By Mutton Club Staff

Have you decided you’d like a dog in your midlife? A good way to get out and exercise? It’s important to think about how active they may be otherwise you could be in for trouble. Which are the most active dog breeds and the least active?

For some of us, the thought of leaving the house to lift weights or run on a treadmill at the gym may not be 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. Maybe us midlifers need to be more dog!

If you’re thinking about getting a dog yourself, you need to know that it’s crucial to set aside some time for them to walk and run around in an open space. It’s important to recognize, in fact, that 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. 

This said, while all dog breeds need exercise, some require more physical activity than others. VioVet, a veterinary supplies retailer, has 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.

Five of the most physically active dogs

Some dog breeds need a significant amount of exercise to stay happy and fit. Lack of movement can trigger health problems such as obesity and musculoskeletal disorders, which may require medications such as Loxicom to alleviate the pain. If you are not tight on time or simply love long runs and walks too, these pooches are in pole position to become your new best friends. 

1. Labrador/Golden Retriever

Hands down one of the most loved and popular dog breeds, the Labrador is a very friendly 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!

Golden Retriever

2. Dalmatian

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.

3. Siberian Husky

There’s no hiding that it’s difficult to tire out a Siberian Husky. Usually bred to pull heavy sledges and travel long distances in challenging climates, this dog breed has buckets of energy. A Siberian Husky that is not adequately exercised may even dig up gardens or escape.

Siberian Husky

Therefore, it is important to schedule a daily two-hour walk or run and allow them to enjoy some satisfactory physical activity.

4. 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.

German Shepherd

Get them stuck into engaging and physically demanding activities – you’ll soon discover that they’re great fun to both train and go on adventures with.

5. 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.

Border Collie

To keep them physically and mentally stimulated, make sure to provide them with lots of exercises. With all that energy, it takes quite a while to wear them out.

Five of the least physically active dogs

It is an unwritten truth that dogs tend to look like their owners and vice versa. If you prefer a quiet life and do not consider yourself a marathon runner, you may want to consider adopting a pooch that – just like you – does not need extensive exercise to be happy. Here are some suitable candidates

1. Maltese

They may well be intelligent and energetic dogs, but the little Maltese is more than satisfied with a 30-minute walk down the road or a short run in the garden. Indeed, it is plenty of exercise for this adorable dog breed!


Once the pampered babies of noble ladies of the Roman Empire, it is no surprise that the little Maltese enjoys relaxing in its cosy abode.

2. Chihuahua

Tiny and loud, Chihuahuas are small dogs with big attitudes and huge personalities. Weighing just under three kilos on average, it goes without saying that they do not need hours and hours of physical activity.


A stroll in the park will do the job, and they will then be ready to head back home without any complaints.

3. Bichon Frise

More than happy to sit on your lap and be stroked all day, the cloud-like Bichon Frise is the perfect companion for elderly owners or dog lovers with mobility issues. 

Bichon Frise

A short, half-an-hour daily walk is all the Bichon Frise asks for, and will quite gladly spend the rest of their day grooming its fluffy curls.

4. Chow Chow

Famous for their friendly and wrinkly face, the Chow Chow is the perfect cuddly companion for a night in. They are also good dogs for people who have very busy routines, as they only require one walk per day to keep in shape and to socialise with fellow pooches.

Chow Chow

Moreover, they tend to be quite independent. This means that you do not need to stimulate them as much to keep them entertained.

5. King Charles Spaniel

Possibly one of the most regal-looking breed dogs out there, King Charles Spaniels enjoy sitting on their throne most of the time.

King Charles Spaniel

Due to their generally relaxed nature, there is no need to take them on kilometric walks – short strolls will do just fine. That said, they also love some playtime and being around both adults and children.

Ultimately, it is vital to always find time for your dogs to engage in some physical activity. Some friendly companions require lots of exercise; others, not so much. With this list to hand, you’ll be able to discover what dog breed suits your lifestyle best without compromising on their all-important daily ‘walkies’.  


You may also like: Our Dog Love Affair – Who Needs Kids? and Louise Coppin’s Life Of Dog Rescue In Portugal

Last Updated on April 21, 2023 by Editorial Staff

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