Not all dogs have the same needs. This is especially true when it comes to exercise requirements. Some dog breeds need a lot (and we mean A LOT) more exercise than others. When it comes to choosing a companion animal to bring home, you probably need to consider how much exercise you can realistically give to your pooch. So, just how much exercise does each dog breed need? We’ll tell you! Here are the 15 dog breeds that need the most exercise.

15. Boxer


If you are looking for a dog that likes a lot of intense exercise, a Boxer might be right for you. These dogs have a lot of energy, and the only way to reduce the level of energy a Boxer has is to make sure that they get the amount of exercise they need. Boxers are large, loveable dogs that are known for their playfulness, so you might want to stock up on toys and work on your throwing arm for all those games of fetch you’ll be likely to play.

14. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly, lovable personalities. As one of the most commonly owned dog breeds, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that these beauties need a lot of exercise. These dogs make great hunters, and they have a great affection for water and swimming. If you are looking for a new way to get some extra activity in your Golden Retriever’s life, consider swimming!

13. Irish Setter

Irish Setter

Irish Setters are known for being mischievous. They tend to have a lot of energy, and they can be quite the athletes. Irish Setters belong to the sporting group, which is full of naturally active dogs who have an affinity for water and outdoor activities. If you plan on getting an Irish Setter, you should be up for a lot of really invigorating exercise with your new pooch. Known for being family dogs, Irish Setters can also make great playmates for children.

12. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

These feisty little dogs have a ton of energy. Jack Russell Terriers, also known as Parson Russell Terriers, are lively, clever dogs that are known for being handfuls. Even though these dogs are small, they are very skilled jumpers and can often jump over objects that are much taller than they are. Jack Russell Terriers will need to get vigorous exercise every day to prevent them from releasing energy in more destructive ways like digging and chewing on your possessions.

11. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

As one of the breeds with the most unique coat, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has gained some attention with dog lovers. Natives of Africa, these dogs are known for tracking and baying lions, and they have an incredibly strong prey drive. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large dogs that are both strong and athletic, which can make them difficult to control for some owners. These dogs really love to run, and sports like tracking and agility can keep them entertained and active.

10. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Many people think that small dogs tend to need less exercise. While that is partly true, because humans tend to be able to keep up with the activity needs of smaller dogs a little more easily, that doesn’t mean that all small dogs are low-activity breeds. In fact, Boston Terriers might only weigh on average 18 pounds, but they need a lot of intense exercise to burn off all of their excess energy. Their tiny bodies are very athletic. Unfortunately for Boston Terrier owners, a few minutes in the backyard won’t be enough exercise for these little cuties. At the very least, you should play fetch with your Boston Terrier frequently.

9. German Shepherd

German Shepherd

German Shepherds strong, agile dogs that are known for their muscular physique. They are the second-most popular dog breed in the United States for a reason. They are loyal and make great companions, but they need a lot of physical activity to prevent behavioral problems. Long walks can help curb some of the energy that these beautiful dogs have. German Shepherds also enjoy canine sports like agility, herding, and dock diving.

8. Weimaraner


Another dog on our list with a very unique coat is the Weimaraner. These dogs are thin and agile, which makes them perfect running companions. They tend to love being active and will quickly become bored if they aren’t getting enough exercise in their daily routine. Walks generally aren’t going to be enough to keep these dogs happy.

7. Dalmatian


Dalmatians are known for their unique appearance, but a lot of people don’t know just how much energy these dogs tend to have. Originally, Dalmatians were bred as coach dogs that accompanied horse-drawn carriages for nobles, firefighters, and gypsies during various periods of time. Without proper mental and physical exercise, you will notice your Dalmatian get into all kinds of trouble.

6. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

As the most popular dog breeds in the United States, Labrador Retrievers are sometimes hunting partners as well as companion animals. These outgoing dogs are high-spirited and require much more exercise than most people know. If your Labrador Retriever is a hunting dog, those outings will help them burn a lot of energy. If your pooch isn’t a hunter, they are going to need plenty of extra walks and activities, which could include swimming and training. Often, Labrador Retrievers are used as search-and-rescue, service, and drug and bomb detection dogs.

5. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are very mischievous. They love exercise and activity. The Siberian Husky is quick and nimble, and they are very much pack dogs. These dogs are known for their friendly personalities and tendency to escape and wander about when given even the slightest opportunity. Huskies are known for their athletic prowess. They tend to need a lot of exercise on a daily basis, especially those who live in apartments or homes without yards.

4. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are known for being one of the cleverest dog breeds in the world. They are very intense and confident, so much so that they are often used as police dogs. These dogs don’t want physical activity; they need it! Belgian Malinois are extremely smart and eager. They want to please their humans, and they enjoy being in the company of their people as well. It can be hard to find ways to exercise with your Belgian Malinois, but that is exactly what they want. If you are a long-distance runner, you may be able to wear your Belgian Malinois out a little bit.

3. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds were originally bred to herd livestock, which is one of the reasons that they have so much energy. These lovable pups have a strong desire to fulfill a job, which makes sense when you consider that they are in the working class. Since Australian Shepherds are so smart, they need to be able to channel their energy into some kind of job or activity, or they are likely to become incredibly destructive dogs. This breed also has a tendency to wander, so if they see an opportunity to get out of your home or yard, they are likely to take it and run (literally!).

2. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Bred for herding cattle, Australian Cattle Dogs are very active and intelligent. They are incredibly athletic and have more stamina than most other dog breeds. Australian Cattle Dogs are highly intelligent and easy to train, and those qualities combined with their high level of energy make them great herding and sporting dogs. These dogs do tend to be a bit mouthy and may nip or bite instinctively.

1. Border Collie

Border Collie

Border Collies are considered to be the most intelligent dog breed, and in combination with their working breed mentality, they require a lot of physical activity. It is very difficult for even the most active owners to wear out a Border Collie. These dogs make great herding and working dogs due to their high levels of energy. Without proper mental and physical stimulation, Border Collies can become troublemakers. Since they are so smart, many trainers will recommend that owners start Border Collies in sports like obedience, flyball, agility, tracking, and flying disc. Of all dog breeds, this is the one that seems to have unlimited energy.

While these are the most active dog breeds, they aren’t the only active dog breeds. Do a little research on the breeds that have energy levels that match your lifestyle before bringing a new dog into your home. It can save you a lot of headache down the road.

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