Energetic Dogs for Active People

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No two dogs are exactly alike, but breed is a major factor in determining activity level. For instance, many herding and working dog breeds tend to be quite active. These high-energy dogs need both mental and physical exercise to thrive. If they don't have an outlet for their excess energy, they might become destructive or develop other issues. Here are 10 of the most energetic dogs that need a caretaker who can keep up with them.

Tip

Daily walks alone might not be enough for some high-energy dogs. Consider taking part in dog sports, such as agility or flying disc, to provide your dog with extra mental and physical stimulation.

  • 01 of 10

    Border Collie

    border collie catching a frisbee on grass

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    Border collies are extremely intelligent, energetic dogs. They are known for their natural abilities in agility and disc competitions. They can make excellent pets, but first and foremost they need a job. Their natural instinct is to herd, but they can channel that into chasing toys or doing puzzle games.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 18 to 22 inches

    Weight: 30 to 55 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Rough or smooth, medium-length coat; can be solid, bicolor, tricolor, merle, or sable; well-balanced, athletic body

  • 02 of 10

    Australian Shepherd

    two Australian shepherds holding a stick together

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    Australian shepherds also are highly intelligent and energetic, excelling in dog sports. They were bred to herd livestock, so they will likely seek out their own "work" in the form of chasing animals or people. Some Aussies might act stubborn or aloof if not given structure, training, and sufficient exercise.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 18 to 23 inches

    Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Medium-length coat; well-balanced body; colors include black, blue merle, red, and red merle

  • 03 of 10

    Australian Cattle Dog

    Cattle dog jumping

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    Australian cattle dogs are a hard-working, high-energy breed. A dog that has the stamina to herd cattle all day can easily get bored as a pet unless it's given ample exercise and mental stimulation. Cattle dogs excel at most dog sports and tend to enjoy learning tricks and puzzle games.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 30 to 50 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Strong build; smooth double coat; colors include blue and red with black and tan markings

  • 04 of 10

    Jack Russell Terrier

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    Many terrier breeds can be highly energetic, including Jack Russell terriers. These little canines certainly aren't lazy lap dogs. Without training and vigorous daily exercise, they might channel their excess energy into digging, barking, and other undesirable behaviors. But they often do well in learning dog sports and other tricks.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 13 to 14 inches

    Weight: 13 to 17 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Smooth or broken coat; colors include white with black, brown, or tan markings

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Weimaraner

    Running weimaraner

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    The Weimaraner was bred for hunting and continues to have that drive to be on the move, running long distances. These dogs tend to be friendly and affectionate, though some can be hyperactive. Without structured training and a tremendous amount of exercise each day, Weimaraners can become stressed or destructive.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 23 to 27 inches

    Weight: 55 to 90 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Sleek body; short coat; blue to gray color

  • 06 of 10

    Belgian Malinois

    Malinois holding a leash in a field

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    The Belgian Malinois often works for law enforcement, and it needs some kind of job to thrive. If you choose a Malinois as a pet, let your dog participate regularly in dog sports. In addition to ample daily physical exercise, nose work and tracking are great options for mental stimulation.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 22 to 26 inches

    Weight: 40 to 80 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; short coat; colors include fawn, mahogany, and red with a black mask 

  • 07 of 10

    Siberian Husky

    Siberian husky running in snow

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    Siberian huskies were bred to pull sleds over long distances, so it should come as no surprise that they need plenty of exercise. You can embrace those instincts and get your dog involved in sledding for fun. Most huskies appreciate long daily walks, runs, and hikes. Just be careful to avoid overheating.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 20 to 24 inches

    Weight: 35 to 60 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Well-balanced body; medium-length double coat; colors include black, gray, red, and white

  • 08 of 10

    Dalmatian

    Energetic Dalmatian running on grass

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    Dalmatians historically ran alongside and protected carriages, and they continue to have that endurance today. They are driven to work and can become hyper if no "job" is provided. Some might develop bad habits, such as excessive barking. But for active people, they can be excellent running or hiking partners.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 19 to 24 inches

    Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long body; short, dense coat; white with black or brown spots

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Boxer

    Boxer dog running on grass

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    Boxers often are goofy, lovable, and somewhat hyperactive. They can make wonderful companions for all kinds of families, but they need structure and exercise. If your boxer likes playing with other dogs, doggy daycare is a great option to burn energy. In addition, long walks and games are a must.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 22 to 25 inches

    Weight: 50 to 80 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; short coat; colors include brindle, fawn, and white with a black mask or white markings

  • 10 of 10

    Irish Setter

    Irish setter running in grass

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    Irish setters were bred to be swift hunting dogs, and they need ample daily exercise to match what they would get out in the field. These dogs are typically eager to please, albeit somewhat rambunctious. They respond well to training and excel in dog sports, including obedience, tracking, and agility.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 25 to 27 inches

    Weight: 60 to 70 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Short to medium coat with long, silky feathering and fringe; colors include red, chestnut, and mahogany