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
  • 🐕【Indoor and Outdoor Use】 31.5’’ / 80 cm tall panel ideal for small animals like corgis, puppies, rabbits, ducks, guinea pigs, bunnies, and kittens, perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. You can add more pet accessories to this playpen to build a sweet home for your beloved friends.
  • 🐕【Creating Different Shapes】 Panels are connected by metal bars, which allow this dog playpen to be flexibly built in different shapes like octagon, square and rectangle in different sizes by adding or removing panels. You can purchase more sets to increase the playpen size.
  • 🐕【Convenient To Store】 This playpen can be disassembled into a flat and compact size for easy storage when not in use. Flat packing size is also convenient to transport.
  • 🐕【Easy Assembly】 Dog fences are easy to set up within a few minutes under detailed instructions quickly and without difficulties. No tools are required.
  • 🐕【Safety & Security】Ensuring the safety of your pets is of utmost importance to us. Our exercise pen is crafted with appropriate bar spacing and the latches that lock automatically as you close the door. Rounded edges also protect animals while preventing damage to wood or PVC floors. Additionally, stakes anchor the panels firmly to the grass or soft ground.

Last update on 2024-06-21 / 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
  • 🎄Outdoor Exercise: The dog toy hanging from tree is a perfect outdoor dog toys for both small puppy and aggressive chewers up to 200lbs to play in yard, park or outside. When the dog pulls bungee hanging toys, it will bounce higher, the spherical toys entices your dog to chase and play with in the backyard. Let them feel happiness while maintaining a healthy body. ​
  • 🎄Solo Play: When you don't have time to play with your dog, our interactive rope toy can keep your puppy with pulling, swinging and traction by themselve, let them jump and chase like a ball-picking game, and also you can also use it as the spring pole to relieve pets boredom. Pull toy for dogs can provide hours of fun, make your dogs entertain themselves and keep them busy.
  • 🎄2 Reflective Rope Toys: Our chew toys are made of reflective polyester which is more durable for small breeds and large dogs. Dogs can easily catch the rope toy at night. Also, the 2 chew toys can be used alone as a aggressive chewers to keep dog teeth healthy.
  • 🎄Easy to Install & Height Adjustable: Pass the strap through the chew rope toy, then wrap the bungee rope around a sturdy tree branch, wrap it around and tighten it, it takes 3 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 dog tug of war toy doesn't appeal to your dog, replace it with dog tetherball. It will work!
  • 🎄Safe & Durable Bungee Cord: We love our pets! Compared to the spring pole dog toy, our strap attach to the toy is polyester weave, which can protect our dogs teeth and prevent excessive pulling and breaking.This bungee cord has been thickened twice for long-time use. Metal parts are kept away from your pet's mouth or body so that your dog will not be harmed during play.

Last update on 2024-06-21 / 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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