The Top 10 Most Active Dog Breeds

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I'm not even going to attempt to place my choices for the most active dog breeds in any type of order as there are bound to be many disagreements among dog lovers—perhaps even over what we mean by "active." For instance, you could pick the 10 most active breeds in general or the 10 most active for families or health enthusiasts. So, instead, I'm going to mix 'em up a bit and present them to you in alphabetical order. Here we go...


Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepard is also known as the 'Aussie,' mate! This breed is a medium sized dog that had been actually developed in the United States and seen in the rough and tumbling old west of the 1800's. The general public has been familiar with these dogs through rodeos, horse shows and Disney movies such as 'Stub: The Best Cow Dog in the West' and 'Run Appaloosa Run.'

The Aussie is a very, good trainable working dog used as stock dogs and herding dogs. They are a very high energy breed that love 'frisbee' games. The Australian Shepherd works great as a rescue dog, a disaster dog and a service dog.


The Aussie's strong legs and hips allow them to accelerate fast and jump as high as 4 feet!

Bernese Mountain Dog

Originating in the Swiss mountains this breed is a large, strong, sturdy, agile and cheerful dog who loves children and farm living! They make great watchdogs and are easy to train, although they tend to hold on to their 'puppyhood' longer than other breeds and take longer to mature. The Bernese Mountain Dog was bred for draft work and can be also trained to pull a wagon or cart. Not a good dog for apartment life as they become inactive indoors, these dogs fair better in a large fenced in yard. These large, active dogs are sensitive to heat but love cold temperatures and require regular exercise.


Border Collie

The Border Collie is one of the most popular of breeds for dog agility competition! This breed excels at showmanship, obedience, tracking, and herding events. Developed in the Anglo- Scottish border region especially for sheep and livestock herding, the Border Collie is very intelligent and obedient and is extremely energetic and athletic. The Border Collie requires a considerable amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation, so much in fact that households not able to provide them with this physicality and mental alertness may cause a neurotic behavior in these demanding dogs! They become bored easily and thus become destructive by chewing furniture and digging holes! This is an extremely active breed!



Commonly known as "the firehouse dog," the Dalmatian's roots trace back to Croatia in the region of Dalmatia.

This is a muscular, well defined breed with much endurance and stamina and is often used as a guardian, a rescue dog and (as mentioned earlier) a fire house dog!

Dalmatians are fleet footed enough to keep pace with a horse, so if you're need a jogging partner, this spotted dog is for you! And the Dalmatian is a good protective dog to keep you safe on your run!


Jack Russell Terrier

Talk about the energizer bunny; the Jack Russell will run that rabbit into the ground, especially when you consider their strong prey drive, which is one reason Jack Russell's should never be left off the leash and why owners of this breed should have a fenced in yard!

The Jack Russell's abundant supply of energy attributes to its short attention span when bored. When he's bored he digs, he barks, he chews, he chases the cats and just plain gets into a ton of trouble. First time dog owners should look elsewhere, especially if they're not devoted to giving this dog at least 45 minutes of exercise a day! This is a very strong willed dog requiring a firm hand and constant training! But on the up side, if you're a jogger, this little fellow may give you a run for your money!


Irish Setter

Indistinguishable from any other dog, the Setter's red coat (originally bred for red and white and still available in these lovely colors) appeared in 19th Century Ireland where their red became a sign for quality and superior sporting ability.

They're good family pets and get along well with children and other household pets (although smaller pets may pose a problem as setters are a hunting breed.)


Setters are also a very active breed which require long, devoted daily walks and running in wide open spaces (after they're trained for off leash running of course, or they may continue to run and run and run!)

Keep in mind that when Irish Setters do not have a job to do they may become bored, hyperactive and potentially destructive! (So do not leave them alone in the backyard for long periods of time!)

Irish Setters are widely used in schools and hospitals as therapy dogs.


Labrador Retriever

Who doesn't love a lab? Labrador Retriever's are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Labs are affectionate, loving and patient and they make an awesome family pet! They're very good natured, which is why they are the top choice for service dogs. Labs love playing. They're good swimmers and enjoy the water. They need to feel like they're part of the family and are good with children, which is good because labs need plenty of exercise which they will become very high strung without.

Siberian Husky

I've always wanted a husky. They are simply beautiful dogs with a mesmerizing gaze and piercing eyes!

Huskies were believed to have originated within the Chukchi Tribe, off the eastern Siberian peninsula and were bred in Northeast Asia. They are known for their incredible endurance and their hard work and are often used for the Alaskan Sweepstakes consisting of a 408 mile dogsled race! They have an excellent temperament which makes them a breed suitable for sledding and therapy work. Siberians come from a cold climate so their coats are thicker than that of other dogs. Siberians require daily exercise like long walks or running in an enclosed area.

The Vizsla

This medium sized short haired dog originally from Hungary is essentially a hunting dog which combines the characteristics of the pointer and the retriever. The Vizsla's popularity for hunting stems from its intense power and drive. It is a highly trainable breed.

The Vizsla is highly affectionate and lively and requires an active family setting providing daily exercise. His golden rust coat is short and even though he sheds he is considered low maintenance.

The Weimaraner

This all purpose gun dog (and family dog) was originally bred for hunting and used by royalty for large game hunting (deer and boar.) When large game hunting was in the decline, Weimaraner's were used for hunting smaller game like rabbits, fowl, and foxes.

The Weimaraner is a breed capable of guarding your home, hunting, and being loving and loyal to you and your family. These dogs love children.

Athletic in appearance, these dogs are lively, happy, and extremely active. It's advisable to have an area for these athletic dogs to run and run!

So there they are - my ten most active dog breeds. It was a difficult time choosing only ten! I added one to the list then I'd remove another and add another and so on. I bet every reader out there can add at least ten more dogs to this list, with no kibble at all. Darned spell checker!

By Tom Matteo