While all dogs need adequate exercise, some are much better suited to extensive activity than others. Extremely active owners, such as backpackers and marathon runners, might want a canine companion to join them on their adventures. For those folks, we recommend the breeds! However, beware of your choice – if you can’t provide the exercise needed for these breeds, they can and will become destructive and a nuisance to be around.
#1 – American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a very active, solid, medium-sized dog that makes an excellent companion for those looking to get a lot of exercise. Not only do these dogs participate in their own sports as canine athletes, they are a perfect choice for anyone wishing to hike, run, or bike with their dog.
#2 – Australian Cattle Dog
This medium-sized herding breed is very hardy and very active, making it an excellent choice for someone looking for an athletic companion. Bred for herding cattle, these dogs have strong temperaments and need an owner that will be able to stay on top of them in order to keep up!
#3 – Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a herding breed that actually originated in the United States, despite its name. They are a medium-sized herding dog built for both speed and endurance to keep up with their duties on the ranch. Because of this, they make fantastic running, hiking and biking partners.
#4 – Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois is a true working breed and because of this it needs ample exercise to stay happy. Malinois are extremely active dogs that need an outlet for both their bodies and minds and they make great athletes with or without a human partner.
#5 – Border Collie
The Border Collie is one of the most versatile working breeds and has been bred for both speed and endurance. Because of this they make incredible athletes in a variety of dog sports. If agility or disc dog isn’t your thing, a Border Collie is sure to keep up with you during a marathon.
#6 – Boxer
The Boxer is a German working dog with an athletic build capable of keeping up with even the most active humans. Their goofy and energetic personalities make them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a truly active companion.
#7 – Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is recognizable by its egg-shaped head, but don’t let that take away from its incredibly athletic body. Bull Terriers are very versatile and have no problem keeping up on long runs or hikes.
#8 – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large, wavy-coated retriever that makes a wonderful choice for someone looking for an active companion. They are very intelligent dogs that are easy to train and handle and a pleasure to be around. Their water-resistant coats and love of water make them great swimmers that stay clean and dry.
#9 – Dalmatian
The Dalmatian was originally bred for pulling carriages and they have maintained their athletic builds and active minds. They excel at endurance sports and are very fast dogs as well, making them suitable for runners and bikers looking to take a dog with them.
#10 – Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman is a large working breed that needs a job to do and plenty of exercise. They are very powerfully built and excel at a variety of sports in both the dog and human world.
#11 – German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is both a working and herding breed that has been bred for endurance and is therefore capable of keeping up with long-distance runners, hikers and bikers. Their even temperaments make them a great choice for active families or individuals.
#12 – German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a German gundog bred for hunting game over very large areas. They are an active working breed with an athletic build, making them capable of keeping up with endurance runners and bikers. Long hikes bring joy to this breed, so long as they’re accompanied by their human companions.
#13 – Jack Russell Terrier
Don’t let the size of the Jack Russell Terrier fool you, this breed is fully capable of keeping up with the rest of the active dogs. Bred for hunting and digging, this terrier has a very solid build and is not only one of the fastest dogs, it’s one of the most athletic dogs as well.
#14 – Labrador Retriever
The most popular dog in the United States is also an excellent choice for active families and individuals. Although they make great house pets, Labradors truly love exercise and the outdoors. They are avid swimmers, hikers and runners and can become quite destructive without enough exercise.
#15 – Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large hunting dog from Africa, originally bred to take down large game such as wild pig and lions. They are very powerful, solidly built dogs that are one of the best choices for runners and ultra-runners.
#16 – Siberian Husky
Bred for endurance more than speed, the Siberian Husky is one of the most athletic dogs around. Years of being bred for pulling sleds over long distances has made them one of the best choices for someone seeking an active companion. But beware, if you can’t provide the exercise needed you may find the breed a nuisance to live with.
#17 – Vizsla
This Hungarian hunting dog is built for speed and endurance. They are extremely active in both body and mind and need ample exercise to stay reasonably well-behaved. They are a great choice for someone looking to spend a lot of time exercising outdoors.
#18 – Weimaraner
The Weimaraner is a German hunting dog with a beautiful outline and coat color. This striking breed is also extremely active and does best in a home where it can get a lot of running or hiking done. They make great companions and are one of the top choices for runners.