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Exercise is super important for dogs - whether they are puppies or seniors, tiny like Chihuahuas or big like Great Danes, active like Retrievers or homebodies like Bulldogs. Exercise helps alleviate boredom and promotes a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes it’s tough to figure out just how much exercise your dog needs. In general, dogs need between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise a day depending on the dog's age, breed and health.
Puppies are full of energy, so you’d think they would need more exercise than at any other stage of life. But that’s actually not the case because they tire out quite quickly. Puppies are always growing need lots of naps, so short but regular exercise is great for them. A good rule of thumb is five minutes of exercise per month of age up to twice a day, until fully grown. So a three month old can handle around 15 minutes of exercise twice a day, while a four month old can go up to 20 minutes, etc.
Adult dogs typically require more exercise than puppies. But several factors - such as age, weight, health and breed - play into your dog’s specific needs. In fact, your dog’s breed is a great guide for how much exercise to give them.
For instance, the sporting and herding breeds need more rigorous exercise, typically 60-90 minutes per day. Rigorous exercise can be running, hiking, fetch, and playing with other dogs. In general, dog breeds that need more exercise include, but are not limited to, retrievers, shepherds, scent hounds and terriers.
On the other hand, some dog breeds have lower energy and thus only need around 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. These types of dogs include flat-faced or snub-nosed breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs, toy breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies, and giant breeds like Great Danes and Newfoundlands.
All of these are good guidelines for how much exercise and activity your dog needs. But it’s important to keep in mind that every dog is different and you may need to adjust accordingly.