17 Most Active Dog Breeds

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Last Updated: March 13th, 2024

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If you are an active person, you probably want to pick a dog from this active dog breeds list.

Embarking on a life with an active dog breed promises adventure and companionship for those who love to stay on the move. Typically, breeds developed for demanding tasks such as hunting, retrieving, and herding possess an inherent vitality that requires an outlet. Hunting dogs like Pointers and Retrievers have an insatiable appetite for play that mimics their fieldwork, while herding breeds like Collies and Australian Shepherds thrive on problem-solving and complex commands. For individuals and families ready to match this vigor, here are 17 dog breeds that are brimming with life and ready to go the distance.

Border Collie

A marvel of canine intelligence and agility, the Border Collie is a prodigy in herding and dog sports, thriving on mental and physical challenges.

active dog breeds, border collie in the wood

Australian Shepherd

True athletes, Aussies love problem-solving and excel in activities that test their agility, such as flyball or disc games.

Siberian Husky

Bred for endurance sledding, Huskies have endless energy and resilience, perfect for outdoor companionship on long runs or hikes.

Labrador Retriever

Synonymous with friendliness and eagerness to please, Labs adore water-based activities and fetch games, showcasing their retrieving roots.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are both friendly family pets and keen sporting dogs, enjoying interactive play and often thriving in obedience and agility competitions.

Jack Russell Terrier

Small but mighty, Jack Russells are bundles of energy, adept at agility and activities that let them run, jump, and dig. Jack Russel’s are definitely the breed for you if you are looking for an active breed that’s smaller in size.


Known for their stamina, Dalmatians love to run and engage in endurance activities. It’s a nod to their history of running alongside carriages.

dalmatian dog running on the beach


Aristocratic hunters, Weimaraners require substantial exercise and excel in tracking, hunting, and pointing, making great running partners.

Belgian Malinois

Working breed par excellence, Malinois are involved in police and military roles, they also stand out in protection sports and herding.

German Shorthaired Pointer

All-purpose hunters, German Shorthaired Pointers enjoy activities from tracking to retrieving and are eager participants in family outdoor adventures.

English Springer Spaniel

Springers, bred for flushing and retrieving game, are naturally inclined to enjoy activities involving retrieving and water play.


Noble and active, Vizslas excel in sports that showcase their speed and stamina, such as field trials. The Vizsla club of America suggests that Vizlas require at leat 7 hours of weekly exercise.

vizsla running on the beach

American Pit Bull Terrier

Strong and intelligent, Amstaffs are ideal for dog sports like weight pulling and agility. They are thriving as part of the family when they have a job to do.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

They are independent and require plenty of exercise, Ridgebacks are great partners for runs, but also need mental challenges to satisfy their hunting instincts.

Doberman Pinscher

Sleek, intelligent, and excelling in obedience, Dobermans need physical and mental exercise to stay well-rounded.

doberman dog playing fetch

Irish Setter

Energetic, charming, and friendly, Irish Setters are fantastic running companions with swift movements and elegant gaits.


Playful and high-spirited, Boxers enjoy physical activities like agility that let them use their strong bodies.

For those not ready for the high energy of these breeds, consider more laid-back dogs, featured in our article on The Laziest Dog Breeds. Each active breed offers unique traits, but all share a need for engagement to live a fulfilled life.


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