How People Exercise Their Dogs

Depending on where you live, you have many options for how, and where, you exercise your dog. The AKC has put together this basic overview of some of the preferred methods used by dog owners to keep their dog’s body and mind active.

Some choices are available to almost every type of dog owner, no matter their location, such as coming up with games and playtime activities that work well indoors. As the infographic below shows, 14% of people surveyed engage in exercise that is unaffected by heat or cold. It’s logical to assume that Minnesotans in January and Arizonans in August prefer to do their canine calisthenics inside!

The most popular activity and location for burning calories, and excess energy, are playing outside and going on daily walks, which together make up 73% of responses.

Dog walking seems like a no-brainer, but making sure your dog doesn’t think that he is walking you may be a challenge for some dog owners. Being pulled down the street at breakneck speed is no fun for either of you. Thankfully, your eager beaver can be taught how to walk in a way that doesn’t dislocate your shoulder or embarrass you in front of the neighbors.

7% participate in competitions, such as agility, rally, dog shows, dock diving, obedience, field events, herding, and more. There are sports for the city-, country-, or suburban dog and his family. And they don’t require that you actually compete—taking part in most of them can be its own reward, in a no pressure environment that’s just for the fun of it.

Our takeaway message is simple: It doesn’t really matter where you exercise your dog, or (for the most part) how. But what does matter, as much as feeding a healthy diet, positive training, and lots of love, is that you exercise your dog, regularly and responsibly.