How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

Are you curious if your dog is getting enough exercise? Maybe you are worried about them becoming overweight but aren’t sure how to keep them physically active?

Depending on your dog’s age and breed, the amount of exercise can vary. For example, puppies have a lot more energy than an adult dog so they have short bursts of energy releases. Some may call this “zoomies”. If you’ve got an adult dog, their level of activity usually depends on the breed. For example, German Shepherds require more exercise than a lower-energy breed such as French Bulldog. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 30 minutes a day of regular exercise.

When it comes to types of routines, we’ve got some ideas on forms of exercise you could try with your dog! 

Happy couple with dog running outdoors

Exercise Routines


Depending on the season and your schedule, you can try to find some good locations to take your dog for daily exercise. By going to a variety of locations, your dog can use their nose to explore new areas. This type of nose work can provide a lot of mental stimulation for your pup. In some cases, 20 minutes of sniffing is equivalent to an hour’s walk when it comes to enrichment for your dog.

Another sniffing exercise can be placing some treats in a blanket or in some hidden area. Release your pup and let them sniff and explore to find the treats. Consider using some Ultimates Jerky Treats when doing this exercise! 


This one may be obvious, but it’s important to note that walking, or even hiking, is great for your dog. Dogs love short or long walking sessions and getting to spend quality time with their dog owners. Dog walking can be a great exercise routine for both you and your furry friend! 


A game of fetch can be a great enrichment activity for your dog! Try a variety of fetch exercises such as making your dog run uphill for a ball, or tossing it into water. Swimming for the ball can be an extra form of exercise that is great for joint problems. Use balls, frisbees, or other fetch toys to engage your pup. One of our favorite fetch toys is the CHUCKIT! Kick Fetch Ball.

Dog Sports


A fun exercise for you and your dog, Rally is a teamwork driven skill that is all about obedience. A dog and his owner navigates through a series of signs that test different obedience skills. Some basic commands are all your dog needs to know – sit, down, or turn. Through these competition trials, you will be scored based on ability to achieve each task within the Rally ring.

Fast CAT

Wondering what Fast CAT means? It stands for coursing ability test. If your dog is a fast runner, then this type of exercise sport would be great for them! It is a timed 100-yard dash where they are chasing a lure to gain top speeds. According to the AKC, “Dogs like Greyhounds have been known to reach speeds over 36 miles per hour, and even the tiny Chihuahuas have been clocked at over 19 miles per hour.”

Scent Work

Like previously mentioned, nose work or scent work can be wonderful exercise for a dog! It may not seem like they are doing much physically, but their nose and brain are extremely active when it comes to scents. Dogs can be AKC trained in scent work for various reasons. If your dog is good at Scent Work, they may also be good at tracking or other hunting tactics. Want to learn more about how to introduce Scent Work to your dog? Check out this article here.

Trick Dog

Ever want your dog to do some cool tricks? Adding in some trick training is another form of exercise for your pup! You can come up with your own, crazy trick ideas and begin teaching your dog. Intelligent dogs can be challenged to do a variety of skills and routines with their tricks to be a hit with the crowds. After all, who doesn’t like a dog that can do some cool tricks?! 

If your dog is really good at their tricks, you can even look into getting them an AKC Trick Dog title to prove their skills.

Indoor Exercises

Having trouble exercising because of inclement weather? Hot, cold, or rainy days can be a downer on your dog’s exercise routine. It’s good to have a plan in place when these days arise. Below are some ideas of indoor dog exercises that you both can try.

  • Running up and down stairs
  • Hide-and-Seek
  • Treadmill workouts
  • Play tug of war
  • Make your own obstacle course
  • Teach your dog new tricks

Whether you’re looking for some exercises to exert some energy or to really get your dog in shape, there are so many great options you can participate in. A short routine each day can be beneficial or if you want to get your dog involved in something more – such as dog sports – you are sure to please either way.