Some owners cannot handle very active dog breeds. It takes plenty of energy to care for a hyperactive dog than a lazy one. These types of dogs require tons of daily exercise, and will enjoy running and playing for hours on end. If you’re an energetic and outgoing person, then these 26 most active dogs will be perfect companions to join you on your adventures.
Know what you’re getting into
Active dog breeds are not for everybody. Their constant stream of energy will give even the most experienced dog owner a run for his money. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t adopt one of most active dogs, but it’s essential that you research and prepare for them beforehand.
If you’re interested in one of these active dog breeds, make sure they will fit your lifestyle. There are several types of most active dogs. For example, a hunting breed will enjoy games like tug and fetch. Generally hyperactive dogs will love to run a lot, so be prepared to take them to a dog park or get into jogging with your pooch.
Active dogs come in all sizes, and they each have unique personalities, but most will fit perfectly an outgoing and energetic owner. Lots of fur-babies enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, running and more. But an active canine that needs short, vigorous playtime is not necessarily the right one for jogging two miles a day, and will need more exercise or mental stimulation to avoid hyperactivity at home.
26 Most Active Dogs for Energetic Owners
Most Active Dogs Under 25 Pounds
1. Jack Russell Terrier
Perhaps the most energetic dog breed there is the Jack Russell Terrier (pictured above). These active dogs are always up for anything. Unlike some other small dogs, this little pup is not very fragile. It does well in cold and warm temperatures as long as they are not too severe, so it is ready and willing to do some outdoors.
Intelligent and spunky, these canines will find something destructive to do if they are not given something to do. If you are not able to put the time in that this little dynamite needs, it is best that you choose another breed.
2. Shetland Sheepdog
Also known as the “Sheltie” or the “Collie”, you would recognize this breed as the companion to a boy named “Timmy.” Active and smart as a whip, these fur-babies love to be outside, and they can learn any trick you want to teach them.
The main drawback to the Shetland Sheepdog is that they love to bark, but if you can tire them out with exercise, nuisance barking will be kept to a minimum. Make sure you are up to the grooming task as these dogs have long hair that will need to be brushed regularly to reduce mats and shedding.
3. Silky Terrier
Although it looks very similar to a Yorkshire Terrier, the Silky Terrier is classified as a separate breed. More a terrier than a lapdog, this active four-legged family member needs lots of exercise and interaction. “Silkys” are fragile like other “Toy” breeds. They must always be supervised around other pets and children.
Activities need to be planned carefully to minimize the risk of injury. They have beautiful long, silky hair. If you will be participating in a lot of outdoor activities with your pet, you may want to keep it trimmed short.
4. Welsh Terrier
Active, but not hyper, the Welsh Terrier is a sturdy small dog that can keep up with the active family. They do better with older children, and they prefer to be the only animal in the family. Although one of the larger “small” breeds on this list, they cannot tolerate temperature extremes very well.
Outdoor activity needs to be limited to when the weather is mild. While intelligent, these pups are independent and need a patient, experienced trainer. They retain a high prey drive and love to follow their nose through the country side.
5. Rat Terrier
A scrappy little thing, the Rat Terrier is very muscular. They had to have the tenacity and ability to chase their prey above and below ground and finish the job when necessary. They do well in moderate to hot temperatures but get cold very easily.
These active dogs may need a sweater for some outdoor activities. Affectionate and playful, they are very friendly but have a tendency to become jealous of their people. They love to wander around and discover new things. These canines make great exercise buddies.
6. Miniature Pinscher
This active furry friend actually comes in a variety of colors, not just the “Doberman” coloration. Also, they are not a “scaled-down” Dobermans. Like many small breeds, the “Min Pin” was created to be a ratter. They have the energy and courage to take on any activities thrown its way.
While active dogs, the Miniature Pinscher adapts well to apartment life if they get enough exercise. They love to spend time doing the things their humans are doing and can become destructive if left alone for very long.
7. Scottish Terrier
The “Scottie” has a double layered coat to help keep them warm and dry, but they are still rugged enough to withstand some outdoor activity in warm weather as well. The Scottish Terrier is independent and needs an experienced trainer that is consistent.
While they are up to almost any land activity, they don’t swim well, and should never be left alone by water, or forced into water. A “dog’s dog”, these four-legged family members love to run, dig, bark, and chew.
Nicknamed the “Poor Man’s Greyhound” the Whippet was created for racing. They are very active when they need to be, but are calm and laid back between events. A silent breed, they rarely bark.
This combined with their friendly tolerance makes them great to take to the park, camping, or friend’s houses. Great for obstacle courses, this canine can jump really high, so make sure you have a tall, sturdy fence. An added bonus for outdoor lovers, this fur-baby rarely sheds and has an easy to care for coat.
Great for outdoorsy people, the Beagle is a tracker designed to spend all of its time outdoors. When they weren’t assisting hunters, they were usually kept in kennels. These dogs love to get out where they can use their amazing sense of smell and bay their distinctive howl.
They have tons of energy and stamina for all day hunts or hiking trips. Loving and friendly, they usually get along with kids and other pets. Just watch out, if they get off leash or out of their fence, they may not stop until they are several miles away.
Most Active Dogs of 25 to 60 Pounds
10. Irish Setter
These canines have a long, luxurious red coat. Their mild manners make them great with kids, other pets, and strangers. Irish Setters (pictured above) are the perfect companion if you are always going to see new sights and new people. They are not clumsy.
The graceful gait of these active dogs takes them easily over any obstacle on the trail or at the park. Their sensitive personality means they do not like being left alone too often as they can become depressed and withdrawn. Easy to train, they are great for first-time dog owners.
Friendly and outgoing, the Vizsla won’t make a good watchdog, but they do make an excellent hunting companion. They are put to work as pointers and retrievers, and they have the energy for both.
These active dogs thrive on exercise, and they need both on-leash and off-leash activities. In fact, they are more suited to a farm or ranch where they have plenty of room to run and play. Their short, low-shed coat is easy to clean and care for making them great for outdoor sports like hiking or swimming.
Willing and able to go the extra mile, the “Dal” is an old dog of war and is still active today. Dalmatians love to chase and bark. Although they were dogs of war centuries ago, they have been used as guard and attack animals even in recent history.
If left alone much, they will become destructive and possibly aggressive. These fur-babies will not be happy with a quick walk around the block. They have the build and temperament for all day hiking, marathon running, and intensive trick training.
13. English Setter
Happy and peaceful, the English Setter is friendly with everyone and everything it meets. They come in a variety of colors, but they are always speckled. Boisterous at play and work, this active four-legged friend is up to trips to the beach, the forest, or the park.
While they are intelligent, it is hard for them to tame their lackadaisical attitude long enough to be seriously trained. Avoid harsh training techniques with this dog. Use reward-based training or this dog can become dangerously withdrawn and timid.
14. Australian Shepherd
These canines are agile and energetic. They are great for any sports, including Frisbee, swimming, and running. If they could talk, they would be that friend that says, “Hey, everybody! Watch this!” Intelligent, loyal, and easy to train, “Aussies” make perfect companion dogs.
Even though they are double-coated, they do well in hot and cold temperatures making them perfect for year-around Australian Shepherds love to chew, so make sure you are always stocked up on toys and bones.
15. Siberian Husky
Although these fur-babies are not suited for warm to hot weather, they are great for Wintery sports. Bred to pull sleds across frozen tundra, they have the energy and stamina for even the most active people.
The Siberian Husky is well suited to live in a pack, even if it is a human pack; however, they want to be the Alpha and must learn to see humans in this role. If not, they become aggressive. A popular breed, make sure you get your new pup from a reputable breeder.
16. German Shorthaired Pointer
A great addition to an active family, the German Shorthaired Pointer is friendly and energetic. These four-legged friends are intelligent and willing to please which makes them easy to train.
Whether you or looking for a hunting companion, or a running companion, this is a great breed for you. If you are only active occasionally, this is not the breed for you. The “GSP” needs at least one hour of intensive exercise a day to avoid nuisance barking and chewing.
17. Labrador Retriever
The “Lab” has always been one of the most popular dogs in the world for some very good reasons. Labrador Retrievers love people and have a desire to please, so they are a joy to be around. They have the energy, agility, and stamina to be a great addition to the active family.
These active dogs make great hunting dogs and companion dogs. Their short coats are easy to care for even when they are active outdoors. Gregarious and playful, these pooches will need obedience training starting young, or they could easily hurt someone.
18. Border Collie
A favorite in dog shows, the “Border Collie” can master many activities. With grace, agility, speed, and smarts, they make excellent show dogs. They also make excellent companions for active people. Great for the inexperienced dog trainer, the intelligence and happy personality that this fur-baby possesses makes it easy to train and own.
While these active dogs need much human companionship, they usually do not participate in nuisance barking or chewing. They love attention and cuddling and will be happy while active or while on the couch.
If you are active in water sports or marsh hunting, it is best to groom the Poodle into their traditional shape. The shape helps protect their joints from the cold and provides them with better buoyancy. If you will mostly have this active breed on land, feel free to keep their hair clipped short.
These fur-babies are intelligent and intuitive. They know what you want almost before you ask for it. They have the energy and stamina to keep up with even the most active people. Dogs of this breed are prone to weight gain, so exercise is good for them.
20. Portuguese Water Dog
Similar to a Poodle, the frizzy coat on these pups make them great for water work. Their traditional job included catching and herding fish – yes, you read that right. While they can be active on land and water, they really love the water and enjoy these activities most.
While they do have seasonal shedding, the other times they shed very little and are considered hypoallergenic. While they are larger dogs, they can easily adapt to apartment life as long as they have daily opportunity to burn off their energy.
21. Golden Retriever
Often mistaken as a “Yellow” Lab, the Golden Retriever is its own breed. Golden Retrievers do share many of the same traits as their cousins. Social and loving, these canines do well in homes with humans of all ages and many species of pets.
They are energetic and playful making them great companions for outdoorsy people. They can learn many activities but are sensitive so reward-based training must be used. Pups of this breed don’t try to chase things and get out of fences, but they do love to chew. They need an outlet for this desire.
22. Tibetan Terrier
The Tibetan Terrier has long facial hair to protect its eyes, but you can keep it trimmed close. They have feathered feet that act as snow shoes to make winter travel easier. In fact, they are most suited for colder climates, but can navigate warmer ones just fine.
You can keep these canines clipped short, but they do shed quite a bit and require much maintenance. Originally used as guard dogs, they don’t have much patience for kids and other animals. They are better for a home with active couples or singles.
23. Welsh Corgi
The Welsh Corgi actually comes in two different breeds, the Pembroke and the Cardigan. For the purpose of this article, I have combined them. Both are very active dogss with similar characteristics. The Corgi sheds quite a bit and that is commonly the reason that people may avoid this breed.
Traditionally herders, these four-legged family members have endurance and agility. They can still be used as professional farm dogs, but are more often seen in families. They love to be active and are happiest when they have “jobs” to do.
Most Active Dogs Over 60 Pounds
Similar to other “Spitz” breeds, the Akita was made for Artic In fact, it is considered torture to own these canines in sub-tropical or tropical climates. A popular breed for therapy work, these pups love having things to do.
They are athletic, energetic, and courageous – great for learning and experiencing new things. They have an ingrained pack instinct and can become aggressive and destructive if left alone too often. They are not always great for kids and other pets, but with proper pack-leader and socialization training, they can do just fine.
25. Bernese Mountain Dog
While calm and mellow, this behemoth still needs vigorous exercise and play, but don’t push it too hard in warm weather. These canines get very attached to their family and are not easy to re-home. If you decide to share your home with one of these large dogs, make sure you are up to the task.
These active dogs need more than 5 minutes in a fence to stay happy. They need at least 30 minutes a day of brisk exercise or play. Due to their size, obedience training needs to start early.
26. Doberman Pinscher
Bred to be a guard dog, this fur-baby needs proper training and socialization to avoid being aggressive. The “Dobie” loves to stay active as long as the weather is warm. They are not designed for cold temperatures.
The Doberman Pinscher is a well-oiled machine. They don’t participate in nuisance barking or chewing, and they are intelligent and easy to train. Don’t let their calm demeanor fool you, they are still energetic dogs and love to work and play.