Whenever you’re looking to bring a dog home, it’s important that you know just how energetic the breed that you’re interested in can be.
Unless you plan on training them for agility or you have a very active lifestyle, a high-energy dog may be more than you can handle and you may wind up regretting your decision to add them to your family.
To help you avoid that unfortunate scenario, we’ve compiled this list of the top 15 most energetic dog breeds!
Why Are Some Dogs So Energetic?
Whether you’ve owned dogs before or not, you’ve most likely come across a pup who seemed to be so full of energy that it was almost hard to believe.
Zipping back and forth across the lawn, chasing you around begging to be played with, excitedly dragging you down the road when you try to take them for a walk…this kind of dog can be a lot of fun when you’re in the mood to play with them, but if they are a highly energetic breed, chances are they’ll still be looking to play long after you’ve decided it’s time to wind down.
But why are some dogs so much more energetic than others? One of the biggest reasons why any dog might be acting crazy and out of control is because they haven’t been receiving the level of exercise necessary to even out their energy levels.
This is true for pretty much every dog breed. It’s just that the amount of daily exercise required to calm each breed down varies quite a bit. This is in part because of what certain dogs were bred to do.
High energy levels are a desirable trait for working dogs, so many dogs that were bred specifically for things like herding or killing rodents tend to be very active. Hunting dogs also tend to be very lively, as high energy is most often paired with an enthusiasm for helping their owners to accomplish tasks.
Most Active Dog Breeds Revealed
Here are the most high-energy breeds that all owners should be aware of before deciding on a puppy pal to bring home.
- Border Collies
The border collie is among the smartest breeds in the world, and they’re known to love people. They’re also some of the best herding dogs on the planet, which means that they are absolutely full of energy. They require plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity or they can become destructive. Our suggestion: Walk them for long distances as often as possible!
- Miniature Pinscher
Small breeds are most often assumed to be high-energy dogs. While that isn’t always the case, it certainly is true with the miniature pinscher. These dogs are intelligent, loyal, and they make for great family dogs. However, they were bred for hunting rats, so you can expect them to be highly active and motivated up until they’ve had the chance to burn off their excess energy.
- Jack Russell Terrier
This amazing breed can come in three different types of coat: Rough, broken, and smooth. Jack Russell terriers are loyal, affectionate, and often absolutely bounding with energy. They were bred to hunt foxes and because of this, they pack a whole lot of get-up-and-go in their tiny little bodies. Be prepared for many trips to the dog park if you bring one home!
Originally hailing from the Dalmatian islands in Croatia, this highly intelligent breed was made world-famous by the 1961 Disney movie 101 Dalmatians. In spite of what the film may suggest, however, it’s highly unlikely that anyone could handle 101 of these high-energy dogs at once!
In fact, it’s suggested by some that Dalmatians may be too high energy for homes with small children. Potential dog owners with little ones should bear this in mind.
Poodles can come in all shapes and sizes, and just about all of them are quite energetic. They’re some of the smartest breeds around and they make great family dogs, but they can tend to be anxious without the proper attention. That anxiety has the potential to become aggression, so be sure that you’re able to give your poodle the care it deserves.
- Siberian Husky
Few breeds are more beautiful than the Siberian husky. These dogs are good-natured and very friendly, even to strangers. They can be incredible companions provided that they get the necessary playtime. Remember…these dogs were bred for herding reindeer and pulling sleds for countless miles through the snow and ice. They have a lot of energy.
- Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever is among the most popular dog breeds in the entire world, and for very good reason: They are kind, good-natured, gentle, and intelligent.
Originally bred as fishing dogs and duck retrievers, these dogs often love to play fetch and swim. They need to have some sort of playtime activity to engage in or they may wind up becoming destructive.
- Australian Cattle Dog
These pointy-eared pups have herding in their blood, which means they have plenty of energy to burn. With the proper daily exercise and playtime, you’re likely to find them to be loyal, dutiful pets. However, potential dog owners should know that they can tend to cause issues with other animals, including dogs of the same sex or cats.
The Weimaraner is a friendly and obedient breed that is also fearless and assertive, making them great watchdogs. Just like all other high-energy dogs, however, these pups need to be walked for long distances — preferably on a daily basis — and given plenty of room to run and be free in their own yard.
Bear in mind, too, that this breed can be territorial and therefore potentially aggressive.
- Golden Retriever
Who doesn’t love golden retrievers? This playful, gentle, beautiful breed is the consummate family dog. Like their Labrador cousins, they were bred for retrieving, so they love to fetch and they’re often full of excitement and motivation.
Taking these high-energy dogs to the dog park will likely result in a bunch of new buddies, as this breed is often very friendly.
- Australian Shepherd
As you may have guessed by their name, Australian Shepherds were bred to be herding dogs, and their high energy and willfulness make that quite clear. They’re known to be quite affectionate and good-natured, but they like to work. If you don’t burn their energy, they may start herding your other pets, your kids, or even you.
- Airedale Terrier
The Airedale terrier is the largest of all terrier breeds, earning it the nickname “The King of Terriers.” They were bred as hunters, but they are adept at all sorts of jobs, as they are highly intelligent and quite brave. So brave, in fact, that they aided the British military in World War I, standing guard and carrying messages.
- Belgian Malinois
Bearing a striking resemblance to their close relative, the German shepherd, these beautiful herding dogs are one of four related breeds from Belgium bed to tend to flocks of sheep. As you know, with herding dogs, energy is bountiful. They love to do anything that resembles a job.
- Bernese Mountain Dog
If there were a contest for the perfect family dog, the golden retriever would be the favorite. However, the Bernese mountain dog could give retrievers a run for their money. These beautiful pups are loving, loyal, intelligent, and highly trainable. Keep in mind, though, that this breed is not just energetic — they are also big. That combination is not every owner’s cup of tea.
- English Springer Spaniel
Generations of breeding as a hunting dog have made the English springer spaniel quite prone to zooming around, but they are loyal and affectionate family dogs. They are also highly intelligent. Give them room to run and frequent trips to the dog park and you can burn that energy right off.
How to Keep Up with Your Energetic Dog
So you’ve committed to the lively dog lifestyle and you want to know some techniques for getting even the most athletic dogs to settle down when it’s time to call it a day? No problem!
In most cases, you can keep your energetic pup at bay if you can do the following:
- Go for daily walks/runs
- Give them space to run free
- Give them lots of toys to play with
- Provide plenty of mental stimulation
- Schedule obedience training
Commit to following these five simple rules and you should find that your high energy breed makes for an incredible family dog. Just remember: It may be pretty simple to keep a lively dog at bay, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy!
If you don’t have the time for these things — or the money to pay for doggy daycare or a dog walker — you may not want to bring an energetic breed home with you.
High-Energy Dog Breeds Need Quality Care
All dogs deserve the best care possible, but high-energy dogs demand a certain quality of care that not all potential pet parents can provide.
They require more obedience training to avoid behavioral problems, they need owners to be around more frequently to see that they get plenty of attention, and proper nutrition is even more significant with them than it is for other breeds.
That’s right…high-energy dogs should eat certain healthy foods to account for the speed of their metabolism.
As you can see, the list of high-energy dogs reads like a list of the best dog breeds around. These dogs are beloved by many, but ask anyone who owns one and they’ll tell you that they require plenty of work! Make sure that you’re able and willing to do that work if you commit to adding one of these breeds to your family.
Well, there you have it…the 15 most energetic dog breeds around. Now, you know which dogs require extra attention and extra room to run, but you also know how to care for those dogs and what it takes to give them the happy, healthy life that they deserve.
Truth be told, other lists out there may include different breeds, and that’s because there are plenty of other types of pups who can be high-strung. Read up on the breeds that interest you before you commit to bringing one home. Otherwise, you may be in for a wild ride!