Best Dog Breeds For Active Owners

April 19, 2021 5 min read

Getting a dog breed that matches your lifestyle is important because if your dog is more active than you, your furry friend might tear up your favorite sofa cushion. But if you're an active person, an active dog will be one of the best workout buddies! As long as you feed them a complete & balanced diet, they will be your running pal for a long time.

Best Swimming Buddies

While some dogs hate all things related to water and bath-time, there are many breeds that enjoy a dip in the pool. These dogs love beaches, pools, and lakes.

While they naturally like swimming, every dog is different - never pressure your dog to go into the water if they don’t want to, because it may make them dislike swimming even more. If you’re a water lover, consider adopting any of these active swimmers:

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers make the perfect water dogs!

Did you know, they were originally bred as fishing dogs? Their double coat is lightweight and keeps them warm, their wide tail is used like a rudder, and they even have webbed toes for faster swimming.

Loving the water is programmed into a labrador’s genes, making them a great choice. They are also infamously friendly, being great family pets.

Labrador retriever is an active dog breed that loves to swim

American Water Spaniels

American Water Spaniels were bred to be hunting dogs, specializing in fish and waterfowl. Their natural love for water is in their name and genes - having a wavy, water-resistant coat and webbed toes. American Water Spaniels are very social dogs and obedient dogs, making for a great loyal pet.


Originally bred as working dogs for fishermen, Newfoundlands make for great swimmers. Though they are extremely large dogs, they are very sweet and loyal! With webbed paws and thick coats, they are great for swimming. They’re even known for diving into the water and saving lives!

black furred newfoundlands swimming

Standard Poodle

Poodles were bred to be water retrievers, named after the sound of them splashing into the water. They are ranked as one of the top swimming dogs, with light single coats and webbed paws. Poodles are famous for a variety of other reasons, like their vast intelligence and stylish coats.

standard grey poodle swimming in a pool

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgis aren’t known as classic water dogs, but they love to swim just as much as the other dogs on this list. Bred as herding dogs, corgis have endless energy.

A trip to the beach is a corgi’s favorite things, but make sure to watch after them closely- they tire out faster than other dogs since they lack natural features for swimming.

Welsh corgi swimming in a lake with a red life jacket

Best Hiking Partners

Hiking and camping are great ways to bond with your dog and get a fresh breath of air. Most dogs are eager to have a long walk! If your dog loves to explore, consider reading this blog about where to take your dog camping in California. These dogs are some of the best hiking breeds for their energy level and natural endurance:

Siberian Huskies

Huskies are one of the best breeds out there for hiking, well-known as being bred as sledding dogs. Their high energy and urge to explore make them great trail dogs! Huskies make great family dogs, being very friendly all around. Since huskies are naturally independent, make sure to always keep them leashed on a hike.

Long haired husky being a hiking buddy

Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds are perfect companion dogs, sticking by their owners every chance they get. Bred to herd sheep, they were born to run across fields. They are extremely intelligent, loyal, and energetic. Being naturally attached to their owners, Australian Shepherds do great off-leash and never fail to come-on-call if trained properly.

Long haired australian shepherd in a national park

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are great breeds for hiking. They are known for being able to miraculously scale up mountains. Being working dogs, they love to carry packs and loads along the way. They do great off-leash, being very loyal and intelligent dogs!

active dog breed Bernese mountain dog resting at a park

American Pit Bull Terriers

American Pit Bull Terriers are perfect for hiking, being a very active and muscular breed. They are fun-loving and pack-oriented, making adventure a blast for them. Pitbulls usually do better in warmer climates, and should be kept on a leash.

Check Out: Best Dog Food For Pitbulls 

american pitbulls are a great breed to take on a hike with


German Shepherds

German Shepherds are highly intelligent and loyal dogs with a lot of energy. They were originally bred as outside working dogs, having a natural urge for adventure in their blood. Since German Shepherds are naturally loyal dogs, they do well off leash as long as they are well trained.

Great dog breed for walking trails is the german shepherd

Best Running Dogs

Running is exhilarating and therapeutic, especially for dogs! Running with your dog is a great way to get you motivated while getting exercise in. Many of the dogs listed in the hiking section make great running dogs, but these dog breeds are especially fast and high-energy:


Greyhounds are the fastest running dog breed in the world, originally bred as racing dogs. They can run up to 45 miles per hour - eager to help you pick up your pace on your morning jog. While having an abundance of energy and great speed, they are laid-back at home, making for great apartment dogs!

Greyhounds are breeds great as a running buddy

Border Collies

Border Collies were bred as working and herding dogs, born with a strong passion to run. They are extremely intelligent, athletic, and beautiful, making for great dogs all-around! Being an active breed, border collies require lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Going on a run with your border collie is a great way to get some of their energy out!

great breed for running is the black and white border collie


Well known as being fire-fighting dogs, dalmations are quick and strong runners. They are very sweet and obedient, eager to follow a command and stick with their owners. Dalmations do best at long-distance running and endurance. They are fit to run in warmer weather, since they have fairly short coats.

Dalmation running by the shore lake


Hungarian Vizslas are incredibly athletic dogs. Not only great for running, vizslas have a very high energy and trainable personality. Bred for hunting, vizslas need to be physically and mentally engaged frequently. They love to run long-distance, so they are great for pushing their owners past their running limits.

Visla runnign through a field in fall

Russel Terriers

Despite their small size, russell terrier breeds are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. They are great at running long distances and keeping up a pace with no problem. Since russell terriers are smaller than the other dogs on this list, they will need to be monitored to assure they don’t overwork themselves.

russel terrier running quickly through the field

Best Exercise Dogs Overall

While the breeds listed make great exercise dogs, the best exercise dog is the one that is a perfect companion for you. Every dog can be taken on adventures, trained to love water, and go on brisk jogs. Visit your local animal shelter and ask about the most energetic dogs! You’ll be surprised about how many don’t match with the breeds on this list, or are mixes.

If your dog is unenergetic and doesn't want to exercise, it may be a sign that something is wrong in their diet. Switching to a raw diet will not only increase your dog's energy, but it will also bring them a handful of other benefits that will prolong their lifespan and health. A raw diet will also benefit your dog if they are active, giving them the proper nutrition to boost their energy up after a long hike.

We Recommend: How Much Exerecise Does Your Dog Need | Natural Dog Health Guide By Breed