Walking the Dog – How Long to Go For?

Dogs need exercise.  Unlike cats who will conveniently not do very much most of the day, even the smallest dog is a bundle of energy just waiting to explode on an unguarded slipper. People who have, or are thinking of getting a dog usually look at the obligatory daily walk as a good thing.  A chance and reason to get some much needed exercise as much for the owner as for the pet.  

Nevertheless, dogs come in all shapes and sizes and it stands to reason that tiny little Chihuahua and stubby legged Dachshunds are probably not in the same league as Great Danes or mountain roaming St Bernard’s when it comes to how far they need to go to get a good days walk in.   

Fortunately the UK’s Kennel Club has a list on their website of dogs by breed which gives an excellent idea of just how much exercise you should consider giving your four legged friend.  For mongrels and cross breeds, the best thing to do is to pick a purebred dog of similar size and work from that. 

Walking your dog is an essential part of proper dog care.  Its important for the dog’s psychological well being.  Don’t forget however that going outside will leave your pet messy meaning proper grooming is important to maintain good health. 

Here’s a quick guide by category on how much you can expect to walk your Dog.  Do note that exceptions and outliers abound and this should only be seen as a very rough guide.  Consult an expert for proper advice on just how far your dog needs to be walked.

Toy Breeds – Small dogs that can be, and often are found riding around in their owners bags as much as walking on their own paws.  It’s no surprise that these smaller dogs tire quicker than their larger cousins.  The Kennel Club recommends no more than an hour a day of walking.

Terriers – Terriers are hearty smaller dogs, typically bred originally for hunting and killing small animals in their dens like rabbits, foxes and the like.  Though high energy dogs, they quickly burn through what they have to give and generally can be quite happy with a good intensive hour of walking a day.

Hounds – Traditionally bred as hunting dogs, these animals would have accompanied hunters and poachers in times past to help in sniffing out prey as they do today.  Hounds are a diverse bunch ranging from the short and stocky Basset Hound to the giant Irish Wolf Hound.  Walking time is generally split with the smaller members of the class needing about an hour a day while the larger dogs require a good two hours’ worth of exercise every day.

Gun Dogs –  Like hounds, Gun dogs were bred as aides to hunters, but they specialize in fetching and retrieving shot and wounded (or dead) prey.   These high energy dogs typically struggle if they can’t get a good two hours or so a day.

Working Dogs – Sheep dogs, police dogs and other animals bred for fulfilling a particular purpose useful to people, these high energy dogs love the out doors and if kept as pets need plenty of exercise to keep them happy.  No less than 2 hours is typically recommended. 

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