Top 9 Dog Breeds Ideal for Active Owners

Updated on: Feb 14, 2023
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Top 9 Dog Breeds Ideal for Active Owners

If you are always on the go and enjoy outdoor activities, you need a capable canine companion to keep up with you. Here is our list of the 9 best dog breeds for people with active lifestyles

Labrador Retriever 

One of the most popular dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever, is also a versatile canine. Originally bred in Canada to help fishermen with daily tasks, this dog is a hard worker known for its friendliness and outgoing nature

The Labrador Retriever is also extremely energetic and enjoys playing, hence being the perfect fit for people with active lifestyles. There is no outdoor activity this canine does not enjoy. 

From walking and running to hiking and swimming - Labrador Retrievers enjoy it all. Because of their intelligence and trainability, they also like learning new tricks

Labrador Retrievers can learn to get along with other dogs and cats and are particularly fond of children. Therefore, they make great pets for families that are active and spend significant time outdoors. 

All in all, if you are looking for a friendly, affectionate, and super-active canine companion, you must consider the Labrador Retriever. 

German Shepherd 

The ultra-intelligent German Shepherd is ideal for active people. In its native Germany, the breed was developed for guarding and herding purposes.  Today, it is a versatile work dog (police, military, search-and-rescue). 

The German Shepherd loves playing and exercising. It is popular for its energy and athleticism. Walking, running, hiking, playing fetch are some of the activities suited for the German Shepherd. 

German Shepherds are intelligent and highly trainable. Consequently,  they make excellent participants in dog sports - tracking, obedience, and agility. 

Protectiveness and loyalty are other features of this active dog breed. Modern German Shepherds are true to their original guarding instincts. They can sense danger and will do everything to protect their owners

If you have a go-all-day stamina, rest assured the German Shepherd will keep up with you. Just ensure you provide ample amounts of mental stimulation as well. 

Golden Retriever 

Another popular and friendly breed fit for active people and families is the Golden Retriever. Native to Scotland, the breed was used to retrieve game. Today, it is one of the most common family dogs

The hallmarks of the Golden Retriever’s personality are playfulness and high energy. They love running, hiking, and swimming. Being smart and trainable, they are also great for canine sports - agility, obedience, and retrieving.  

Goldens are gentle, friendly, and affectionate. They get along with everyone - other dogs, cats, and children. Hence they are excellent family pets and a match for families that spend significant time outdoors

Golden Retrievers are also very social and need constant companionship. If not provided with enough exercise and mental stimulation, they can be destructive. 

Overall, Golden Retrievers rank high on the list of active dogs. Consider this dog if you want a dog with an active lifestyle that also enjoys snuggling on the sofa when at home. 

Border Collie

Energetic and intelligent, the Border Collie is a synonym for an active lifestyle. It comes from the British Isles, where it was used to herd cattle and ship. Now, it is a versatile and fun-loving family dog

The Border Collie requires ample amounts of physical and mental stimulation. It is an energetic and active dog that loves to exercise and play. Plus, it is trainable and intelligent. 

Therefore, Border Collies would love to participate in outdoor activities such as walking, running, and hiking. They are also suitable for herding trials, obedience, and agility. 

Border Collies also enjoy learning - they are trainable and respond very well to positive reinforcement. They are very social and love all activities that involve spending time with the owner. 

Border Collies are excellent for individuals and families that are active and spend time outside. However, they have strong herding instincts, which may be focused on small children and other pets. 

Consider the Border Collie if you need a partner for outdoor activities. Just keep in mind that it takes training to manage the breed’s herding drive.  

Australian Shepherd 

The Australian Shepherd is the perfect dog for an active lifestyle. The breed was developed in the western United States as a herding dog. However, the modern “Aussie” is a family pet

Australian Shepherds love hiking, running, and walking. They are also skilled competitors in dog sports (obedience, herding trials, agility) and enjoy learning. Simply put, these dogs need mental and physical stimulation to be healthy. 

Aussies form close and strong bonds with their human families and enjoy being together, regardless of the activity. Being playful, they are also a good match for families with children

However, they have a strong herding instinct. Therefore, they need to be trained not to nip children. Also, if not physically challenged, Australian Shepherds easily get bored and destructive.  

All in all, if you are active and often outside, think about getting an Australian Shepherd. This versatile dog will be a faithful and worthy companion

Jack Russel Terrier 

Do not be fooled by the small size - the Jack Russel Terrier is a highly energetic and spirited dog. The breed is a valued pet with a playful personality. However, in its native England, it was used for hunting foxes

Jack Russel Terriers love all forms of outdoor activities (hikes, walks, runs) and dog sports (agility and obedience). They thrive on physical exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. 

The Jack Russel Terrier is affectionate and friendly. It bonds with its family and enjoys spending time together (if that time is outdoors, that is a plus). It is also fearless and protective

You should consider a Jack Russel Terrier if you are active. However, remember that the breed needs ample stimulation to prevent destructiveness

Also, due to the strong prey drive and go-all-day stamina, Jack Russel Terriers love chasing smaller animals. So, make sure you have enough time for training (they are trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement). 

Siberian Husky 

Another excellent breed for an active lifestyle is the Siberian Husky. Once used as sled dogs (by the Chukchi people in Northeast Asia), today, Huskies are popular family pets. 

Siberian Huskies are well-known for their friendliness and outgoing personalities. They are also famous for being energetic and highly active. Huskies thrive on physical activity and mental stimulation. 

The Siberian Husky loves to walk, run, and hike. However, true to its heritage, it also enjoys next-level activities like weight pullingsledding, and skijoring

Huskies are exceptionally smart and keen learners. This, paired with trainability, makes them skilled competitors in dog sports

When not active, the Siberian Husky is affectionate and loves to snuggle with the owner. It bonds closely with the human family and is friendly with other pets and children. 

When looking for an active dog, the Siberian Husky must be one of your options. However, remember that, like most Nordic breeds, Huskies are independent - they will accompany you on outdoor activities but do not expect them to stick by your side at all times. 


Next on our list of active dogs is the Dalmatian. Developed in Croatia, this coach dog is valued for its friendliness and high energy. Today, the Dalmatian makes an excellent family pet. 

Running and playing are just some of the physical activities Dalmatians excel in. They also love hiking and swimming. Their high IQs make them suitable for dog sports like obedience and agility. 

The Dalmatian is very friendly and bonds with its immediate family. This dog is easy to train, especially with the right approach (positive reinforcement).  

Dalmatians are perfect for active families that can provide physical stimulation. Yet, they may be too much for small children - being very energetic, they can accidentally knock them down. 

Overall, consider getting a Dalmatian if you need an active dog. Just make sure you have enough time for its demanding and spirited nature. 


No list of active dogs is complete without the Weimaraner. Bred in Germany to be a fearless hunter of large game, the modern Weimaraner is a highly praised pet. It is best known for its friendliness and energetic personality. 

Weimaraners love walking, running, hiking, and playing. They enjoy learning new tricks and participating in dog sports like obedience and agility. Retrieving and swimming are also valued activities. 

The Weim is friendly and outgoing. It loves making new friends and is gentle with small children. Therefore, the Weimaraner makes an excellent fit for outdoorsy and active families with kids. 

Because of their hunting heritage and high energy levels, Weimaraners tend to chase other animals. This can be curbed with proper training. 

The Weimaraner must make the cut if looking for an active canine companion. However, remember that the breed is not low maintenance and requires mental stimulation as well as exercise


The above-explained dog breeds are excellent for people with active lifestyles. Just remember, unless properly exercised, they can quickly become destructive. These dogs need something to spend their pent-up energies on.