Shetlands were originally bred for raising sheep.
Michael Nagle / Getty Images / Getty

Active and intelligent, Shelties were originally bred for sheep farming. Therefore, they need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. At least an hour a day is a benchmark to aim for.

19. Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier
A Tibetan terrier needs at least an hour of exercise per day.
Ramin Talaie / Getty

These shaggy dogs are well suited to apartment living, but they need regular exercise. At least an hour a day is recommended, ideally divided into several short bursts.

18. West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terrier
The Westie must be shown from the start by the owners exactly who is in charge
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Westies may be small, but they have relatively high energy. Up to an hour is sufficient for this breed, which can take the form of jogging, running or playing outdoors.

17. Whippet

whippet
Whippets are often walked on a leash or in closed environments.
Bianca Grueneberg / Getty Images

“Whippet” is derived from an Old English word meaning “to move quickly”. True to their name, owners may choose to keep their Whippet in mind as they are inclined to sue.

16. Pug

Pug
Pugs are charming and affectionate little toy dogs
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For such small dogs, pugs need more exercise than you might think. This breed needs about an hour a day, but strenuous activities should be avoided as they can lead to joint problems.

15. Cairn terrier

Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier can enjoy suburban life if given the opportunity to satisfy its natural penchant for digging
TatyanaGl / Getty Images

A breed native to the Scottish Highlands, Cairn Terriers are hardy and energetic dogs. Historically, their role was to hunt vermin, so they can look for foxes, badgers, and rats on a daily walk.

14. English Cocker Spaniel

Cocker
Cocker Spaniels are considered to be appeals to people who want to make their owners happy.
andriano_cz / Getty Images

These cheerful, playful dogs need at least an hour a day to stretch their legs and explore. The right amount of exercise can vary depending on their type, with a working line, Cockers can have higher energy than their show line counterparts.

13. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed considered both friendly and quick to learn
Lunja / Getty Images

Originally bred to be rats and guard dogs on farms, Schnauzers have retained their playful personality to this day.

12. Miniature poodle

Miniature poodle
Miniature Poodles are a great choice for those who want a smaller breed that is 15 inches or less
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By following a regular walking schedule, Miniature Poodles will be fit and healthy, as well as mentally stimulated. Determined play will prevent boredom in this intelligent breed.

11. Afghan Hound

Afghan hound
Afghan Hounds are deeply loyal and love their family
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These beautiful and loyal dogs love to run, so off-leash walks are preferred. About two hours of exercise a day should keep an Afghan Hound in good shape.

Here are 14 other dogs particularly loyal to their owners.

10. Siberian Husky

Lucky husky sleeping because of armed robbery
Siberian Huskies need more than two hours of exercise per day to tire them out.
OLIVIER MORIN / AFP via Getty Images

Siberian Huskies are high energy dogs that require more than two hours of exercise per day to tire them out. In order for Siberians to remain mentally stimulated, walking routes should be varied and, ideally, owners should give them some time to play off the leash.

Huskies are bred to pull, but without heavy sleds owners may want to educate their dog in this behavior. Harnesses are a trick to reducing traction.

9. Labrador Retriever

Laboratory
Labrador Retrievers need about two hours of exercise per day.
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images / Getty

These family favorite dogs require about two hours of exercise per day. It’s in their genes, as Labradors were originally bred to collect game for hunters. Such a physically demanding job might involve swimming, running, and hiking, activities that Labradors still enjoy today.

8. Weimaraner

Weimaraner
Weimaraners were originally bred for big game hunting and love the game of seeking.
Matt Cardy

Two hours of running is the minimum that these active dogs need per day. These hunting dogs were originally bred for hunting big game such as Boers, Bears and Deer, and were once nicknamed “Gray Ghosts” for their silvery coat and stealthy hunting style. Weimaraners are therefore natural at a game of fetch.

7. Border Collie

Border collie australia
Border Collies need at least 90 minutes of exercise per day.
James D. Morgan / Getty Images

Due to their experience as working dogs, Border Collies require significant physical activity. To release all this accumulated energy, which was once used for sheep rearing, a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise is needed per day.

Nowadays, since the majority of Border Collies are kept as pets rather than working on ranches, a long walk or two shorter per day should suffice.

6. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute
Finding an exercise program that burns tons of energy is important for an Alaskan Malamute.
OSEPH PREZIOSO / Getty

As a breed whose ancestors crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska thousands of years ago, the Alaskan Malamutes are prepared for long journeys. Initially bred for endurance and strength when pulling arctic sleds, it makes sense that these dogs require plentiful exercise.

An adult male Alaskan Malamute can weigh between 1,100 and 3,300 lbs, depending on his build and training, so finding an exercise program that burns tons of energy is essential.

5. Boxer

Boxer
Boxers will need at least two hours of exercise per day to be entertained.
Oli Scarf / Getty

Small but mighty, boxers will need at least two hours of exercise a day to be entertained. Noted for keeping their puppy’s personality longer than most dogs, the house can be a mess with a boxer around.

A former working dog, Boxers enjoy interesting walks with plenty to sniff and discover, as well as plenty of home recreation.

4. German Shepherd

German shepherd
German Shepherds need at least two hours of exercise a day, although this will vary for puppies and senior dogs, of course.
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Obedient, intelligent, and strong, there’s a reason German Shepherds are commonly used in military and law enforcement.

Not well suited to apartment living, German Shepherds should go out and keep busy. They need at least two hours of exercise per day, although this will vary for puppies and senior dogs, of course.

3. Golden Retriever

Dog in the garden
Golden Retrievers are often obedient with unlimited energy.
Getty Images

Bred to collect slaughtered waterfowl, such as ducks and game birds, these canids are often obedient with boundless energy.

As a natural water lover, Retrievers enjoy walks with a refreshing river, pond, or beach somewhere along the way.

2. Dalmatian

Dalmatian
Dog trainers recommend that Dalmatians get two hours of exercise per day.
Lucy Cartwright / Getty Images

Dog trainers not only recommend that this breed get two hours of exercise per day, but also that this be split between at least two walks.

Formerly known as “carriage dogs”, having run alongside horse-drawn carriages in centuries past, long distances still run in the blood of a dalmation.

1. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel
An English Springer Spaniel needs at least two hours a day of exercise.
James D. Morgan / Getty

True to their name, Springer Spaniels are bouncy and full of life. If their vigorous wagging tails are anything to do with, these dogs need plenty of exercise. At least two hours a day is recommended by the time they reach adulthood, which is around 18 months for most Springers.

Famous for their agility, fun activities such as weaving, tunnels and jumping can be used to liven up a daily walk.

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