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Active Dog Breeds: The Top 11 Perfect Companions for Your Outdoor Adventures!

When choosing a puppy to adopt, it’s crucial to consider if their energy level will be a good fit in your lifestyle. These high-energy dog breeds are always happy to chase the birds on hour-long hikes and fit seamlessly into a home of people who love to live their lives on the go.

There is a perfectly-suited dog breed out there for almost anyone when it comes to dog ownership. Whether you’re looking for small or large, busy or low-maintenance, you can find at least a few great options to consider. 

If you don’t enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors and tend to hit the couch for Netflix more often than the dusty trails, there are plenty of less active dog breeds, like the floppy-eared Basset Hound - we can’t blame them for being keen to lounge, as we’re sure those things get heavy to carry around!

For those more active individuals who yearn for a dog to take on runs, bike rides, and daily romps through the dog park, you can find plenty of high-energy dogs that will yelp with delight the minute you pick up their leash. 

Here’s our list of the very best energetic dog breeds that will enjoy being an integral part of your very active lifestyle!

#1 Tibetan Terrier

We love a Tibetan Terrier because despite being the most active dog breed on this list, they’re relatively small, making them well-suited for smaller homes and owners that can’t handle the weight of a giant breed. 

Monks bred these pups to guard their monasteries, making the breed over 2000 years old, and their guard dog genes are still quite strong - the Tibetan Terrier is on high alert, with plenty of energy to burn. 

Anytime they’re outside is a good time, in this terrier’s books. Because of their background, they adapt quite well to trekking through the snowy landscape and rough, mountainous terrains - Tibetan Terriers are the best hiking dogs that can handle anything that’s thrown their way.

Bonus: Tibetan monks consider owning one of these dogs a good-luck charm!

#2 Border Collie

This sweet herding dog is smart as a whip, so don’t be surprised if they try to pull a fast one on you.

  • The Border Collie is a hyper dog breed that wants to be on the go - whether in the streets, trails, or even swimming in the water. 
  • The Border Collie is a working breed meant to shepherd livestock, so they’re happiest and feel right at home when you give them a job to do that makes them feel needed.
  • If you want a well-trained dog, your wish is any Border Collie’s command. These dogs can learn incredibly complex tricks, commands, and active dog exercises with the proper training regimen. 

#3 Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd pup is one of the most striking dogs we’ve laid eyes on - in part, because of their own beautiful, icy blue eyes. Their multi-colored coats are pretty spectacular, too. 

But before we talk too much more about the beauty of an Aussie, you should know these are one of the best medium-energy dogs that enjoy keeping busy and herding its flock, even if that’s only their family. 

Like the Collie, Aussies are incredibly intelligent and will quickly learn to play (and very much enjoy!) a round of frisbe- tossing with their favorite owner. 

Keep in mind that Australian Shepherds have a long lifespan for their size, so be prepared to commit to one for 12-15 years on average. 

#4 Golden Retriever

These squishy bundles of golden-yellow fur are some of the most well-mannered and most active dog breeds around!

Despite their large size and energy levels, a Golden Retriever manages to be incredibly gentle with children and is far from coming across as hyperactive. 

Take your Golden outside often for long bouts of daily exercise. Better yet, take them to the water and watch their eyes fill with glee as their fur fills with seaweed!

#5 German Short-Haired Pointer

The Short-Haired Pointer is a hunting pup that loves to stay active. Instead of slow and steady long walks, they prefer to play and exercise in shorter bursts of energy, like sprinting through the woods on the trail of a rabbit they sniff out!

Teach these highly-trainable pups any tricks you please to keep them engaged both physically and mentally, the simple recipe to keep this dog happy. 

#6 Bernese Mountain Dog

This high-energy dog breed resembles a teddy bear, only bigger, furrier, and full of slobbery kisses.

The Berner naturally loves trail hiking and is sure-footed and steady on the rocky trails of any mountain - it’s in their blood! 

If you enjoy hiking regularly, a Berner may be your new best friend, especially since the well-trained ones are quite obedient and tend to do as well off-leash as on one.  

#7 Vizsla

If you train for marathons with any regularity, the Vizsla breed may be the right dog for you.

The Vizsla pup comes from one of the most active dog breeds and might top the list in terms of overall energy levels - they need to run, and they need to run often! Not only do they enjoy running, but they’re incredibly talented at it, reaching lightning-fast top speeds. 

These doggos enjoy being a part of a big family, and they will be thrilled when hiking, running, and performing other agility exercises as a regular part of their day.

Despite their endless pit of energy, they are very trainable as they have an incredible ability to stay focused. 

#8 Portuguese Water Dog

If you spend a ton of time at the water or own a yard with a pool, consider adopting a Portuguese Water Dog who feels naturally at home swimming in any water it can find. 

Porties are one of the small active dog breeds that also like to get plenty of on-land exercise during long walks and bouts of play.

Remember to give them plenty of positive reinforcement and attention so they stay happy and well-adjusted - they love to be the center of their owner’s world. 

#9 Labrador Retriever

If you’ve never owned a Lab, you probably at least know a few of them in your life. These dogs are uber-popular, and with excellent reason - they’re sweet, fiercely loyal, and love their families more than anything else. 

Labs also have plenty of energy to burn and will happily head out on daily jogs at your side, or learn new tricks, especially if there is a treat involved (they’re highly food-motivated.)

#10 Russell Terrier

You might not think of Russells as an active breed because of their small size, but they still manage to find some significant energy source from within.

The Russell Terrier loves to play, dig, and chase on top of long walking sessions each day. These pups will only remain well-adjusted with plenty of mental and physical stimulation; otherwise, they’re prone to bottle up their boredom and act out in front of their owners.

One way to keep a Terrier busy and out of your hair is to train them to use ramps, like this, to keep them entertained and independent while they’re at home.  

#11 Siberian Husky

These beautiful descendants of wolves are the original sleddog, and though they may not pull your sled, they’re going to need to run all the energy off elsewhere. 

Take them for a hike, or two, or even three - these pups will be happy moving for hours at a time.

If you adopt a Husky, be sure you have plenty of time to help them move each day, as under-exercised Huskies can get destructive and downright cranky. 

#12 Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog, much like the Shepherd, is an active pup that loves to herd and is naturally fantastic at it. Cattle Dogs are quick on their toes, both mentally and physically. 

Beware small children around an Australian Cattle Dog, as they may attempt to herd you and your family - we promise, it’s a sign of love, but it can be a little much.

If you have a big property, a Cattle Dog will be right at home with you. 

Final Notes: Choosing the Right Breed For Your Life

As dog owners, we never want to wonder, Is my dog happy

Strongly consider your lifestyle; unless it’s incredibly active, you’re probably better off adopting a different breed than the ones on this list. 

If you want an active pup but are afraid you won’t exercise them enough, try a medium-energy level breed instead that offers a better energy balance without being a total couch potato!

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