The Five Best Powerfully Active Breeds for Athletic Dog Owners
If you are reading this article on your Smart phone and trying to decide if you need to stop at the Starbuck's to get a little caffeine pick-me-up, this is the right list: the couch potato dogs do not suit you. Are you ready to get a dog? These dogs will be able to keep up with your jogging routine and will have no trouble handling your schedule, but if you forget about them and let them languish in the apartment they will most likely make you pay for it. Are you still sure? Here is a list of five great active dog breeds.
1. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell terrier is a small dog (a little over 10 inches) who is still as tough and active as his fox-hunting ancestors. They were bred to work, and if they cannot hunt fox or badgers they will need to be provided with some other sort of activity. They are great at flyball, agility, and of course will be great companion dogs at the park when playing Frisbee.
Most Jack Russell terriers are healthy and have long lives.
Jack Russell terriers are not recommended for apartments since they need to get out and exercise a lot. They can be destructive if not taken out and allowed to run. If you are searching for a little dog that stays active, though, the Jack Russell terrier is a great small dog.
2. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian cattle dog was developed using cattle drovers and dingoes, and is a breed that needs a lot of activity. He is only medium sized, 17-20 inches at the withers, but since he is longer than he is tall often weighs 40-60 pounds. If he does not have a job herding the family´s cattle he needs to be involved in agility trials, flyball, schutzhund, skijoring, obedience competition, rally obedience competition, or any other event you can come up with (like hiking, disc dog trials, therapy work, etc). The Australian Cattle Dog is ranked high among the dog breeds in intelligence and is also trained as a drug detection dog, a police dog, and even as a tracker.
Unlike some of the other active breeds, this dog is more likely to relax and rest when the activity is done. As long as he gets out for exercise he is okay living in an apartment. He will bark to alert, though, and unless socialized early will be nervous around strangers and more likely to act like a guard dog. The breed may be aggressive around young kids, and probably will not do well in a household with several dogs.
If you live alone, and want an active dog that will serve you as a guard for many years, the Australian Cattle Dog is a great choice.
3. Border Collie
The Border Collie is a medium sized dog (19-22 inches at withers) that is still used to work in many areas, although it is an excellent competitor when brought to the city or suburbs and used in dog sports like agility, flyball, and disc trials. They are also good at tracking trials, and of course are excellent at sheepdog trials. The breed is so active that, unless they have plenty of exercise every day, they will often become neurotic and destructive.
Border Collies will probably chase bicycles and cars when they are bored. They will be with you about twelve years, and maybe a lot longer if cancer does not strike, or if you do not become frustrated and end up taking your dog to the local animal shelter.
If you do not have any small children around your house, and are in search of a medium sized active dog that will keep you on your toes, the Border Collie is a great dog.
This great breed of dog was originally bred in Hungary. It is a medium sized dog(22-25 inches at the withers, and about 50 pounds), a hunter that is usually kept as a family dog by those who can put up with their activity level. They are active! When out hunting they will act as pointers and retrievers, when back at home they will act as a guard dog and a family companion, and if ignored they will act hurt, whining and crying.
Vizslas are generally good dogs around kids. They have the energy to frolic with any age group and they seldom get tired. Unfortunately they do not live long enough, only averaging about nine years, and some lines may end up with genetic diseases. (One breeder left a comment that Viualzslas usually live 13-15, and are still active at 10.)
If you are looking for an ancient breed active enough to keep you busy all day, this is a great hunter, an excellent companion for a busy lifestyle, and a good looking dog.
The last of the five active dog breeds is the tallest on the list, with males being 25-27 inches at the withers. He is another hunting dog, like the Vizsla, famous for his endurance, stamina, and energy. The breed is fine for a person with a lot of time and energy on his hands, but they are not so good for little kids because they might knock them down, and certainly would not be good for a writer who sits in front of his computer all day, nor for a “couch potato” who spends most of the time watching TV.
If you are interested in competing in agility, the Weimaraner is a good choice. As long as you have lots of energy they respond well to obedience commands and, of course, to hunting commands. If you are away from home all day and expect your house to be perfect when you come home, you should be aware that many dogs of this breed are victims of separation anxiety. A Weimaraner will probably want to stay next to you whenever you are home, sometimes more than you might want, and may end up whining for hours or injuring himself in an effort to get close to you.
Are you looking for a big, handsome, active dog that will stay with you all of the time? The Weimaraner is a good choice.
Are you ready for one of these active dog breeds?
Which of the active dog breeds is the best?
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Dr Mark