How Much Backyard Does A Dog Need

How Much Backyard Does A Dog Need

Different dog breeds need different size backyard spaces depending on their activity and exercise needs. Many dog breeds have high energy levels, and this makes it necessary to have a bigger backyard. You might be wondering how much backyard does a dog need?

Optimally a bigger, more energetic dog like Pointers or Fighters that are 35 lbs to 80 lbs will do well in 2,500 square feet of a play area in your backyard. Smaller, less energetic dogs like Retrievers or Spaniels do fine in about 200 to 500 square feet of backyard space.

Energetic dogs might get frustrated if they stay in closed spaces for a long time, and hence the need to have a backyard that meets the energy needs of your dog breed. 

A dog can get enough exercise and stimulation when they play in the yard, but it is better to opt for a dog with little energy needs if you have a smaller backyard. 

A dog that is confined to indoor spaces might bark as they are distressed, but when they are left to play in the backyard, they can stop barking.

How Much Space Does A Dog Need Outdoors

Why Is Space Important

Space is important if you have a dog, for exercise and play. If you have a larger dog, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a bigger backyard. 

Sometimes smaller dog breeds need a bigger backyard space if they are very energetic. Having more space for the dog helps them get active, which helps deal with weight issues and other lifestyle diseases. 

When determining which size dog you should get for your size backyard, you really need to look at the personality and exercise needs of that dog first. 

There are signs to look out for when you might need a bigger outdoor space for your dog like digging, constant barking, chewing outdoor furniture, and destroying toys quickly.

Dog Breeds Suitable For Tiny Backyard

If you live in a city or have a tiny backyard, it is better to get a dog that needs little space like a Poodle or an English Bulldog that lounges and laze most of the day. 

These dogs could do well just going on daily walks, so even with the little balcony or backyard, the dog could be fulfilled chilling in a tiny urban oasis.

Dogs Breeds Suitable For Small Backyard

A small backyard is big enough to hold picnic table dog breeds like a Yorkshire Terrier or Spaniels. They might be brave and energetic, but they do require some exercise even with a small body size. Another dog that would thrive in small outdoor spaces is the Cavalier King Dog breed.

Dogs Breeds Suitable For Medium Size Backyard

Dogs such as a Pembroke Welsh Corgi or a Boston Terrier need a medium size backyard to have enough room for exercise and fun. They need enough room for throwing the ball around and playing fetch. If you leave them alone for extended periods, they can get bored and frustrated and start chewing on things.

Dog Breeds Suitable For Large Backyard

Dog breeds like a Husky, Setters or Guard Dogs need a lot more outdoor space to roam around. These breeds like to run and play so they don’t like being cooped up a lot. Having a fenced yard is recommended so they can freely play throughout the yard.

How Many Square Feet Does A Dog Need

Ten most common dog breeds, what is their size/weight, and how much backyard space do they need.

Dog BreedSize / WeightBackyard Space Needed
English Bulldog50 lbs100 sq ft
Toy Group20-30 lbs100 sq ft
Spaniels20-35 lbs200 sq ft
Dalmatians50 lbs500 sq ft
Retrievers55-75 lbs500 sq ft
Guard Dogs50-80 lbs2,500 sq ft
Pointers45-75 lbs2,500 sq ft
Sheepherders50-80 lbs2,500 sq ft
Fighters35-75 lbsMore than 2,500 sq ft
Setters65-85 lbsMore than 2,500 sq ft

Backyard Solutions For Dogs

It is good to fence the backyard so the dog does not wander away. If you don’t have a fence, what I have found that works best for my dog is this large heavy-duty outdoor playpen. It gives him enough space to roam around without being able to run away. When not in use, it folds away.

YAHEETECH 24/32/40-Inch 8/16/32 Panel - Heavy Duty Pet Playpen
  • 🐶【Reinforced Details for Sturdy Structure】Well-constructed for excellent sturdiness. Boasting the thicker wire diameter and dense wires to bring the closer wire gaps provides a safe, enclosed area for your pet to exercise and play. Reinforced frame in detail keeps walls not easily collapsing when pets knock over.
  • 🐶【Multiple Shape Configurations】Pet fence is built by 8 panels which are connected by metal bars, and can be flexibly built in different shapes like octagon, square and rectangle by adding or removing panels. No tools required.Square enclosure dimensions and Area: 128" L x 128" W x 32" H and 113 sq. ft.
  • 🐶【Dog Fence Indoor Outdoor】Our pet playpen is made of premium metal panels and stakes antirust and waterproof powder coated 0.6 x 0.6’’ square tubes ensures safe and long-term use no matter indoor or outdoor.
  • 🐶【Safe & Secure】1.5’’ bar spacing and latch on the door can keep your pets safe in the exercise pen. Rounded edges protect animals from injury, which also prevent causing damage to wood/PVC floors.
  • 🐶【Foldable & Convenient to Store】This 16 individual panels pet playpen can be disassembled into a flat and compact size for easy storing or transport when not in use. Modular fence easy to set up within a few minutes under the detailed instructions.No tools required.

Last update on 2023-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can add water fountains in the backyard so that the dog can access the water, especially during the scorching summer. The backyard should also have adequate open space with paths that can guide the dogs when they are playing.

How To Exercise Dog In Backyard

The best way to get your dog exercise is to play fetch with them in the backyard. You may also blow bubbles using a kid’s bubble bottle and let the dog chase after the bubbles. 

Another suggestion is to tie a rope to a tree or use this retractable tug of war rope found on Amazon so they can pull and swing to have fun.

XiaZ Retractable Interactive Dog Toy - Rope Tug of War Toys for Medium or Large Dogs
  • MUSCLE BUILDER: We designed an interactive hanging bungee toy, which can provide your puppy with pulling, swinging and traction. Let them jump and chase like a ball-picking game, and large dogs can use it to play a tug-of-war game. Tug toys for dogs can provide hours of fun, make your dogs entertain themselves and keep them busy.​
  • EASY TO HANG: Pass the strap through the tether toy, then wrap the bungee rope around a sturdy tree branch, wrap it around and tighten it, it takes a few minutes to complete. You can hang it from a tree or wooden beam and adjust the rope to the desired height depending on the size of your dog.If the new tug war toy doesn't appeal to your dog, replace it with something he likes. It will work!
  • SAFETY FIRST - We love our pets! One of the parts is the bungee cord, which is the moving part of the toy and generates the force. We cover it with polyester weave to prevent excessive pulling and breaking. Metal parts are kept away from your pet's mouth or body so that your dog will not be harmed during play.
  • OUTDOOR SPORTS: Tether tug toy is a perfect exercise tool for when you don't have time to exercise with your dog, it keeps an energetic dog occupied for a while and avoid sitting chewing on the toy all the time. Bungee hanging toys allow you to play tug-of-war or catch with your dog without tearing your arms. Durable and weather resistant material that you can keep outside year round.
  • MULTIPLE USES - You can hang it from a tree branch or wood beam under your deck, or wrap it around a tree. Dog rope toy made of durable polyester, it’s not mostly for aggressive chewers,mostly for tugging. If you are not satisfied, we offer you a full refund, no questions asked!

Last update on 2023-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Helpful Tips to Know How Much Backyard Does a Dog Need

When deciding on the backyard space for your dog, it is important to consider the breed of the dog and the energy needs. All dogs, however, would benefit from outdoor activities where they get to sniff around and play. 

Playing helps your dog burn calories, helping them attain optimum weight and avoid lifestyle diseases. An energetic dog requires more backyard space than one who is inactive. 

An active dog should be able to let out their energy in a bigger backyard, and dogs that are lazier could do with less space.

Final Thoughts

An average size dog requires about 2500 square feet of backyard space. The amount of backyard space needed really depends on the dog breed, their activity and energy level. A bigger dog does not necessarily require more space than a smaller dog.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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