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12 Athletic dog breeds for an active lifestyle

Athletic Border Collie agility

There is a lot to consider when deciding which dog breed is best suited for you. One of the most important pieces of advice you’ll hear is to choose a dog that fits your lifestyle. 

For active people, high energy and athletic dogs can be wonderful adventure companions. How do you know if an active dog is right for you? What breeds should you consider if you want an athletic dog? 

Table of contents 

Why get an athletic dog? 

Most family dogs are companion pets and owners rarely train their canines for hunting, herding, or sporting competitions. But even for everyday life, there are benefits to owning an energetic, athletic dog.  

It’s no secret that staying active is good for your health. Having a high-energy dog is a great way for pet parents to get their own exercise, and these dogs are generally healthier, too. According to veterinarian Dr. Krista Williams, staying active supports your dog’s joint mobility and comfort, helps them stay at a healthy weight, and is great for their mental health. 

Caring for an active pup typically also involves meeting new people and dogs while you’re out in the world. This offers opportunities for socialization and mental stimulation. Active dogs are always up for anything, so you’ll have an eager adventure buddy wherever you go. 

Is an active dog right for you? 

Part of successful dog ownership is choosing a breed that complements your lifestyle. If you think of yourself as active and love the outdoors, you should get a dog who can keep up with you. 

Athletic breeds make excellent companions for people who enjoy hiking, swimming, running, and any other physical activities. Doing things together strengthens your bond with your dog, so the more adventures, the better! 

Understandably, energetic dogs may not be the best fit for families with less active lifestyles. Older people, busy families, people that leave their dog home alone while at work, and those with physical limitations may find giving their dog enough mental and physical stimulation challenging. Read on for some other important factors you should consider before getting an athletic dog. 

Considerations for a high-energy dog 

We all want the best for our dogs, which means making sure that we can meet their needs. If you are thinking about bringing home an active dog, there are some important considerations to take into account. 

Athletic dog breeds require a lot of time and attention from their owners. Their high energy levels mean that they need designated time for exercise and plenty of room to run. With this, most active breeds will not usually make good apartment pets. 

A dog’s ideal day is spent side-by-side with their humans. It is helpful for active dogs to have active owners. This way, you can exercise together, making the most of your time and bonding with your furry friend. 

Owners of high-energy dogs who are not very active or have busy schedules should have the ability to provide their dogs with adequate mental and physical stimulation in other ways. If your dog is social and you have the financial means, consider dropping your pup off at doggy daycare. You may also want to hire a dog walker. 

If not properly exercised, high-energy dogs can easily become bored. They are then more likely to engage in undesirable behaviors like destructive chewing and disruptive barking.  

Active dog breeds 

Here are 12 athletic dog breeds for owners on the go: 

Australian Shepherd 

Aussies are at the top of most lists of athletic dog breeds. Traditionally bred for herding, these dogs are famous for their high energy levels and incredible intelligence. They need a job to do, so Aussies often excel in herding, agility, and obedience competitions. 

Border Collie 

Border Collies are considered one of the most versatile working dogs. Also a herding dog, Collies thrive with a job to do and are particularly skilled at endurance tasks. 

Vizsla 

These Hungarian hunting dogs are built for long days working outside. They are both affectionate and energetic with great endurance, making them excellent companions for running, hiking, and biking trips. 

Standard Poodle 

Poodles are eager, athletic, and very smart, meaning they often take quickly to training. Contrary to some of their reputations as glamorous, high society pets, Poodles were originally trained as duck retrieving dogs. Most like water, so swimming is a great activity to do with your Poodle. 

Labrador Retriever 

These energetic sporting dogs love retrieving and swimming, making them excellent dock divers. They are also strong and often work as search and rescue and service dogs, both of which are very physically demanding. 

Golden Retriever 

Goldens were originally bred as gundogs and waterfowl retrievers. They have high energy and love swimming. Most importantly, they love to be with their humans and are eager adventure buddies who are always up for anything. 

German Shepherd 

German Shepherds are incredibly strong and have remarkable endurance, which helped them herd large flocks of sheep in the late 19th century. They are now a favorite for all kinds of service: military, law enforcement, search and rescue, and protection. 

Jack Russell Terrier 

Traditionally bred to hunt foxes and other burrowing animals, Jack Russell Terriers are quick and never tire. They have both high energy levels and a strong prey drive. Jack Russells can keep moving long after their owners have called it quits, so they are definitely not suited for a couch potato lifestyle. 

Dalmatian 

Dalmatians were traditionally bred as coach dogs who would run alongside horse drawn carriages. It’s no wonder these dogs have high energy levels and a lot of endurance. Dalmatians make great companions for long runs and bike rides. 

Australian Cattle Dog 

Another dog from the herding group, these dogs are born workers. Cattle dogs are highly intelligent and very active, so they excel at hunting, chasing, and herding. Generally, these pups want nothing more than a job to do and were built for physical demands of harsh Australian cattle lands, so they’re up for anything.    

Siberian Huskies 

Born sled dogs, these working dogs are very energetic and have great endurance. They love to run and chase, as they have a strong prey drive. Give them a job that involves pulling and running and Huskies will be as happy as can be! 

German Shorthaired Pointer 

GSPs are incredibly versatile hunting dogs. They have endless amounts of energy, require serious exercise, and love all kinds of activities. Bring your GSP along for hikes, runs, swims, or bike rides.  

How can ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA support athletic dogs? 

Just like ours, even active dogs’ joints and muscles can become inflamed and uncomfortable after strenuous exercise. Following a hike or long game of fetch, you may notice your dog limping, hesitating to climb the stairs, or struggling to get up from their bed. These are all signs that your pup is experiencing joint discomfort. 

Fortunately, ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA can help. ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products are proven to be both safe and extremely effective in dramatically improving dogs’ joint discomfort. CBD + CBDA helps your dog by modulating their inflammatory response and perception of discomfort. 

For everyday discomfort, we recommend our chews, soft gels, or oil. For occasional or situational discomfort, our high potency Calm & Comfort will have them feeling back to normal in about 90 minutes.   

Getting outside and exercising with your dog can be fun and support both your health and theirs, so keeping your dog comfortable and mobile is essential.  

As always, consult your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of joint discomfort. For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products or how CBD can help your canine companion have the best quality of life possible with less discomfort, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ([email protected]).  We are here to help. 

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