Dog Energy Level and Exercise Needs

We frequently get requests for “couch potato” dogs or very mellow dogs from people who do not want a dog with significant daily exercise needs. All our blockhead dogs, even the mellowest, have exercise needs to consider, so here is a helpful explanation. Please use this guide to decide if one of our dogs is right for you and your lifestyle. Energy level is an important factor in matching dogs with people, and you will want to consider whether you have the time to commit to the dog’s happiness and well-being before adopting.

Please remember too that exercise for dogs (and for people!) is also a way of staying mentally stimulated and healthy. When dogs go on walks or hikes or engage in other physical activities, they are also seeing things, SMELLING things, and often getting opportunities to socialize and practice good leash manners. Being out in the world seeing, smelling, and experiencing life is vital for a dog’s happiness. Just like people, they get REALLY bored if all they ever see is the inside of a house and the same back yard, day in and day out. Boredom leads to destructiveness and more importantly, an unhappy dog.

Low Energy – A dog described as low energy needs a daily walk or two, for exercise and mental stimulation. It doesn’t have to be a ten mile walk, but a mile or so would be nice. They can also enjoy a few play sessions per day with a ball or other toy in the yard in addition to walking. These dogs can be described as couch potatoes for a good part of the day, but they still require a commitment to their mental and physical health through exercise. Plan for about an hour per day to keep a low energy dog well exercised. Obedience work is another fun way to engage.

Medium Energy – Most dogs fall into the medium energy category. These dogs can be active with the best of them, but they don’t have to exercise for hours to be happy and will relax once exercised. Walks, jogs, or hikes of a couple of miles per day are needed. Engaging in play sessions with their person and/or other dogs daily as well is vital. Plan for 1-2 hours daily (not all at once, but spread throughout the day) with your medium energy dog to make sure they are properly stimulated and exercised. Dog-social dogs will thrive with another social dog in the household to keep them engaged and active when their people can’t be around to do so. Daily obedience work is also a wonderful addition for keeping them mentally healthy and happy.

High Energy – These dogs will be happy with an active family who wants to engage with their dog a great deal in many activities. They need 2+ hours (spread throughout the day, not all at one time) of exercise, play, and active engagement with their people to be at their happiest. Tiring them out through swimming, games of fetch, fly ball, agility activities, running, and hiking are ideal. Having a playful dog companion in the home is also often a great idea, so they can help keep each other engaged and exercised when their people can’t be around. They will also enjoy mental stimulation as well through obedience work, dog puzzles, and other challenges.