10 Best Outdoor Exercises to Burn Off Your Dog’s Energy

As a dog owner, you might have asked yourself how much exercise do dogs need daily? You probably know that exercise is crucial to keep your pooch healthy, but it is important that you understand why your dog needs daily exercise and how to get them the exercise that they need.

Importance of Exercise for Dogs

No matter how big or small your dog is, they need exercise to maintain healthy body weight. Daily exercise can help your dog stay at an ideal weight and combat obesity. Additionally, dogs are naturally active creatures, so they need exercise to stay happy.

Dogs that are denied daily exercise often become frustrated. You may notice that dogs that don’t get enough exercise can become frustrated and destructive. They may exhibit hyperactive behaviors, bark frequently, and dig. Behavioral problems can be a sign that your dog needs more exercise.

The breed of dog you own can have a large impact on the amount of exercise that they need. Herding, hunting, and other working breeds will need a lot of exercises each day. Working breeds were bred to perform certain tasks, and these dogs need exercise to focus their energy on. Often, these breeds will need one to two hours of vigorous exercise each day.

Even non-working dog breeds need physical activity, but they may not need as much as working breeds. For these breeds, size often plays a role in how much exercise is required. Smaller dogs may only need a few minutes of exercise each day. However, larger, more active dogs may require an hour or so of daily exercise.

Base on the result of research by Coral Drake at https://devotedtodog.com, I break down a table to show exercise needs by breed and time (in munites) of exercise for each.

Dog Breeds Exercise Needs
Herding Dogs:
Cattle Dogs,
120 to 180 minutes
Sporting Dogs:
120 to 180 minutes
Hound Dogs:
Rhodesian Ridgeback,
60 minutes
Rat and Small Game Terriers:
Kerry Blue,
60 minutes
Large Terriers and Working Group:
Bull terriers,
Great Dane,
Great Pyrenees,
Mountain dogs,
60 minutes
Non-Sporting and Toy Group:
Eskimo dog,
Lhasa Apso,
30-60 minutes

10 Best Outdoor Exercises for Dogs

To burn off the energy that your dog builds-up throughout the day, we have compiled a list of the 10 best outdoor exercises you can give to your pooch.

1. Hiking

Hiking with dogs

Challenge your dog on a hiking trip. Outdoor parks, mountains, and even walking trails can make for a great hiking excursion with your dog. Before you go, you should make sure that dogs are welcome in the area you want to hike. Additionally, you need to make sure that your dog is up to the task of going on a hike. Always bring water with you on a hike and try to stay on a path for safety.

2. Swimming

Dog Swimming

While not all dogs love water, a summer swim is a great exercise and a lot of fun. Swimming is a great option for dogs with joint problems as it is low-impact. When first starting out, always go slowly and put a lifejacket on your dog for safety. You can swim in a small kiddie pool, your own private pool, a dog-friendly lake, or take advantage of doggy swim days at local pools that take place at the end of the summer.

3. Dock Diving

Dock Diving

Dock diving is a dog sport that is traditionally performed off of a dock, but you don’t need a dock for dock diving. If you can find a safe spot for your dog to jump into the water, you can teach your dog to dock dive. You just need to toss a floating toy into the water and ask your dog to retrieve it for you. Only participate in dock diving if your dog is comfortable in the water.

4. Fetch

Dog Exercise

This classic game is the perfect outdoor activity for all dogs. Get your dog’s favorite toy, ball, or a Frisbee, and get outside and play! A few good throws will have your dog worn out for the day. Just make sure that you are really challenging them to retrieve the toy and not just tossing it a few feet in front of your dog. Stop when your dog tells you it is time. Trust us, it will be enough to wear them out.

5. Walks

Every dog loves to go on walks. You can take your dog for daily walks to get them the exercise they need. This can get boring, however. Switch up your route to keep things interesting for your pooch. For a really fun time, try letting your dog lead the way during your walks. Remember that walks are for your dog, so you should really take your time and let your dog explore and sniff around.

6. Runs

Run with dog

If walking doesn’t seem to cut it for your very active dog, try taking them on daily runs. Stepping up the intensity should make for a better exercise for working breeds and hyperactive dogs. Be sure that you can read your dog, however. You don’t want to push too hard and cause injuries for your beloved pup.

7. Agility Training

Agility training will probably require classes, but they can be a great way to challenge your dog both physically and mentally. A trainer will help teach your dog how to handle each of the obstacles on the training course. Once your dog has the hang of this exciting sport, you can sign up for competitions. In fact, once you get involved in the competition circuit, you might even get to the national level of competitions.

8. Dog Park

Allow your dog to enjoy the great outdoors while socializing at the dog park. At the dog park, your pooch will get to interact and play with a variety of other dogs in your area. A trip to the dog park is not only great exercise but also an opportunity for your dog to learn to play nicely with others. Be sure that you keep an eye on your dog to ensure the safety of all of the dogs in the park.

9. Chase

Chase your dog

Many dogs are naturally born chasers. A game of chase is the perfect way to get these dogs running. All you need to do is start running and see if your dog will chase you. In some cases, your dog may prefer to be chased, so you can just run after them.

10. Obedience Training

Make sure that your dog is polite by enrolling in obedience training classes. Teaching basic commands can not only make your dog more polite, but they can also make your life easier. Some of the basic commands that your dog should know could actually save their lives. Start with super basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “come.” You can add more complicated commands after your dog has learned the basics.

Now that you know some great ways to get your dog appropriate outdoor exercise, you can go out and have a great time together.

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