What 7 Breeds of Dog Exercise the Most? A List of the Most Active Dogs with Pictures

Two Australian Shepherds Running Through a Field

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Whether you live an active lifestyle or not, if you're in the market for a dog, it pays to know which breeds are the most active. For a list of dogs that are sure to give you a real workout, look no further.

All dogs need exercise in order to be healthy. However, some dogs require more than others. There are dogs that can get by with just a short jaunt around the block once or twice a day, whereas other breeds need to run and play for hours. It helps to get a dog that meshes well with your daily routine. For those people out there who simply can’t stop moving, these are some breeds that are guaranteed to keep up with your cardio-centric lifestyle.


Originally used for their boundless energy, keen intelligence, and ability to help during a hunt, these dogs were a staple for large game and bird hunters the world over. Easy to train (assuming the training doesn’t become repetitive), these dogs require hours of engaging activity every day, otherwise they might get destructive. Superb with kids, the Weimaraner is a natural fit in any outdoorsy family.

Canaan Dog

Thought to have helped the ancient Israelites herd goats, this breed is a natural working breed that has been assisting people for thousands of years. Extremely loyal, obedient, and intelligent, Canaan Dogs are quite headstrong and need a family that's able to actively assert their dominance, otherwise they might think that they are running the show. Also, this a breed that requires an ample amount of time every day to burn through their seemingly bottomless well of energy.

Australian Shepherd

A natural herding dog, this breed is one with boundless amounts of energy and a keen intelligence. Making for a great family dog (assuming the family is active) Australian Shepherds are great with children, although their herding instincts may kick in, causing them to attempt to corral the kids, but this behavior can be broken. Thanks to their limitless energy, these dogs perform very well in competitive training arenas.

Belgian Shepherd Dog

A classic working dog, the Belgian Shepherd Dog is known for being territorial and protective, making them a natural for guarding. Also a terrific herding dog, this breed has a tendency toward aggressive behavior and should be socialized early. Requiring hours of exercise every day, this dog was made to work hard for the better part of the day, so if you are thinking about getting a Belgian Shepherd, make sure you have the time to help them burn through their deep reserves of energy.

Belgian Tervuren

A wicked smart, highly loyal, and deeply dedicated breed, the Belgian Tervuren is highly trainable and well suited to a number of different tasks, such as watching, guarding, or herding. Because of their innate herding nature, socialization should begin early to prevent the development of a protective, aggressive nature. While they are easy to train, they do require a strong minded, decidedly superior trainer, otherwise they may ignore the instruction. Also, being such a natural working breed, these dogs need tons of exercise every day to avoid destructive behavior.

Gordon Setter

A loyal, friendly, obedient, loving breed, the Gordon Setter is a natural hunting companion, helping on countless bird hunts over the years. However, due to their innate hunting nature, this breed requires hours of engaging activity every day to keep from becoming restless. Also, because of their nature, this breed should be socialized early to prevent aggressive behaviors toward other animals.

Irish Water Spaniel

A clever breed, the Irish Water Spaniel has been considered a “freethinking” dog, known to refuse directions given by someone they view as weak willed. Great with kids and other pets (if introduced early on), this dog is a natural fit for an active family, assuming their ample need for engaging activity is met. This dog is known to display mischievous behavior, or act protective of their own volition. To limit their unwanted behaviors, they should be trained and socialized early, as well as have loads of opportunities to run and play every day.

More on Active Dog Breeds

7 Ways to Exercise Your Dog in Cold Weather
The Benefits of an Active Dog
Agility Training for Australian Shepherds

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Australian Shepherd Belgian Shepherd Dog Belgian Tervuren Canaan Dog Gordon Setter Irish Water Spaniel Weimaraner
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