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9 Active Family Dogs! The Best Dogs for an Active Lifestyle!

Woman jogging with dog on a path in a park

Let’s face it, a LOT of us have made resolutions to get more exercise.

Whether we want to trim down, feel better, or fit that dress before spring, exercise is key.

Nearly every dog likes to go for walks, fetch a ball or play chase.  These activities can burn a lot of calories.  Plus, they’re fun both you and your dog.

But there are some breeds who enjoy being active more than the others. In fact, there are also some dog breeds that need little exercise as well.

Higher energy breeds will generally be up for anything.  In fact, they need to stay active so that they don’t become bored and destructive and as long as you are committed to that exercise they make some of the best dogs for an active family.

Today, we’re talking about nine high energy breeds who are the best active family dogs.

What is the most hyper active dog? Click here to learn more.

1 – Border Collie

Border Collie running and jumping with tongue out

Border Collies are a one of the best dogs for exercise.  The Border Collie is an intelligent dog.  Add their intellectualism with their incredible zest for life, and they have more energy than most small children.  The good news is that you can interest them in all sorts of commands and agility training with ease.  

Making them happy can be as simple as burning off calories while running around the yard together while they try to herd you.  They’re game for everything from hiking a different mountain trail every day to mimicking your yoga poses.  You can even teach them to dance with you — there are even dog partnered dance competitions!

Border Collies are good exercise dogs. They do need a lot of physical activity and plenty of tasks to do to stay happy.

Here’s a pretty spectacular video of a Border Collie dancing at the FCI world championship.

2 – Dalmatians

Dalmatian standing in grassy field

With a history of running alongside the coach horses, this is an agile, high-energy breed.  They also had to be highly intelligent since part of their job was to guard the coach.  As we saw with Border Collies, this mix of energy and intelligence can lead to some seriously bad habits if they’re not managed.  That’s what makes Dalmatians a perfect choice if you have an active lifestyle.

Dalmatians are a fantastic choice for learning energetic sport tricks like Frisbee or body tricks.  This type of training is rigorous for both the dog and the trainer, so lots of calories are burned!

What is the ultimate family dog? Click here to find out.

Here’s a video of a Dalmatian enthusiastically catching a Frisbee.

3 – Siberian Huskies

two Siberian Huskies on leashes being walked on wooden boardwalk

What is the best dog if you work all day? Click here to learn more.

Siberian Huskies are absolutely thrilled to exercise with you!  Bred to pull sleds in freezing climates, it’s not surprising that Siberian Huskies need plenty of exercise.  They have endurance, so they love when you take up jogging or hiking.  You need to watch out for them overheating since they’re breeding has given them a thick coat.  But they love to be active all the time, so camping trails and anything outdoors will make them happy.

You can get an idea of the energy level of Siberian Huskies in this video.

4 – Weimaraners

two Weimaraners standing on the bank of a foggy river

Weimaraners are often considered hyperactive because they just go and go all the time.  They love to do tricks but are slightly difficult to train due to their short attention spans.  But you can wear off their manic energy before a session by running around.  Consider running around your yard playing chase as a warm up before your workout.  You’ll find that your Weimaraner is still happy to work out with you, even after that run around the yard!

What is the most sociable dog? Click here to find out.

Check out how excited this Weimaraner is to do tricks!

5 – German Shepherds

German shepherd jumping on a leaf covered wooded path

When you think of an active large dog, you probably think of the German Shepherd.  These dogs are known for their love of activity.  And so intelligent that they’re trained for everything from police to service dogs, there’s no shortage of ways for them to have fun with you.  Swim laps?  They’ll happily swim alongside you.  Going rowing?  They’ll have a blast on the boat, maybe even jumping in for a swim.  They also love jogging and hiking and just about anything you can think of to get some exercise.  German Shepherds are fantastic workout trainers!

Many German Shepherds LOVE water.

What is the most passive dog? Click here to learn more.

6 – Airedale Terriers

Airedale Terrier coming out of an agility training tunnel

Airedale Terriers are the largest breed of terrier, but they’re still true to the high energy of the rest of the terrier breeds.  They love rough play, so if you like to wrestle, they’re a great exercise partner.  They’re also people pleasers, so you can train them easily to do Pilates alongside you.  They love to be physical, so any exercise you do, they’re the perfect companion.

Airedales also LOVE to dig and are one of the breeds that likes to dig the most. This is an important trait to keep in mind as it can be destructive if not channeled properly.

Airedales LOVE to wrestle.

 7 – Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherd playing with ball on a field

Like their German cousins, the Australian Shepherd is incredibly active.  They love to herd, so running around the yard trying to corner you is a great game that will burn tons of calories.  You can also get your workout in by doing body and Frisbee tricks.  This challenges their minds AND their bodies!

What breed of dog is good for anxiety? Click here to find out.

8 – Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terrier running and jumping on a grass covered hill

This little ball of energy is the Energizer Bunny of dogs.  While all terriers tend to be active, the Jack Russell is ready to go in an instant!  Run, jog, hike, swim, fetch, train… you name it — they’re game.  They love sport training.  And they’re great companions for sprint run training.  They love to dig.  So if your idea of a workout involves your garden, your Jack Russell would be happy to help dig holes.  We’d recommend giving them a dedicated spot where they’re always allowed to dig, so they don’t uproot the zinnias every day.

9 – Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog sitting in tall grass

With the word “cattle” in their name, you expect them to love herding.  They’ll love to run and chase in the yard while they try to herd you back into the house.  Australian Cattle Dogs are happy to be your running and hiking buddy.  They’re also incredibly agile and would love to do yoga or Pilates with you.

There are so many dog breeds that are high energy, so if you’re looking for an exercise companion, you won’t have to look too hard.  Find the breed that meets your needs, you family’s needs and your home, and you can’t go wrong.

The Bottom Line on The Best Dog for An Active Family

High energy dogs can be a lot of fun, and they almost always need more than walks. If you are thinking about getting a high energy dog for your active family then make sure you have the time and resources to commit to the keeping the dog engaged and active. It’s a serious commitment.

For other dog breed info check out our articles on the calmest dog breeds, high strung dog breeds, and dog breeds that are good with other dogs.

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johni barresto

Thursday 16th of November 2017

Really amazing article I appreciate your efforts :)

Lucy Flores

Thursday 9th of February 2017

Me and my best friend Zorro.

Likes to walk and hike he loves to play with me and he is a little Chihuahua that will be 10 years of age end of September and he acts like he is still young