Family and dog hiking a mountain at sunset

Is your garage packed with kayaks, running shoes, bicycles and other signs of an active lifestyle? Want a dog who likes to keep moving as much as you do? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven breeds that have the energy to keep up with your go-go-go life.

Labrador Retriever

Dogs for Active Owners

This active breed ranked number one in the American Kennel Club’s most popular breed list from 1991 through 2018. Eager to please, these friendly dogs are happy to join you for a jog or to be your companion on a hunting trip — just as long as they’re by your side.

They’re often the go-to breed for search-and-rescue work or drug-sniffing teams, which are active, physical occupations. Because they tend to love the water, don’t be surprised if your Labrador brings home a blue ribbon from a dock-diving competition.

Golden Retriever

Dogs for Active Owners

Ready for a game of fetch? Most goldens have never met a tennis ball they didn’t like. Another perennial favorite in the AKC’s list of popular breeds, golden retrievers tend to be loyal and are as happy to splash in the lake as they are to accompany you on hunting trips.

Although goldens love to play in the great outdoors, they’re also vehemently people-dogs. So even first-time dog owners can achieve the right balance of activity and one-on-one snuggling to keep these dogs happy.

Border Collie

Dogs for Active Owners

Historically used as a herding dog, this smart breed has energy built into its DNA. If you don’t own a sheep farm, you might find your border collie herding your kids around the back yard.

Happiest when given a job to perform, this breed often excels at canine sports such as agility games, flying discs, tracking, obedience or herding competitions (no surprise there). Border collies need regular activity to challenge their bodies and minds and may be too much for owners who aren’t dedicated to daily exercise.

Australian Shepherd

Dogs for Active Owners

Another hardworking herding breed, the intelligent Aussie has a competitive streak, driven to take top honors in flyball, tracking, obedience competitions and other canine sports.

Still employed at many ranches across the country, the Australian shepherd can put just as much dedication into being your running partner. This smart breed is usually easy to train, but watch out: your dog may outsmart you if you’re new to dog ownership.


Dogs for Active Owners

Another breed that thrives on exercise, the “Gray Ghost” is a running partner that pushes you to go faster and farther. If you’re not up to that high level of exercise, however, your Weimaraner might run rings around your back yard instead, wearing your manicured lawn into a dirt circle.

If you’re a competitive sort, Weimaraners are too, often excelling at agility, tracking and other dog sports. Typically devoted to their owners, this breed is just happy to be by your side, whether you’re hunting, swimming or taking your daily stroll through the park.

Jack Russell Terrier

Dogs for Active Owners

There’s a lot of energy in this small package. Originally bred to help farmers eradicate rodents, this busy breed has a strong prey drive and considers digging as necessary as breathing.

You’d be well advised to channel your Jack’s energy into daily running or hiking or even terrier races, earthdog tests or agility competitions. If you don’t keep this spark plug busy, he or she will often find other more destructive ways to expend all that energy.


Dogs for Active Owners

Want an active dog that has an “off” button, too? Then the greyhound might be right up your alley. Known as the “40-mile-per-hour couch potato,” the greyhound has been clocked at up to 44 miles per hour. But when they are not off to the races, they are often content to lounge around the house with you.

This breed needs daily exercise, but often a daily walk or two will suffice. The rest of the time, they are usually a gentle and calm companion.


Of course, every dog is an individual and may not like or be physically suited for every activity. Before starting any exercise program with your dog, it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian to make sure there are no health conditions that could prevent your pup from engaging in these activities. At the same time, your veterinarian can recommend the right nutrition to help your dog keep up with you.


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The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.