All dogs require some form of exercise, but some breeds are genetically designed to run, play, and jump. If you live an athletic lifestyle, then you’ll probably want a dog who shares that same enthusiasm for exercise and activity. It’s also a quick way to form a strong and trusting bond between you and your pup.
The biggest benefit is that dog owners are 54% more likely to achieve the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly recommended amount of exercise. That’s right, dogs are helping you fight heart disease! If you’re looking for a new workout partner, here’s a list of the most athletic dog breeds.
The fastest dog breed on the planet, these impressive canines can reach speeds up to 45 mph. They are prone to chasing prey so it’s not recommended to keep them off-leash while outdoors. Contrary to popular belief, Greyhounds are not hyperactive and don’t require excessive activity. In fact, they enjoy a healthy dose of lounging. But if given the opportunity, they can keep up in almost all athletic situations.
With a history of pulling sleds long distances across icy terrains, it’s easy to see why Siberian Huskies are so durable. Their team-first mentality makes them a great companion for tackling challenges like long runs or hikes.
One of the most popular breeds in the world, Labrador Retrievers are known for their love of the water. They have great endurance and can be very agile. With a natural inclination to please their owners, they respond very well to challenges and positive training methods.
Considered a jack of all trades, Boxers are a breed that can do it all — competitive obedience, service work, and of course, athletics. They enjoy a good mental challenge as much as a physical challenge, so problem solving games can be a real treat for these playful companions.
From starring in Disney movies to representing firehouses, the Dalmatian is a dedicated and hardworking breed with loads of endurance. They make excellent family members, and like to be involved with everything. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, or jogging, these spotted beauties can exercise for hours.
Jack Russell Terrier
They may be small in size, but Jack Russell Terriers are packed with energy. Historically a working dog used for hunting and tracking, they are very intelligent with tremendous agility.
The Einstein of dogs, these highly intelligent workers are used for everything from herding sheep to detecting bombs. They need more mental and physical exercise than your average mutt. If not properly stimulated, Border Collies are known for becoming very destructive in order to alleviate their boredom. If you live an active lifestyle, these little geniuses won’t have any trouble keeping up.
Famous for being a part of the police squad, these highly intelligent herders are quick learners with an appetite for activity. If you’re looking for dog who shares your athletic lifestyle, German Shepherds’ strong, muscular bodies and diehard determination make them an excellent choice.
Historically used as working personal protection dogs, Doberman Pinschers are often stereotyped as aggressive in nature. However, despite some stubbornness, their warm heartedness, loyalty, intelligence, and trainability make them a great house dog. Full of energy and muscle, Dobermans will be happy to accompany you on long runs and big hikes.
Most people don’t associate Poodles with being jocks. But they were originally used as gun dogs for duck hunters. If you enjoy running in the rain, these guys are very resilient to the elements — their curly fur is moisture-resistant and behaves as insulation. They also have webbed feet, which make them excellent swimmers. They also happen to be considered the second most intelligent dog breed in the world.
Another jack of all trades breed — known for hunting, retrieving and pointing. Brimming with energy, Vizslas need a lot of daily physical and mental stimulation. If left inactive for too long, they may become destructive. They thrive on exercise and tend to form very strong bonds with their owners, making them a perfect workout partner.
A close relative to the Border Collie, this highly intelligent breed is easily recognizable by its beautifully unique coat. They are very agile and energetic — long runs and challenging hikes are easy for them. Due to their intellect and high stamina, Australian Shepherds require lots of mental and physical activity to stay happy. They’re sometimes referred to as “velcro dogs” because of their desire to form powerful bonds with their owners.
Athletic canines come in all shapes and sizes, but typically it is the smartest ones who have a penchant for play. An active lifestyle is important for both dogs and humans. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or someone who’s looking to introduce more exercise into their lives — owning an athletic dog can be very rewarding. Plus, it provides owners with that extra boost of motivation to stay active.
- “19 Of the Most Athletic Dog Breeds.” The Active Times, 11 Aug. 2015, Accessed 12 July 2017. www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/19-most-athletic-dog-breeds.
- “10 Most Athletic Dog Breeds For a Fit Lifestyle | Canine Weekly.” CanineWeekly.com, 17 Jan. 2019, Accessed 12 July 2017. www.canineweekly.com/10-athletic-dog-breeds-perfect-for-outdoor-enthusiasts/.
- Finlay, Katie. “8 Dog Breeds Perfect for Athletes – American Kennel Club.” American Kennel Club, 18 Jan. 2017, Accessed 12 July 2017. www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/8-dog-breeds-perfect-for-athletes/.
- “Most Athletic Dog Breeds.” Outdoor Dog World, 26 Oct. 2018, Accessed 12 July 2017. www.outdoordogworld.com/most-athletic-dog-breeds/.
- Marguerite. “The Most Athletic Dog Breeds.” My Animals, 22 July 2018, Accessed 12 July 2017. www.myanimals.com/breeds/dogs-breeds/the-most-athletic-dog-breeds/.