Just like you, your dog needs to exercise. How much depends on several factors like age, breed and health.

Giving your dog access to run around and play in your back yard doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting enough exercise. They need interaction and motivation the same as us humans.

You may have a treadmill or a bike in you home, that doesn’t mean you’re motivated to use it every day. Your dog may have much the same attitude.

Let’s start by looking how the age of your dog will affect the amount of exercise your dog needs.

How Much Exercise Does a Puppy Need?

puppy exercise
Puppies will generally require more frequent exercise than older dogs. They are filled with energy. However, they are still little and growing so they will struggle with long bouts of exercise like long walks. This can be hard on them so consider several short walks or sessions of playing throughout the day. Your puppy’s breed and size will factor in as well. Be sure to talk to your breeder and your veterinarian for recommendations on how much daily exercise is needed for your dog.

How Much Should Your Adult Dog Exercise?

adult dog exercise
The breed of your dog has a big impact on how much exercise your adult dog will need. Some breeds like Border Collies, Jack Russel Terriers and Australian Shepherds are high energy dogs. They require a lot more physical activity each day that low-energy breeds like Basset Hounds, Bulldogs and Mastiffs. Most of the high-energy dog breeds are traditionally working dogs. Just because they are not actually working doesn’t mean they don’t need a lot of exercise. It’s very important to keep the exercise requirements of a dog in mind when choosing a puppy or adopting from a shelter. Their energy levels will have a big impact on your life and your schedule.

How Much Exercise for a Senior Dog?

senior dog exercise

Your older dog may not have the energy or physical ability they once had but exercise is still essential for good health. You may have to shorten those walks or exercise sessions.

However, exercise not only keeps your dog physically fit but also helps with mental stimulation. All of this can help improve the quality of their lives as well as prolong their lives.

Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Dog

Playing Fetch

This is an activity you can do just about anywhere. It’s fairly easy to train your dog to play fetch. Grab a stick or a ball, throw it and ask your dog to go get it for you.

When they are little, it will take some training to get them to bring it back. Once they learn this skill and your commands, this can be a fun game for you both.

Going for a Hike

Going for a walk, jog or run on a hiking trail is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. Your dog will love it too.

Explore new parks and trails and have an adventure with your dog. Just be sure that the trails you choose are pet friendly and know the rules on leashing.


A bike ride can be a great way for both you and your dog to get out and get some exercise. This won’t be appropriate for all dogs but many will love running while their owner rides.

Be sure to find a safe place to cycle with your dog. The roadways can be dangerous for you and your pet. Most communities have bike paths where you and your dog can cycle and run safely.

Obedience Training

This might not seem like exercise but practice obedience commands can provide exercise and mental stimulation. Be creative and teach your dog new tricks that require physical exercise. Practicing will wear them out.

Dog Sports

There are a bunch of dog sports that you can do with your pet. Some sports include hunting, agility, flyball, scent work and dock diving. This can be rewarding for you as well as your dog. Be adventurous and try out a few dog sports and find one that you and your dog really enjoy.


Many dogs love being in the water. Whether it’s a pool or a lake be sure to find a safe place for your dog to swim. Be sure to help your dog if it’s their first time swimming. They usually take to it very quickly but might need a little help when they first try it.

Swimming is also a weightless exercise so it’s great for older dogs who may have joint issues.


This is a great option for when the weather doesn’t cooperate. You can throw a ball or a soft toy up the stairs to have them fetch or you can ask them to follow you as you climb the stairs.

Tug of War

Most dogs enjoy playing tug of war. There are a bunch of different toys that you can use for this game. Tugging can help build muscle, promote impulse control, build confidence and it gives you a great way to bond with your dog.

Don’t be too rough or play for too long. Keep each play session to just a couple tugs.

Regardless of how you exercise with your dog, know that it is essential for their health and longevity. It can also keep you moving and healthy so make it a priority for you and your dog.