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For centuries and centuries our best friend has been bred for various (but specific) needs: hunting, herding, protecting and, maybe more recently, being the best snuggle buddy. If you two have been spending more time on the couch than on the trail, it’s time to get out this spring and get back into shape!  

Like humans, the best exercises for dogs are the ones that actually interest them. Dogs absolutely need daily exercise to keep their bodies and minds healthy. Plus, if they miss out on proper exercise, they will find their own way to expel all that energy … and that might translate to a raided garbage or torn up sofa.

Understanding the needs of your breed will help you match the best exercise and activities for him. How will you help your dog get into shape this spring?

Toy Dogs/Lap Dogs: They’re cute, but they’re also little balls of energy. This group Includes:

  • Maltese
  • Chihuahua
  • Papillion
  • Shih Zhu
  • Biewer

They are surprisingly agile, so playing chase or fetch with toys is perfect for these little ones.


Terriers: These feisty breeds sniff out prey and pounce, they include:

  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier

Playing hide and seek with treats is a great way to get them out and pouncing. Another tried and true activity is Earthdogging, where your dog navigates through tunnels to locate treats, toys or pretend prey.


Herders: Herder dogs are known for their agility. Some of the dogs of this type include:

  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Border Collie
  • Miniature American Shepherd

Herders love activities that involve tasks. Give them an obstacle that require a little more strategy, and they will perform amazing things.


Hounds: Hounds track with sight, sound or smell, depending on the breed. Dogs in this group include:

  • Beagles
  • Treeing Walker Coonhound
  • American Foxhound
  • Greyhound
  • Ibizan Hound
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback

These dogs are trackers, so the perfect exercises for them involve sniffing something out. Many of these dogs are great for running partners, too.


Athletic/Sporting Dogs: These dogs seem to have endless stores of energy, so it’s extremely important that they get an appropriate amount of daily exercise. This group includes:

  • Retrievers
  • Pointers
  • Large spaniels
  • Setters
  • Siberian Husky
  • Dalmatian

These dogs make the best workout partners, whether you’re a runner, a biker or a hiker. These dogs also love fetching frisbees and other toys from water.

*While these tips are helpful in understanding your dog’s exercise needs, it’s important to consider your dog’s age and overall health when exercising. 

Time To Brush Up?

Sign up for our Brush Up Classes today to help your dog stay sharp on important lessons. Our review training for dogs is a unique opportunity to get to the bottom of problem areas and brush up on the big stuff.

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