Dogs come in all shapes and sizes with a varying range of abilities and skills. While most canines are prized for being upbeat and physically engaging animals in general, some pups are naturally built for running, hard labor, chasing, and living lives of rigorous exercise. These dogs should be owned by naturally outdoorsy or active pet owners, because a life without challenging activity would simply be torturous for them. Here is a handful of the most athletic dog breeds, and their stand-out qualities that make them ready for days of action!

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers: These dogs are the unchallenged favorite pet in the United States. Their cheerful demeanor makes these dogs always ready for the adventure, whatever it may be. Seldom will a Lab drag his feet about an activity, whether it is charging up a snowy mountain, diving into deep waters, or racing across hot and dry terrain. They are up for anything, and have excellent stamina.

Border Collie

Border Collie

Border Collie: This dog is a working and herding breed, designed to have razor-sharp focus and speed. Their desire to please and agility gives these pups the edge on performance when given a task. Not only is this animal skilled as runner, but they are the highest ranking breed in intelligence.

vizsla standing in water

Vizsla

Vizsla: These copper-colored canines are known for being driven and powerful dogs. They were originally hunting companions, and rank as one of the fastest running breeds. The Vizsla should not go a day without intense exercise.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky: If they were to be given a nickname, these canines could be call “the marathoner.” Historically, Siberian Huskies would trek hundreds of miles over ice, snow, and frozen rivers pulling dog sleds, and tracking lost people. Not only are they bulky and strong, these animals were built for speed. (Alaskan Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are cousin breeds with many of the same skills.)

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd: These high-energy dogs were bred to chase sheep and cattle herds for long hours on end. These are working dogs with strong stamina, that can withstand changing weather patterns while chasing wayward animals.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer: Lithe and muscular, the German Shorthair Pointer seems to be ever antsy and in need of physical activity. Owners of these dogs can attest to how difficult it is to exhaust them with sufficient exercise. They are happy to race, jog, swim, or stroll by your side for as long as you can stand it.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog: These large dogs were working canines in the steep and shallow-air of the Swiss Alps. Anything from driving cattle to pulling carts and playing games of fetch, the Bernese Mountain dog is always ready for adventure.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier: Don’t just a book by its cover, or a canine by his stature. These mini bullet-sized breeds can jet around as quick as any larger dog. Not only are the fast, quick-thinking, and highly energetic, the Jack Russell Terrier is more than capable of keeping up with any sport or physically demanding task you send his way.

Mutts: This might come as a surprise, but oftentimes some of the active and adept dog breeds are combination canines. A Greyhound-German Shepherd mix will not only have the speed and agility, but long-lasting endurance that would set him above and beyond other breeds.

Other athletic breeds: The above list only captures a smattering of dog breeds whose reputations precede them when it comes to athleticism. However, each of these dog breed below could have equally made the cut:

  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Golden Retriever
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Weimaraner
  • Dalmatian
  • Whippets

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