25 Dog Breeds That Need a Lot of Exercise

Every dog benefits from a daily walk. It's a perfect chance to explore, meet friends and keep 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 a canine's breed, age, health and personality.

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

Smaller dogs, such as Bichons and Maltese, may be satisfied with a shorter walk. But larger, more boisterous dogs will need a substantial amount of time to stretch their legs.

And owners will need plenty of stamina too.

25. Staffordshire Bull Terrior

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

Staffies need over an hour of exercise to release any energy that's built up over the day. Without this they might show signs of agitation, such as barking, digging, and escaping.

24. Border Terrier

Border Terrier
New owners can face a real challenge training a Border Terrier as the instinct of these small bundles of energy is to chase anything that moves jarafoti/Getty Images

Border Terriers were first bred to assist in hunts by driving foxes out of their hiding for hounds to chase. It's no wonder then that this breed requires over an hour of exercise a day.

23. Saint Bernard

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

Saint Bernards might require large amounts of exercise, but they don't fare well as jogging buddies or in hot weather.

21. Basset Hound

Basset Hound
Bassets Hounds are rather intelligent dogs and often just refuse to cooperate when faced with excessive repetition artisteer/Getty Images

Although Basset Hounds were bred for endurance, the breed can be lazy when left indoors. To prevent weight gain, Basset Hounds need around one hour of exercise or more a day.

20. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetlands were originally bred for sheep herding. Michael Nagle/Getty Images/Getty

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

19. Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier
A Tibetan Terriers need at least an hour of exercise a day. Ramin Talaie/Getty

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

18. West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terrier
The Westie must be shown early on by the owners exactly who in charge Aliaksandr Lapo/Getty Images

Westies may be small, but they're relatively high energy. Up to one hour is sufficient for this breed, which can be in the form of jogging, running, or outdoor playing.

17. Whippet

Whippets are often walked on the lead or in closed environments. BiancaGrueneberg/Getty Images

"Whippet" is derived from an old English word meaning "to move briskly." True to their name, owners might choose to keep their Whippet on the lead as they are prone to chasing.

16. Pug

Pugs are charming and affectionate little toy dogs Alfredas Pliadis/Getty Images

For such small dogs, Pugs require more exercise than you might think. This breed needs around one hour a day, but strenuous activity should be avoided as it can lead to joint problems.

15. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier can enjoy life in the suburbs if given the opportunity to satisfy their natural inclination to dig Getty Images/TatyanaGl

A breed that originated in the Scottish Highlands, Cairn Terriers are hardy, energetic dogs. Historically, their role was to hunt vermin, so they may seek out foxes, badgers and rats on a daily stroll.

14. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are considered people-pleasers eager to make their owners happy. andriano_cz/Getty Images

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

13. Minature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed that is considered both friendly and quick at learning Lunja/Getty Images

Originally bred to be ratters and guard dogs on farms, Schnauzers have retained their sprightly personalities to this day.

12. Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodle
Miniature Poodles are an excellent choice for those desiring a smaller breed standing at 15 inches or smaller a_kappi/Getty Images

By sticking to a regular walking schedule, Miniature Poodles will be fit and healthy, as well as mentally stimulated. Purposeful play will prevent boredom in this intelligent breed.

11. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds are profoundly loyal to and love their families Pierre Aden/Getty Images

These stunning and loyal dogs enjoy running around, so off lead walks are preferred. Around two hours of exercise a day should keep an Afghan Hound in good shape.

Here are 14 other dogs that are particularly loyal to their owners.

10. Siberian Husky

Lucky husky sleeping through armed robbery
Siberian Huskys require over two hours of exercise a day to tire them out. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images

Siberian Huskies are high-energy dogs that require over two hours of exercise a day to tire them out. To keep Siberians mentally stimulated, walking routes should be varied, and ideally, owners should allow some time for them to play off-lead.

Huskies are bred to pull, but without hefty sleds, owners may want to train their dog out of this behaviour. Harnesses are one trick to reduce pulling.

9. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers require around two hours of exercise a day. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images/Getty

These family favourite canines require around two hours of exercise a day. It's in their genes, as Labradors were initially bred to retrieve game for hunters. Such physically demanding work could involve swimming, running and hiking—activities Labradors still delight in today.

8. Weimaraner

Weimaraners were originally bred for hunting large game and love a game of fetch. Matt Cardy

Two hours to run around is the minimum these active dogs need per day. These gundogs were originally bred for hunting large game such as Boers, Bears, and Deers, and were once nicknamed "Grey Ghosts" for their silvery coats and stealthy hunting style. Weimaraners are therefore naturals at a game of fetch.

7. Border Collie

Border collies Australia
Border Collies need a minimum of 90 minutes exercise a day. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Due to their background as working dogs, Border Collies require an extensive amount of physical activity. To release all this pent-up energy, which was once used for sheep-herding, a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise is needed a day.

Nowadays, as the majority of the Border Collie are kept as family pets rather than working on ranches, one long walk or two shorter ones a day should suffice.

6. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute
It's important to find an exercise regime that burns tons of energy for an Alaskan Malamute. OSEPH PREZIOSO/Getty

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

An adult male Alaskan Malamute can pull around 1,100–3,300 lb of weight, depending on build and training, so it's vital to find an exercise regime that burns tons of energy.

5. Boxer

Boxers will need at least two hours of exercise a day to stay entertained. Oli Scarff/Getty

Small but mighty, Boxers will need at least two hours of exercise a day to stay entertained. Renowned for keeping their puppy personality for longer than most dogs, home can be a chaotic place with a Boxer around.

A former working dog, Boxers benefit from interesting walks with lots to sniff and discover, plus plenty of playtime at home.

4. German Shepherd

German Shepherd
German Shepherds need at least two hours of exercise a day, though of course, this varies for puppies and senior dogs. Dixi_/Getty Images

Obedient, intelligent and strong, there's a reason that German Shepherds are commonly used in military and police forces.

Not well suited to apartment life, German Shepherds should be out and about and kept occupied. They need at least two hours of exercise a day, though of course, this varies for puppies and senior dogs.

3. Golden Retriever

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

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

As natural water lovers, Retrievers benefit from walks with a refreshing river, pond or beach somewhere along the way.

2. Dalmatian

Dog trainers recommend Dalmations have two hours of exercise a day. LucyCartwright/Getty Images

Dog trainers not only recommend this breed has two hours of exercise a day, but also that this is split between at least two walks.

Once known as "carriage dogs", for running alongside carriages in centuries gone by, long distances still run in a dalmation's blood.

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 vigorously wagging tails are anything to go by, these dogs need plenty of exercise. At least two hours a day is recommended when they reach adulthood, which is around 18 months for most Springers.

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

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