When choosing a dog it’s wise to get a breed whose needs fit with the family’s habits. A family that values sofa time above everything else will likely run into trouble with a high energy dog that needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and an active family that’s always on the go might be disappointed if the dog isn’t up to hiking, bike riding, or whatever it might be.
As a rule of thumb, working breeds are energetic, need a lot of activity, and are happiest when they have a job to do. This is particularly true when it comes to the herding breeds, because they’re bred to act individually, to make decisions, and to run non stop day after day.
If you’re considering an energetic breed, think about the following two questions:
- Can you handle a dog with endless energy that’s rarely tired or interested in a nap? Many intelligent dogs are also “teenagers” longer than other breeds, which can mean puppy energy in an adult body for years.
- Do you want an independent thinker that can draw conclusions – and gets bored quickly?
Here are five of the most energetic dog breeds. They’re all beautiful and make great family friends, but without ample exercise and mental stimulation they will all invent something to do – like remodeling all your furniture or checking what’s behind the wall paper.
5. Jack Russell Terrier
You might not think such a little and charming dog can get into much trouble, but Jack Russells were bred to work and can be very intelligent and active. If left with too much time on his paws, the Jack Russell is likely to find a stimulating task. Like, excavating the garden – these dogs love to dig.
These are wonderful dogs for the right family: loyal, friendly, intelligent, playful, and energetic. The breed originally guarded stables and fire houses, and ran with coaches and horses all day. This required a lot of energy and stamina. Dalmatians require a lot of exercise and continuous mental stimulation.
3. Australian Cattle Dog
These dogs are also known as red heelers or blue heelers, and they’re known for impressive stamina and endurance. They’re amazing if you’re looking for a running buddy, or plan to work or compete with your dog. If you only have time for a short walk each day and the rest of the time will be spent in an apartment, this might not be the best choice.
2. Australian Shepherd
While the Australian Cattle Dog is a breed from Australia, the Australian Shepherd comes from the USA and got its name from herding Australian sheep. This is a devoted breed who loves the family, but they’re also really smart and energetic. Like the other dogs in the list, the Aussie does best when there’s plenty to keep him occupied.
1. Border Collie
The Border Collie constantly tops lists with smartest dogs, and this isn’t just because they’re easy to train – they are masters of independent thinking. Match that with explosive energy, and the Border Collie can be a handful for the wrong family. While exercise is great, just running won’t make the Border Collie tired – mental stimulation is required.