Dog Breeds that Require Plenty of Exercise

All dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to maintain good physical health and wellbeing.

Mon 19 Mar 2018

By Judy

Dog Breeds that Require Plenty of Exercise

Dog Breeds that Require Plenty of Exercise

All dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to maintain good physical health and wellbeing. However, certain breeds need substantially more exercise than others. For example, a pug would be perfectly content with a 30 minute walk each day, whereas the athletic Dalmatian would need around 2 hours of vigorous exercise every day.

Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can quickly result in unwanted behaviour around the home, such as separation anxiety and an unhappy dog, so it’s important when choosing a dog breed that it fits in with your lifestyle. Ideally dogs with high exercise requirements are best suited to physically fit and active owners, although exercise levels can be increased by owners taking part in canine activities such a fly ball or agility with their dog.

Our guide features a variety of different breeds that require plenty of exercise

A good rule of thumb, is that certain categories of dog contain dogs with high activity levels. The breeds in the working, gundog, pastoral, hound and terrier for example tend to be dogs with high levels of physical stamina, compared to the more sedate dogs in the toy group.

Border Collie

The popular Border Collie is a true athlete of the canine world as well as being super intelligent. It is a dog that thrives on work, and is truly happiest working herding sheep. Border Collies can be kept as domestic pets, but owners should be aware of the high levels of exercise needed each day, which is around 2 hours daily. Border Collies will enjoy fetching toys, Frisbees and balls, and this is often a good way to offer more exercise and stimulation to the regular dog walk.  Border Collies excel at all canine sports, with fly ball being their forte. It is also possible to jog with your Border Collie. However, Collies naturally sprint and then stop, so do allow breaks during long runs.

Afghan Hounds

Not much compares to the speed and elegance of an Afghan Hound in full flight. This striking and dog is another breed that requires around 2 hours of exercise.  As we as being high on the exercise front, this handsome dog requires regular grooming to maintain its sleek, flowing coat.


The Weimaraner is a large, rangy dog with a striking and  sleek steely grey coat. It belongs to the sporty and athletic gundog group and needs at least 2 hours of exercise every day. The sheer size of this dog may make it unsuitable for many family homes. Sadly, there has been a steady decline in registrations with the Kennel Club over the last decade. 1,171 were registered in 2015 compared to 2,744 dogs in 2006. It's possible the size and exercise requirements may play a part in the reduction of numbers  of this handsome breed.


The dignified and noble Bloodhound is famed for its skill of following human scent over long distances. It is instantly recognisable with its loose fitting skin and long pendulous ears. It's a well-muscled dog that also requires 2 hours of exercise each day. It's a large dog that requires plenty of living space. It can also often forget its recall when it discovers a scent when out on the dog walk. Bloodhounds also have a distinctive musky odour that some pet owners may find unpleasant.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a medium sized dog with a short, coarse coat that lays flat to the dody. It is also known as a bird dog, being the first Hunt, Point and Retrieve to arrive in the UK. It is happiest out in the field, although adapts well to family life. It is an intelligent, friendly dog, but can be a little sensitive. Again, this is a dog that requires at least 2 hours exercise each day.

There are two other types of German Pointers, the Wire Haired German Pointer and the Longhaired German Pointer.Both of these  dog breeds also have similar exercise requirements to their cousin, the German Shorthaired Pointer.

English Pointer

And next we have another Pointer, the graceful and elegant English Pointer. It's another dog that is happiest out on the moors, although it makes a good adaptable pet for the more active owner. It will happily take as much exercise as it is given, and 2 hours every day should be devoted to exercising this breed.

English Setter

The beautiful English Setter is another athletic dog from the gundog group. It's a large dog with essentially white coat flecked with either black, lemon or liver, which is known as belton. It's another dog with high exercise requirements, a minimum of 2 hours is advisable. Owners will also need to groom the featherings of this breed to keep it in good condition.

Here are more dog breeds that require 2 hours or more of exercise every day