The amount of exercise a dog needs could be crucial to which breed of pooch you choose to join your family.
Plenty of us decided to welcome new four-legged friends into our homes in the last couple of years – according to Kennel Club figures dog ownership soared – and post-lockdown demand for puppies remains high.
There are a whopping 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, alongside numerous crossbreeds, so there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest addition.
For some of us, the thought of leaving the house to lift weights or run on a treadmill at the gym is not an appealing thought.
Most dogs, however, love dashing out for some good exercise – at the sound of the word ‘walkies’, they jump up and down in jubilation, eager to get their daily dose of physical activity.
If you are thinking about getting a dog yourself, you need to know that it is crucial to set aside some time for them to walk and run around in an open space – exercise is a fundamental part of a dog’s routine.
Not only does a sprint in the park do wonders to your friend’s morale, but it also helps them keep healthy and in shape.
That said, while all dog breeds need exercise, some require more physical activity than others.
To help, the experts at veterinary retailer VioVet have put together a list of the dogs that need the most and the least exercise, which will also allow you to decide which breed would best suit your lifestyle.
1. German Shepherd
Bright, strong and obedient, it’s no wonder that German Shepherds are often used in police forces. They are very loyal companions that are not well-suited to apartment life and require at least a couple of hours of exercise every day. Get them stuck in engaging and physically demanding activities – you will soon discover that they are great fun to both train and go on adventures with. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Dalmatians are great exercisers and ideally need two hours of physical activity per day. Once used as ‘carriage dogs’ to guard the passengers and reassure the horses in the stable at night, running long distances is in their DNA. While not the quickest of sprinters, Dalmatians have tonnes of energy. They will truly benefit from long trots in the countryside and mentally stimulating activities. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Labrador/Golden Retriever
Starting with the most active dogs, the Labrador is a very friendly, loved and popular dog that requires a lot of physical activity. Alongside frequent walks by the beach or in the countryside, it also enjoys playing fetch (as the name suggests!) and splashing about in water. Just like Labradors, Golden Retrievers have a soft spot for swimming too. Both very active and clever, they can easily engage in strenuous activities – so make sure you make allowances for that. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Border Collie
If you ever ask a class of dog breeds whether they enjoy working, Border Collies will certainly raise their paw. Often involved in sheep herding, these pooches are always on the move and are quick to complete their tasks. To keep them physically and mentally stimulated, make sure to provide them with lots of exercise. With all that energy, it takes quite a while to wear them out. Photo: Canva/Getty Images