If you might be sensitive to someone calling your dog “hyper” than the breeds on my list are not for you! These dogs are full of energy and drive and can make great companions for someone with an extremely active lifestyle. These are not the kinds of breeds that are going to be content lounging on the couch with you for hours at a time. They need to be kept stimulated with activities and toys and often excel in dog sports or other canine activities. If they do not have an outlet for their energy they *will* act out! This can manifest result in behavioral issues such as excessive barking, chewing, mouthing and other inappropriate behaviors. If you are looking for a great activity pal to hike with or to explore a world of obedience or other events, one of these breeds may catch your eye!
Parson Russell Terrier (aka Jack Russell Terrier): These scrappy little terriers were bred to hunt fox and retain much of that sporting instinct. They love to run and dig (and have been known to confuse well tended tomato plants with tennis balls!) and will play fetch endlessly. They are extremely fast and bouncy and will run entertaining circles around whatever it is they are playing with. Life is never boring with a Parson Russell Terrier around! The breed is very intelligent so they do excel in obedience, agility and fly ball. Early training and socialization is a must because these little dogs can have a tendency to be territorial. Because of their active nature and a misunderstanding of the breed many of these dogs end up in rescue. Parson Russell Terriers are very affectionate and devoted to their owners – there is never a boring moment with one of these little clownish dogs around!
Photo by ian73r
Pointer: Pointers (sometimes known as English Pointers) are a very gentle and social breed who get along well with people of all ages (they are great with children) as well as other animals. Aggression in this breed is almost non-existent and they tend to go through a very clumsy puppy stage. The Pointer might be what you call a split personality dog! This breed is considered a couch potato by many who know them – if you don’t approve of dogs on the couch, you may want to look into a different kind of pooch! However they also LOVE to run!! They make great jogging companions and must be exercised every day in order to be a content companion. Letting your Pointer run off leash in a *safe, fenced* area is also an option. Remember they will try and chase birds and even with obedience training their working instinct often prevails!
Photo by essjay
English Springer Spaniel: Springer Spaniels are an interesting breed due to the distinct difference between the dogs that have been bred for “show lines” and the ones that have been bred for the field. The two varieties look extremely different! Field-bred Springers have shorter, rougher coats and their ears do not hang as drastically as those bred for show. The field bred dog is selected more for their hunting skills, ability to follow commands and scenting capabilities, rather than appearance. Show Springers are generally heavier, have longer coats and extremely docked tails (in countries that allow docking). The field bred dog keeps most of his tail, with only the end being docked to prevent laceration. Whew! Now that I’ve explained all of that…..
Springers are an active member of the spaniel family who love the mud and the water. While they can adjust to city life they will need to be kept busy with romps next to a bicycle (on leash!), jogs, or long games of fetch. They need early socialization and a gentle hand during training. They have a keen sense of smell and can excel at many dog sports as well as tracking, search and rescue and therapy dog work. The coat of the show bred Springer does need grooming on a very regular basis and they do shed quite a bit. This breed is very people oriented and will enjoy getting it’s exercise with any member of the family it possibly can!
Photo by hz536n
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terriers are little muscular balls of energy! These robust little dogs can go and go! They make great agility and fly ball dogs and potential owners should consider working with this breed to earn them canine good citizen titles as well. The breed can be stubborn but respond well to positive, consistent training. Be aware that the Stafford is NOT a dog park dog – they are not a breed that can freely engage with strange dogs. If a Stafford is challenged they are not a breed that is going to back down. With that said, this breed is NOT one that is human aggressive – they are incredibly good with children.
Photo by steve collins photography
Border Collie: Border Collies are an extremely intelligent breed that was designed to herd sheep. This herding instinct is incredibly strong in the breed and is not one that can be “trained out” of them. They will attempt to herd other animals and even children (which can result in nipping if the child is not used to being around the dog and does not know how to react to the dogs behavior). Herding sheep is strenuous work that the Border Collie can do for hours on end. If you don’t own sheep and you are interested in owning this breed of dog, you must be prepared to find another outlet for the BC’s energy. If you go to any dog sport event (Frisbee competitions, Fly ball, Agility, etc) you will see a huge amount of Border Collies competing. What any good BC owner knows is that this breed is one that needs a job in order to be happy!
Photo by vizwhip
Australian Shepherd: In spite of its name the Australian Shepherd did *not* originate in Australia. In fact the breed began in the Western United States. However the name came from the breeds foundation with sheepherders that came to the United States from Australia. Aussies are very much one person (or family) dogs and do not usually take kindly to strangers. They can be quite protective. Australian Shepherds will try to herd anything that moves- other dogs, animals or people. Like the Border Collie, they need a job to do or an outlet for their energy, if they don’t have this, behavioral issues will arise. Aussies excel in obedience, fly ball, Frisbee and agility. They also can be trained to be search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide, service and therapy dogs.
Photo by dregsplod
Airedale Terrier: The Airedale is sometimes called the “King Of The Terriers” because of it’s large size. It can range from 50-80 lbs when full grown. Airedales are known for being very smart and they can be a bit difficult to train because of their wits. However if you are patient and persistent, you can excel at almost any activity with this breed. Even though they are a terrier, it is said that they can even be taught to herd cattle! These big dogs have long legs and like to run, keep them active and happy!
Photo by Ilja
Miniature Pinscher: Though the Min Pin is classified in the Toy Group, this little dog was actually bred to hunt rats. In Germany, where the breed hails from, they are known as Zwergpinschers – translating into “Dwarf Biter”. Since these little dogs were actually bred to work, they have more energy than one would sometimes expect! They will bolt after moving objects so they must be kept on leash unless they are inside the safety of a fence. They often love to fetch and have a great deal of ball drive. Miniature Pinschers have little concept of their size and will often menace dogs who are *much* larger than themselves. This breed can be protective and is generally not a good choice if you have young children in the house. They are often possessive of their own toys and bedding and will nip out of defensiveness.
Photo by puss_zion
Dalmatian: The Dalmatian has a broad history as a war dog, a circus dog, and even a hunting dog. However its main task throughout history has been running alongside carriages. It’s sleek form is built for extended sprints and it has boundless amounts of stamina and can run for hours. We often associate this breed as the mascots for firehouses – when fire carriages were pulled by horses, they used to run along and then guard the equipment while the firefighters were busy. Dalmatians love to run and run and run and will do so! They need an outlet for this endless energy! The breed is sensitive and can suffer from severe separation anxiety issues if left alone for long amounts of time. They need careful and consistent training and they are not a breed for a first time owner.
Photo by j.gilda
Siberian Husky: The Northern breeds are known to go and go and the Siberian Husky is the most popular of these breeds! Sibe’s have gained popularity in movies such as Disney’s “8 Below”, but people don’t always know what they are getting into when they fall for one of these fluffy pups. These gentle dogs love to pull, which makes them great sled dogs! They also have a tendency to be escape artists so you must be willing to keep an eye on them at all times. Huskies can exhibit a fairly high prey drive so care must be taken with other animals in the home.
Photo by Happy Tinfoil Cat
Weimaraner: The Weimaraner is an all purpose hunting dog who was first bred to hunt big game (deer, bears, etc) and later, smaller animals (birds and fox). A member of the Sporting Group, the Weim is an aloof breed who needs early socialization in order to prevent behavioral issues with other dogs as well as possible aggression towards unfamiliar humans. With his own people the Weimaraner never gets enough playtime! He’ll walk as long as you want and fetch as many times as you can throw. A well trained Weimaraner is a dream to watch when competing in dog sports – they are muscular and swift. Being a hunting breed the Weimaraner does have a high prey drive and must be introduced to other animals at a young age in order to accept them as members of the family. Weim’s are a breed that are prone to gastric torsion (bloat) and prospective owners should research this condition before adding this breed to their family.
Photo by saikiishiki