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Top 5 Dog Breeds for Active Lifestyles

Sandra is a veterinary assistant and has worked at various animal hospitals. She is a mother to a GSD, Siberian Husky and two cats.


I walk dogs as a part-time job, which gives me an opportunity to be active while doing what I love. I don't generally consider myself an "active" person, and I certainly can't keep up or stick with a strenuous workout routine. The only thing that's kept me moving is the fact that I get to spend time helping other people exercise their pups.

Certain dog breeds are far more enthusiastic than others about embarking on long beach runs and hikes and being your workout partner in general. While some breeds prefer sleeping to working out, these high-energy breeds can actually enhance your physical lifestyle and even encourage you to push yourself a little bit harder!

If you're looking for a dog to match your high-energy lifestyle, these are my top five favorite dog breeds.


1. Siberian Husky

Huskies are very active, athletic dogs who need a lot of exercise. Regular exercise is important for their physical and mental health and participating in activities with your pup will help strengthen your bond.

Originally bred to be sled dogs, Siberian Huskies were made to run and are known for their agility. The more exercise your Husky gets, the less pent-up energy he/she will have to cause mischief around the home.

While they certainly have the capability of adapting to most living situations, they will need space to romp, play, and take long daily walks or jogging sessions.


2. Australian Shepherd

The sweet and loyal Australian Shepherd is a hardworking herding dog, with a solid build and plenty of stamina. Commonly known as "Aussies", they are happiest when they have a job to do. They can be wonderful family companions if their energy and intelligence are channeled into dog sports or physical activities.

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Your Australian Shepherd will need a minimum of two hours of exercise every day, but if you can give them more, then even better! This should be split into two or three shorter walks throughout the day. Give them plenty of time to let them sniff and explore, along with the chance to run freely in a secure area. Because of all their energy, it’s important for your Australian Shepherd to get lots of time to run and burn off some steam.


3. Dalmatian

The Dalmatian is a high-energy dog that requires 1-2 hours of exercise per day. They are so fast, they can keep up with horses! One of the Dalmatian's earliest jobs was to run ahead of horse-drawn firefighting carriages to clear a path and lead them to the fire. As a result, they were required to go long distances without stopping. Many dogs of this breed did this for years and years and it's safe to say that it's in their DNA!

If you're looking for a marathon or long-distance training partner, the Dalmatian will happily fill the position for you!


4. German Shepherd

As herding dogs, the German Shepherd breed craves work and needs a lot of exercise. They typically require at least 2 hours of vigorous activity so make sure that they have time to play and run off lead as well.

They are strong and they are fast so agility training would benefit this breed. As a result, the German Shepherd makes one of the best running partners! This breed is always willing to please their human. Like humans, they have the ability to run longer distances with proper training. German Shepherds are also good to take hiking, swimming, and on long walks. They would also be great candidates for obstacle course training!


5. Labrador Retriever

Originally Labrador Retrievers were bred to chase and catch game for their masters. This would involve all-day hiking, running, and swimming in sometimes difficult conditions. As a result, they will take well to training and direction. Labradors are naturally high-energy dogs so keeping up with daily exercise is crucial.

On average, Labs need about an hour and a half of exercise to stay happy and healthy. They are more than capable of going for long walks as long as they are in good health and weather conditions are not extreme. Like the German Shepherd, with proper training, they are capable of running up to around ten miles without stopping but make sure to not overwork them. This could result in bigger problems down the line such as hip dysplasia, which can commonly affect larger dog breeds.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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