How Often Should You Walk Your Dog? Here’s What To Consider

19 October 2021

How often should you walk your dog? And how to make the best of a dog walk? Find out the answers

Homme de dos qui promène deux petits chiens dans la foret

Walk your dog regularly and they’ll be healthy: this is what we are used to reading. But how often do you walk your dog? And how often should you? How much exercise do dogs really need? And how to get the most out of a dog walk? Get the answers to all those questions here!

How often should you walk your dog?

As a general rule, it’s recommended to walk your dog 3 – 4 times per day for at least 15 minutes. But this can vary according to your dog’s:

  • breed
  • age
  • size
  • health conditions and
  • eating habits

While for smaller dogs a walk a day might be enough, high-energy dog breeds will require more than one walk per day. Is your dog one of those breeds? Are you a sporty person who wants to spend more time with your dog exercising? Maybe you’re not sure how much exercise your dog really needs. In that case, it’s good to visit to your vet. They will be happy to provide you with helpful tips and walking advice for your dog’s specific circumstances.

how often do you walk your dog - black dog in nature

So, how often do you walk your dog?

Activity level needs by dog breed groups

Every dog belongs to a particular dog breed group, each of which has specific activity needs and limitations. With Tractive GPS, you can see how active dogs like yours are, and get a healthy picture of how much exercise to aim for. Once you set your daily goal, it’s easy to stay on track. Competitive? The Tractive Leaderboards can provide extra motivation.

Just as important as the question of how much to walk your dog is how much sleep they get. After all, a day of activity needs a good night’s rest. Your Tractive GPS tracker lets you learn your dog’s sleep routines, see if they’re getting enough (quality) sleep and see if something’s up. For example, if they’re sleeping a lot more than usual, it could be a sign it’s time to talk to your vet.

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Learn more

High-energy dog breeds

Here’s a list of high-energy breeds that will match your lifestyle if you are a very active person:

  1. Border Collie
  2. Australian Shepherd
  3. Dalmatian
  4. Irish Setter
  5. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  6. Weimaraner
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Siberian Husky

Outdoor adventures are the perfect way to bond with these breeds. Whether you go for a walk, hike or run, your canine buddy will make the trip twice as fun.

Activity needs of sheepdogs and cattle dogs

These dog groups have a higher need for activity:

  • Sheepdogs, such as Sheltie Sheepland or Border Collie
  • Cattle dogs, such as Bouvier des Flandres

If your dog belongs to one of these groups, then try to challenge not only their physical capacity but also their training and mental skills. Ordinary games will prove to be boring for dogs belonging to these groups, so feel free to be more creative!

Did you know? Dogs belonging to this group need a minimum of 2.5 hours of intense activity per day.

Translated into walks, this can easily mean at least 4 walks a day, 20-25 minutes each. Since dogs belonging in this category are also very intelligent, don’t forget to challenge them mentally as well. Reserve at least 30 minutes every day for intelligence game sessions with them. Be sure to equip these dogs with a monitor your dog’s activity levels so you can track them throughout all their outdoor adventures.

Activity level of Terriers

Small, lively, strong temper and trainable – this is how one would describe Terrier dogs. This dog group may be small, but these four-legged friends also need a quite large amount of exercise.

Tip: Terriers need at least 1,5 hours of activity every day.

Consider a friendly walking schedule of 3 walks per day, 20-25 min each. Consider adding some mental activity games for this group as well. 20 minutes a day should be challenging enough to keep them fit.

Activity needs for hunting dogs, Pinscher, Schnauzer and Greyhounds

Breeds belonging to this group, such as:

  • Dalmatians
  • Greyhound
  • Beagles

definitely need an activity challenge. For them, 1,5 hour of daily walks and exercising is the minimum requirement. Since these dog breeds are also pretty fond of running, feel free to start a running practice with them, as long as you do it step-by-step and considering the age of your dog as well.

Worth knowing: 3 walks a day of at least 30 minutes, plus cognitive activities are highly recommended for dogs belonging to this group.

How much activity do companion dogs really need?

Chihuahua and similar breeds are typically what we nowadays call companion dogs. As these dogs are not high-energy breeds, avoid challenging them with hours of intense activity. Instead, use smaller time periods for fun games and short daily walks to keep them physically fit.

Some dogs can be negatively affected by too much activity, such as the short-haired breeds. Since they have less fur, they can overheat easily and can suffer from breathing difficulties. Take these breeds for very short and easy walks. To ensure your small dog is not getting too much activity, monitor their daily exercise with a Tractive GPS tracker & activity monitor for dogs.

Watch out: 2 daily, shorts walks are enough for these dog breeds.

What kind of sports can I do with my dog?

Dog sports that challenge your dog both physically and mentally include:

Even though your dog might belong to a group of high-energy dogs, they still have their own temperament and could be a true couch potato. For example, these dogs are the best runners; while others could struggle at even a slow (walking) pace. Try to understand the needs of your pup and consult a vet for a detailed and tailored walking schedule for your furry friend.

If your active dog has a tendency to run off; invest in a GPS tracker so you can always keep track of your furry friend.

Why walk your dog?

There are plenty of reasons why walking your dog regularly is great for your dog. Some of these reasons are health-related and others come down to your dog’s discipline. Walking your dog on a leash can help your dog develop discipline while they walk beside you and at your pace.

Is there anything to keep in mind while walking your dog? As always, safety comes first.

Try off-leash dog walks only when you are in safe, non-populated areas and are sure your dog won’t run away.

If your dog does run away, don’t punish them. It’s important that your dog does not associate their return with any feeling of guilt or anger. Also, if you notice that your dog has a tendency towards running away, keep them on a leash at all times. Another tip for keeping your dog safe is to make sure to teach him the basic safety commands. Not only are they easy to teach, but they can also prevent dangerous situations for you and your furry friend.

Woman in yellow coat and boots and small dog walking through forest in fall during coronavirus lockdown

The hidden benefits of walking your dog

Walking your dog is a big part of a dog parent’s life. A simple walk contributes to improving your dog’s social behavior as well as strengthening the bond that ties you two together. If you see dog walks as fun moments in the day you can have fun while working towards keeping your dog healthy.

Walking your pup can also help reduce destructive chewing or scratching (should this be an issue your dog is facing).

But the benefits are not just for your dog! Spending time outside while you walk your dog, in fact, can boost your fitness and overall sense of well-being. Daily walks can lower blood pressure, strengthen your bones and slash your diabetes risk. So… what are you waiting for? Grab your Tractive GPS tracker and go for your next outdoor adventure together right now!

So, how often do you walk your dog? If you like what you’ve read, share it with other dog parents!

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