Dog Breeds That Need The Most Exercise

Dog Breeds That Need The Most Exercise

Different dog breeds have different energy levels, and some dogs are more energetic than others.

It’s an essential factor to consider because a high-energy dog will not be a perfect fit for dog owners with less active lifestyles.

For example, a high-energy dog may be suitable for you if you don’t have a yard for them to run in or time to take them for walks.

However, if you can keep up with an energetic furry friend, read on for some of the most energetic dog breeds.


Various Dog Breeds Have Different Needs

Dog personality traits and energy levels are primarily defined by their breed history, instinct, and genetics.

The breed is deeply entwined with the dog’s genetic code, and their instincts are based mainly on their history.

Choosing the right dog suited for you and your family’s lifestyle is vital. Some of the best dog breeds that make high-energy dogs include:

Herding Dogs

Most herding dogs are athletic, intelligent, and serious, with an instinct for working, as their ancestors were bred to help organize and herd. They need to play around and run regularly and love agility challenges. They include the Belgian Sheepdog, Australian Shepard, Shetland Sheepdog, Bearded Collie, Border Collie, and German Shepard.

Hound Dogs

Hound dogs are curious, intelligent, and need to explore. You need to be patient with them as they’re often interested in tracking scents or sights you’re not interested in.

Hunting Dogs

Also called sporting dogs, hunting dogs love an active lifestyle. Bred to be hunters, they can be active and alert at all times and find, flush out, point, hold or retrieve what they’re hunting.

Working Dogs

Working dogs are the most diverse group of dogs. Bred to help you, they’re strong, intelligent, and historically pulled sleds or guarded livestock. They make great pets provided you’re consistent, have space for them, and keep them active.

Brachycephalic breeds are bred to be short-headed and flat-faced.

These dogs have shortened snouts and are usually low-energy because they’re prone to respiratory issues.

Little dogs like pugs and bulldogs are examples of brachycephalic breeds.

Big dogs like Great Danes can also be low-energy dogs.

They may be big and strong, but they are couch potatoes who don’t have as much energy as other dogs.


The Most Energetic Dog Breeds

If you’re looking for high-energy dog breeds that can keep up with your active lifestyle, the following can make great companions.

Most are athletic dogs from active dog breeds and can be the family dog or watchdog as they’re very territorial for their people.

Thanks to their high energy, they can walk or run long distances, making them an excellent match for pet parents who can keep them exercised and entertained.

Let’s explore the appearance, unique breed characteristics, personality, and intelligence of some of the most active dog breeds.


Border Collie

Border Collie

The border collie is intelligent, affectionate, and energetic.

They can feature a rough or smooth coat ranging from black and blue to gold, white, red, lilac, sable, seal, slate, and many other colors. It loves to run and makes a great running partner.

The American Kennel Club describes the Border Collie as one of the most agile, durable, and balanced dogs.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell

The Jack Russell Terrier is one of those little dogs with immense energy.

They love to run and are the perfect size for high-energy playtime with kids.

Tireless and eager, they seem to have an almost inexhaustible supply of energy, making them suited for pet parents who are active and outdoorsy.

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terriers, nicknamed the "King of Terriers," are distinguished as hunters, companions, and athletic dogs.

Standing at around 23 inches, it’s the largest of all terriers and can feature black and tan or grizzle and tan colors.

They make great companions and excel in family activities or sports.


Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier, nicknamed the "American Gentleman," is a lively companion.

It’s recognized by a stylish 'tuxedo’ coat, which can be white, and brindle, black, or seal.

Boston Terriers are compact and well-balanced little dogs that are ever alert to their surroundings, making them great city pets.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Aussies are very energetic, with strong guarding and herding instincts.

They need daily exercise to be happy and will make great companions to your exercise routine.

An iconic part of cowboy culture, Aussies possess the mental drive and physical stamina to work all day.

They'll herd anything from birds and other dogs to kids. They’re very intelligent and can hoodwink you.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Extremely alert, vigilant, and courageous, the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is related to Australia’s wild dog, Dingo.

The ACD has boundless energy and a supple gait, making it an excellent running partner.

They’re intelligent enough to outsmart you routinely, and pet parents are advised to participate with their ACD in some sport, work, or regular exercise.




The iconic spotted Dalmation is a dignified, muscular dog built to go the distance.

They have one of the most distinctive coats, with delightful, eye-catching spots of black or liver.

Standing between 19 and 23 inches at the shoulder, they’re dependable watchdogs, loyal and loving.

It’s excellent for hikers and bikers and anyone who needs physical and mental activity.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a fine, all-purpose super dog. It’s large, muscular, agile, noble, and highly intelligent.

They can stand 26 inches tall and are loyal, confident, and courageous. The German Shepherd makes a great family pet and guardian.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

The lovable Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in America. It’s well-balanced, sturdy, famously friendly, and will bond with the whole family and socialize with neighbors.

It’s an enthusiastic athlete that needs lots of exercise to stay mentally and physically fit.


Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Bred to be a sled dog in the cold climates of Northeast Asia, the Siberian Husky features excellent endurance and is a fantastic long-distance runner.

They enjoy family life, get along with other dogs, and are naturally clean with little doggy odor.



Poodles are super intelligent and active and enjoy all types of activity, including running, walking, and swimming.

Your Poodle needs to stay busy and active to avoid getting into trouble.

They feature curly, low allergen coats and are elegant, athletic dogs suited for all reasons and seasons.



Quick, curious, and energetic, the Beagle loves to play and needs daily activity to ensure they don't follow their noses into trouble.

An ancient English rabbit hunter, it’s solid, sturdy, and "big" for its size. Beagles can be lemon, white and red, or tricolor. They’re excellent family dogs who need plenty of playtimes.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Confident, intelligent, and versatile, the Belgian Malinois forges unbreakable bonds with pet parents.

A member of the herding group can feature rich fawn to mahogany coat colors, and plenty of exercise by your side is key to its happiness.

They’re highly sought after as police and military dogs.


Welsh Corgi

Welsh Corgi

The Welsh Corgi is a lively, strong, and athletic little herder that presents a big dog in a small package.

They’re equipped for a hard day’s work with short but powerful legs, a deep chest, and muscular thighs.

They’re vigilant watchdogs, and activity and togetherness make them loyal, loving pets.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a muscular, sturdy dog famous for its lustrous golden coat.

They’re trustworthy, outgoing, and eager to please family dogs that take a playful and joyous approach to life.

They’re powerful, energetic guard dogs that enjoy outdoor play.

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

Min Pins are sturdy, compact dogs with a smooth, shiny coat that can be solid red, black, and rust, or chocolate and rust. They’re proud, fearless, quick, and active little dogs.

They need daily exercise and are game for any activity.


Irish Setter

Irish Setter

The high-spirited Irish Setter is known for its swiftness, grace, and a flashy red coat.

They’re excellent family dogs and are among the swiftest of all sporting dogs. They’re bold, highly energetic, and love to run, needing plenty of space and exercise.

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is a lovable bird dog with great stamina, energy, and brains.

It’s muscular, tough, and built for long days in the field. It’s a highly trainable sporting dog bred to work closely with humans. They love long walks, chasing, fetching, and swimming.



The Weimaraner is beloved by pet parents and hunters for its obedience, friendliness, and beauty.

They love plenty of exercise and are instantly recognized by the silver-gray coat. Intelligent and amiable, the Weimaraner is energetic and needs to run to stay physically active and mentally engaged.


Caring For Your High Energy Dog

Physical activity and regular exercise, including plenty of playtime, long walks, and mental stimulation are necessary for high-energy dogs.

Before adopting one, consider whether you can provide daily exercise to tire them out and prevent the development of a destructive temperament.

Some ideas to keep your energetic dog happy include daily walks, regular trips to the dog park, enrolling them in dog sports, agility competitions, or playing hide and seek with their treats to stimulate their minds.

High-energy dogs can also have unique dietary requirements with plenty of vegetables and meat, so consult your vet on what makes a nutritious diet for your breed.

 Related Read: Signs That Your Puppy Is Over-Exercising



Enter your email and receive 10% off your first order.

Thank you!