As a dog lover, you may have heard the idea that small dog breeds require less exercise than larger breeds. This is a common belief, but unfortunately, it is not true. Small dog breeds, just like their larger counterparts, need regular physical activity to stay healthy and happy.

Small Dogs Need Exercise Too

small dogs

One of the biggest misconceptions about small dog breeds is that they don’t need as much exercise as larger breeds. People assume that due to their size, small dogs have lower energy and are content lounging around all day. However, this is not the case. Small dog breeds, just like any other breed, need exercise to maintain their physical and emotional health.

A study conducted by the University of Liverpool in 2018 found that small dog breeds, such as Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Yorkshire Terriers, were less likely to receive the recommended amount of exercise compared to larger breeds. The study also found that owner perception, such as the belief that small dogs require less exercise, played a significant role in the amount of exercise small dogs received.


The Importance of Exercise

Exercise is vital for dogs of every size and breed. Regular exercise can help your dog maintain a healthy weight, build and maintain muscle strength, and improve joint health. In addition to physical health, exercise can also improve a dog’s mental well-being. Dogs need mental stimulation and variety to avoid boredom, anxiety, and destructive behaviors.

According to the American Kennel Club, small dogs should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, while larger breeds may require up to two hours of exercise daily. However, every dog is unique, and the amount of exercise they need can vary based on their age, breed, health, and activity level. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the right exercise routine for your furry friend.

Types of Exercise for Small Dogs

When it comes to exercise, small dog breeds are not limited. There are many activities that small dogs can enjoy, and it’s important to find what works best for you and your dog. Here are some of the popular exercises for small dogs:


Walking is a simple and effective exercise for small dogs. A 30-minute walk can provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog. Walking can also be an excellent way for you to bond with your furry companion.


Running or jogging can be a good option for small dogs, especially if they have a higher activity level and energy. However, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the distance and pace.

Playing Fetch:

Playing fetch is an excellent way to provide mental stimulation and exercise for your dog. Most small breeds enjoy playing fetch and running after toys.

Agility Training:

Agility training involves teaching your dog to navigate a course of obstacles. This type of exercise can provide both physical and mental stimulation for your dog.


Swimming can be a low-impact exercise for small dogs, making it an excellent option for dogs with joint problems. However, not all small breeds are natural swimmers, and it’s important to supervise them at all times near water.


In conclusion, the misconception that small dog breeds require less exercise is a myth. Small dogs, just like any other breed, need regular exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. Remember to consult with your veterinarian to determine the right exercise routine for your furry friend.


– University of Liverpool. “Small dogs have less energy than bigger breeds.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 12 Nov. 2018.
– American Kennel Club. “How Much Exercise Does a Small Dog Need?”.

Further reading

– “The Truth About Small Dogs and Exercise.”
– “5 Fun Ways to Exercise Your Small Dog That Don’t Involve Running.”

By Peter

4 thoughts on “The Misconception That Small Dog Breeds Require Less Exercise”
  1. Great article, it’s important to debunk the myth that small dog breeds require less exercise than larger breeds. However, it would be helpful if the article included some specific examples of how to incorporate exercise into a small dog’s daily routine, such as taking them on a 15-minute walk in the morning and a 15-minute walk in the evening, or playing fetch for 20 minutes each day. This would give readers a clearer idea of how to meet their small dog’s exercise needs.

    1. Thank you for your valuable feedback. We appreciate your suggestion and will definitely work on incorporating more specific examples in future articles.

  2. Great article! I always thought that smaller dogs required less exercise, but the study conducted by the University of Liverpool really opened my eyes. What are some other common misconceptions about small dog breeds and their needs?

    1. It is true that the amount of exercise a dog needs varies by breed and individual dog. Another common misconception about small dog breeds is that they are all lap dogs and don’t require much activity. While some small breeds, like the Chihuahua, are more suitable for apartment living and less exercise, others such as the Jack Russell Terrier and Boston Terrier, require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.
      It is also important to note that small breeds can be prone to dental issues and may require more frequent dental care compared to larger breeds. A great resource for learning more about small breed dogs and their needs is the American Kennel Club’s website:

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