Getting a dog is fun and exciting, but before deciding which to get it's important to consider the breed along with the family's habits. While breed determines the dog's looks, it also determines a big portion of a dog's behavior.
A family that spends a lot of time away or sitting in the sofa will run into trouble with a high energy dog, because the dog's needs clashes with the family's. An active family that spends a lot of time hiking, running, biking, or wants to compete with the dog might be disappointed if the dog isn't up to following their pace.
Mixed breeds are often more low key, and even if they have traits from a specific breed, they're generally less extreme than purebred dogs created to fill a certain task.
Working breeds are generally energetic. They need a lot of activity, exercise, and mental challenges. Many working breeds are created to think independently, act on their own, and to run non-stop for hours.
If you're considering an active breed you have to be able to handle a dog with endless energy that's rarely tired. You also need to decide if you want an independent thinker that can draw conclusions, or a dog that will do what you tell it. Another important matter is that many intelligent breed mature slower than other dogs - they're teenagers longer and the "terrible teens" can last for a couple of years.
Here is a list with five of the most energetic breeds. They're all gorgeous, fun to be around, and make great friends for the family, but they all ned mental stimulation and exercise. If their needs aren't filled they're likely to invent a fun task, like reshaping furniture or taking a look under the floor boards to see what's there.
5. Jack Russell Terrier
This small and charming dog is surprisingly active and very intelligent. They were bred to work and love to be a part of daily activities, train for some doggy sport, and compete. They're fabulous diggers and with too much time on their hands (paws) they're likely to excavate your garden.
This breed has gotten into trouble in the past through Disney movies elevating it to star status and people buying Dalmatians without knowing what they're getting into. The Dalmatian was originally created to run with coaches and horses all day long - a job that requires a lot of energy and stamina. A Dalmatian can be a wonderful dog - loyal, intelligent, friendly, and playful - but without ample exercise and continuous mental stimulation they might decide to see how your sofa is constructed.
3. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is often called a Blue Heeler or Red Heeler depending on the color of the coat. Herding cattle is not a job to be taken lightly, and these dogs are tough with impressive stamina and endurance. They do very well in most forms of dog sports, they're great running buddies, and naturally wonderful workers.
2. Australian Shepherd
Despite the name, this isn't an Australian breed - they get the name from herding Australian sheep. Bright, devoted, and energetic the Aussies do great in competitions and with active families, but grow bored quickly if there isn't something to do. If you're looking for a friend who will stay by your side through the day, go hiking, and follow you for adventures, an Aussie might be perfect.
1. Border Collie
The Border Collie is sometimes called the Einstein of the dog world, and they're often seen in movies and TV commercials. While they are easy to train, they're also masters of independent thinking and can figure out everything from opening doors and windows to learning more human language than you might want a dog to understand. Swedish movie dog Turbo understood Swedish, English, and German! Mix the brains with nearly endless energy - a herding Border Collie that's in shape can run 50 miles in a day - and it's easy to see why a pure bred Border Collie can be a handful. For the right owner, they're the best breed in the world.
The top three breeds on the list are all herding dogs, for a reason. These dogs were created to run through the day, force stubborn sheep or cows into obedience, and protect their herd against predators. Their herding instinct is very strong and they might take upon themselves to herd anything that moves - including small children and cars.
~ Maria Sadowski ~