10 Dog Breeds that Fetch

Australian Shepherd standing in field of tall dead grass

Playing fetch is an excellent exercise for your dog and allows you to build a strong bond with your canine. Sometimes, it is believed that only retrievers are good at this game. Although retrievers do dominate this category, there are some other breeds that are also good at fetch. For this reason, some of the entries in the following list might surprise you.

Dog Breeds that Like to Play Fetch

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd playing fetch

This smart and versatile breed requires an energetic life to stay calm and happy. Due to their herding background, it is important to provide them with interactive activities to burn off their energy. A game of fetch is the perfect solution for their physical as well as mental exercise. This is because fetch allows them to chase and catch in a whole lot of ways, either by staying on the ground or leaping in the air.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois running with ball in mouth

Given its striking resemblance, Belgian Malinois is sometimes confused as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd dog. However, this smaller cousin of German Shepherd is a different breed that is amazingly easy to train. These working dogs require a lot of exercises (both physical and mental) to stay happy and healthy. For this reason, fetch is an ideal exercise for a Belgian Malinois to get rid of its extra energy.

Border Collie

Border Collie running with flying disk in mouth

The desire of Border Collies to please their parents is what makes them well-suited for the game of fetch. In addition to this natural instinct, this loyal breed likes to keep everything in place. Similarly, they have an extreme work drive that urges them to accept all kinds of jobs.

Border Collie is one of the smartest dog breeds and this makes the training part a lot easier. Consequently, you can enjoy some healthy play sessions with your canine after a hectic day at work.

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel standing in grass

This versatile and lively breed was originally developed to flush out birds. However, their association with hunting made them familiar with other activities like retrieving. These energetic dogs love to chase and bring the prey back to their parents.

Playing fetch encourages the playful nature of English Spaniels as they can bring the target back to you. Failure is NOT an option with this breed and they will keep looking for the prey until they find it.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer running next to pond with stick in mouth

The athletic body and hunting instincts are what make these dogs a perfect sporting breed. Indulging in a rigorous session of fetch is an ideal activity for this energetic breed. They have a reputation of being excellent retrievers who are equally proficient in air, in water, or on the ground. They can run for hours and love to spend such bonding moments with their parents.

If you provide your German Shorthaired Pointer with sufficient mental and physical stimulation, it will become your most affectionate companion.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever running in grass with ball in mouth

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular family dogs around the world due to their loving nature. The combination of a tolerant attitude and high intelligence makes them a highly capable domestic breed. Similarly, they have also been quite successful as working, therapy, and sports dogs. All you need to do is to provide your Golden Retriever with some daily exercise and he/she will become your perfect partner.

As the name itself suggests, this breed has a history of retrieving for hunters. Therefore, fetch is an ideal game for these dogs to expend their energy. Take your pet’s favorite ball or toy and let him/her chase it around your backyard to keep your companion calm and happy.

Labrador Retriever

Yellow Labrador Retriever running outside with ball in mouth

Owing to their fun-loving demeanors, Labradors are the most popular dogs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Labs have a history of working with fishermen as they retrieved fish from the North Atlantic. The trait of hard work trickled well to the modern Labradors who are muscular and love outdoor activities.

They perform a lot of demanding jobs like retrievers for hunters and search and rescue dogs. The game of fetch is an ideal activity to domestically burn off the excess energy of this breed. Whether you throw their favorite toy across your lawn or a stick into the water, they will bring it right back.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer standing in grass with tongue out

If you are looking for a small dog with a massive personality, Miniature Schnauzer is the breed you need. They are a complete treat to have as these playful creatures will keep you laughing at all times. These enthusiastic dogs hail from Germany and were originally bred for farm work. 

Although this breed was not developed to retrieve, their energetic nature and desire for interaction make them a big fan of fetch. Having said that, it can be a little difficult to train them in the retrieving part. They are somewhat instinctive about chasing their prey but the “bring it back” aspect will need training.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever standing in grass

It is the smallest of all retrievers and is often confused with Golden Retriever due to its color. As the name clearly suggests, the primary purpose of developing this breed was to ploy ducks closer to the hunters. In addition to that, retrieving the prey was also a part of the job description. For this reason, a game of fetch is an ideal exercise for this high-energy dog.

Considering the clever and friendly nature of the Duck Tolling Retriever, it is incredibly easy to teach this dog. It has the energy and instinct to keep retrieving a toy (ideally a duck) again and again.

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle with rope ball toy in mouth running with with 2 smaller poodles

The general perception about poodles is that it is a froufrou breed. However, that’s NOT true as poodles were originally bred as a water retriever in Germany. Contrary to popular belief, the curly coat of a standard poodle is not for style. Instead, it facilitates movement and protects the dog in cold waters.

These athletic dogs are fascinated by all kinds of games and fetch is one of their favorite ones. Whether you want to play on the ground or in water, they have the skill and energy to pull it off. This intelligent breed can be pretty quick to learn any new idea that is proposed to them.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.