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How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

By Celebrity Dog Trainer, Joel Silverman

There is no question that all dogs need exercise, but one of the questions I seem to get from a variety of pet owners is how much exercise? My response has always been, that it really depends upon the dog. One of the key elements to my What Color is Your Dog® training system, is taking the time to get to know your dog, and finding what’s best for him. Your dog’s health and care, as well as exercise, are a huge part of that.

dog exerciseThere are a variety of dogs that all require a different amount of exercise, so I thought it would help to break them up into a few categories. For dogs that are “couch potatoes,” they are not going to require the amount of exercise as other dogs like St. Bernards, and some of the larger mellower dogs. Then we have another kind of dog that will need more exercise than most dogs, and they are breeds like Border Collies and Australian shepherds, as well as a number of other dogs. These are dogs that not only need to be walked a number of times a day, but also “need a job.” They need to be trained or involved in something that will give them a chance to burn off energy. A great suggestion for these breeds, as well as any other dog that has a lot of energy, is getting your dog involved in something like agility training. Agility training is a great way to not only giving your dog some extra exercise he may need, but also gives you a chance to bond with your dog as well.

In general, there are two kinds of living environments for dogs, and they are the dogs that live in a home with a yard, and a dog that lives in an apartment, condominium, or townhouse.


If your dog lives in a home or an environment where he has access to a yard and can run and move around, he can definitely get much of the exercise he needs. I would also highly recommend taking the dog for a walk a few times a day for some added exercise, as well as socializing your dog. By taking him for walks, it can get him used to things that might distract him and help desensitize.

Condo or Apartment

Some of the best dog owners I have met over my career are the ones that live in new York City. The reason is that most of them live in an apartment in the city. Because of that, they understand that their dog needs exercise, and that is achieved by taking long walks. If you live in an apartment, condominium, or townhouse, there is no question your dog is going to need more exercise than dogs that have access to a yard. Dogs that live inside are going to need to be walked at least twice a day, and preferably three times for dogs that have a lot of energy.

10012757_10202819099973058_2148979206839254486_oJoel Silverman has trained animals for Hollywood films, TV, amusement parks, and he now devotes his forty years of professional experience to helping thousands of pet owners train their dogs. Joel has worked behind the scenes on lots of shows and films, but he’s best known for Good Dog U—his top-rated Animal Planet series that ran from 1999 to 2009. Joel has also authored three books to share his expertise: What Color Is Your Dog?®, Take 2 – Training Solutions for Rescued Dogs, and Bond With Your Heart; Train With Your Brain®.