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8 Dog Breeds that Need the Most Exercise

Dalmatian standing on sandy beach

All dogs need exercise to stay healthy, but some of the high energy breeds require a lot more than others. These canines can develop negative behavior, like hyperactivity and chewing, if they don’t get enough exercise. Similarly, lack of physical activity makes them more vulnerable to health problems, like obesity.

On the other hand, energetic dog breeds are perfect for those parents who have an active lifestyle. Bringing home a dog that doesn’t match your ways of living can be quite frustrating for both parties. Therefore, you must make a realistic estimate of the energy levels of different breeds before selecting a companion. The following is a list of 8 dog breeds that need the most exercise.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd standing on hill top with blue sky in background.

These working dogs were originally bred to herd livestock in the western United States. This is one of the primary reasons why this breed has so much energy. They require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay fit and full of life.

Australian Shepherds have all the qualities to become excellent family companions if you could find them an activity. The excessive exercise needs of this active breed can be fulfilled by indulging them in different dog sports. Some of the dog sports that they like include agility and disc games. Alternatively, an Australian Shepherd is a perfect running or cycling partner.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois standing in grass field

These athletic dogs were originally developed for herding purposes in Belgium. They have some of the highest exercise requirements among popular breeds. Consequently, it is quite common to find a Belgian Malinois in the military or police. 

Belgian Malinois are also considered one of the cleverest dog breeds in the world. This combination of never-ending energy and intelligence is generally too much for new owners. Similarly, it is difficult to provide them enough exercise in a small space. Therefore, they are not suited for apartment life and need an experienced owner to bring the best out of them.  

Border Collie

Border Collie with front paws on a fallen tree.

This dog breed was bred to herd sheep in the hilly border country between Scotland and England. The unlimited energy and stamina of these smart dogs were ideal for this job and they served the purpose diligently. Even today, Border Collies are used as herding dogs on farms and ranches around the globe. After all, it’s a beneficial way of satisfying these dogs who need the most exercise.

Border Collie is among the most intelligent and obedient dog breeds that require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. However, these dogs can exhibit destructive behavior if they are not assigned a job. For this reason, it is necessary to keep them occupied through positive training, dog sports such as frisbee, and other healthy activities.


Close up of Dalmatian with trees in background

These coach dogs were initially bred (in Croatia) to run long distances alongside horse-drawn carriages. Such a historical background clearly explains the high energy and impressive stamina of Dalmatians. During that time, their job was to protect the rider from wild animals and bandits. Later on, this sleek breed was used for performing several different tasks, like hunting and circus performance.   

The unique appearance of Dalmatians is quite popular among people. It is one of the reasons why a lot of families are interested in adopting this breed. However, you must understand their exercise requirements before bringing them home. A bored Dalmatian can make your life very exhausting because it can develop negative habits.

Irish Setter

Irish Setter sitting on rocky cliff overlooking ocean

These gundogs hail from Ireland and were used to hunt birds. Although they belong to the Sporting Group, Irish Setters still have high prey drive, especially for birds. Due to their sublime athleticism and graceful personality, the popularity of these canines grew quickly. Consequently, they became popular domestic dogs who were always full of energy.

Irish Setters have a reputation for being mischievous and inquisitive. These active family companions have done well in several dog sports and outdoor activities. For instance, they have done incredibly well in obedience, agility, and tracking. These family dogs are also quite friendly with children and make great playmates.     

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier puppy with stick in mouth standing in grass

This clever dog breed was developed in England to hunt foxes, nearly 200 years ago. Although they are affectionate and charming, their lively and independent personality can prove difficult for amateur owners. Due to the surprising energy and intensity, Jack Russell Terriers are only recommended for seasoned parents.

Also known as Parson Russell Terriers, these small dogs are quite skilled when we talk about jumping. They can easily jump over objects that are taller than their bodies. They are one of those dogs that need the most exercise to release their energy. In the case of boredom, they can develop destructive behavior, such as digging and chewing.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky running in snow

The origin of Huskies is enough to suggest that they need the most exercise to stay happy. These powerful canines were bred to pull sleds in the snowy mountains of Siberia. As a result, they are quick, nimble, and love to lead an active life.

A lot of people tend to adopt a Siberian Husky, based on its beauty and friendly nature. However, it can be troublesome for both parties if you don’t research properly (before adopting) about this breed.

Huskies are known to be very mischievous, and they won’t need a second invitation to escape. Similarly, they need plenty of daily exercise that can be difficult to manage in an apartment.


Weimaraner standing on dirt path in wooded area

This elegant dog breed was initially developed (in Germany) to hunt big game, like bear and deer. Even though Weimaraners have done well as family companions, some of these dogs are still working on the hunting grounds. Due to their beautiful and unique coat, these canines are nicknamed as ‘Silver Ghost’.

The hunting heritage of Weimaraners gives them a lot of energy and high prey drive. Consequently, they love to have an active lifestyle and require plenty of exercise in their daily routine. This thin and agile dog is the perfect running companion if you like to make long miles.   

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