A Dozen Hyperactive Dog Breeds


Let’s begin this post by saying that I’m basically a lazy person. My idea of exercise is shoving my hand down in the sides of my recliner in search of a lost remote. Or moving a few canned goods in my pantry when I’m searching for the popcorn that I need in order to enjoy watching “Supernatural” on Netflix.

I love the fact that Janice and Leroy can amuse one another in my fenced-in yard. I take them for walks from time to time, but it’s not a “must do.”

So, what would I do if I had one of those hyperactive dog breeds?

Well, the short answer is that I wouldn’t have to worry about doing anything, because I don’t much care for hyperactive dog breeds, and most likely wouldn’t have one.

However, I’m not here to tell you what breed of dog you should or shouldn’t have. So, if you want a really, really active breed of dog, here they are. Now, since I don’t want to be accused of having a preference (although of course I do, and it’s in favor of Boxers like Janice and Leroy!), I’ll list them in alphabetical order.

1. Airedale Terrier

These are often referred to as the “Kings of Terriers,” because they’re the largest terriers. This is a very independent breed of dog, and if you expect your Airedale to do what you ask without question, you’re doomed to be disappointed.

As independent as they are, though, Airedales are also very affectionate and fun-loving. They’re protective, too.

Airedales need a lot of exercise, but if you’re the kind of person who loves to run and play with your dog, you’ll probably do very well with an Airedale Terrier.

Airedale Terrier

2. Australian Shepherd

This is another very active dog, bred for herding, and possessed of the energy that is needed to be a good farm or ranch dog. This breed loves running, and requires a lot of mental stimulation. Essentially, Australian Shepherds need a job, and are much happier when they have one.

Border collies are highly intelligent, and very energetic. They’re often used on farms and ranches, but they also make really good family pets by virtue of the fact that they are very loyal and dependable.

Australian Shepherd

This is a breed, though, that requires a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. If he doesn’t get it, he can be an absolutely horrible unit of destruction in the household.

3. Boxer

Who knew? I was really surprised to find my breed of choice show up on a list of hyperactive dog breeds. Janice and Leroy are so lazy, sometimes it’s all I can do to kick their butts out the door for a walk. However, it seems that many Boxers are highly active.


Related Content:

Is Your Dog Exercising Enough? How Much is Enough and What’s Too Much?
Down, Boy! Training Your Dog Not to Jump on People (Training Video)
How To Tell if a Child is Ready for a Dog

4. Dalmatian

When the movie 101 Dalmatians came out, it seemed like everyone wanted one of these dogs. Sadly, though, a good many of the dogs that were adopted ended up in animal shelters because the adoptive owners didn’t understand the nature of this very active breed.

Dalmatians have incredible energy. This makes them great companions for athletic people but not at all suitable for people like me, who would rather just spend “snuggle time” with their dogs. If you’re considering a Dalmatian, you need to understand that he will need vigorous exercise, and he will need it regularly.Dalmatian


5. English Pointer

The English Pointer is very athletic, and boasts a level of stamina that can leave many other breeds in the dust. They can literally run for hours without getting tired.

English Pointers are also very playful, which makes them good for families with kids. They need a lot of attention, so if you’re kind of a “Great, I’ve got a dog” person who isn’t inclined to actually do anything with the dog, this is probably not the right breed for you.

English Pointer

6. Golden Retriever

This is not really a dog that I’d classify in the “hyperactive dog breeds” list. The Golden is not “hyperactive” in the sense that he’s bouncing all over the place, but he is active. A Golden Retriever needs regular exercise and a lot of mental stimulation in order to be happy.

Golden Retriever

7. Irish Setter

This hunting breed is known for his beautiful red coat as well as his friendly demeanor and curious nature. The Irish Setter is a high-energy dog, and he needs to be challenged mentally as well as physically.

 Irish Setter

8. Jack Russell Terrier

You probably know the Jack Russell Terrier from the TV show, “Frasier.” Eddie was an adorable little guy, fun, smart, loyal and strong-willed. Those characteristics are typical of the Jack Russell.

The thing with the Jack Russell is that he can be one of the most hyperactive dog breeds. In fact, his behavior can very easily tip over from appealing into annoying. He can be very stubborn, and he’s not usually good with other dogs, even if those other dogs are also Jack Russells. This means that they’re usually best suited to “one dog” families.

Jack Russell Terrier

To keep this breed happy, you’re going to have to keep him very active. Play with him a lot, or consider enrolling him in agility training as a way of “blowing off” all that energy.

9. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is considered to be a very good family dog, but if he doesn’t get the physical and mental stimulation he needs, he can become very destructive. Labs are generally obedient, but if you don’t give them enough to do, you could be in for a world of trouble.

Labrador Retriever

10. MinPin

The Miniature Pinscher, typically known as the “MinPin”, is a very energetic dog. He’s quick, curious and playful, and needs a lot of play and exercise.

This is a small dog, but if you think it’s going to be easy to keep up with him, you’ll be very much mistaken.


11. Poodle

You might think of Miniature or Toy poodles as being aggressive little ankle-biters, and you might even be right. Sometimes, those little guys can be pretty snarky. The fact is, though, that all Poodles, regardless of size, can be classified as hyperactive dog breeds. Poodles can be incredibly destructive if you don’t give them enough attention. They need constant mental and physical stimulation.


12. Siberian Husky

Getting into the large breeds, the Siberian Husky can be a great family dog. He can also be among the most hyperactive dog breed, and given that he’s probably going to live for at least 12 years, and maybe up to 15, you’ll do well to control his activity level.

Siberians are very agreeable, but since they’re bred to run for very long distances, they need to be exercised. Give your Siberian a lot of outdoor exercise to keep him from becoming destructive.

Siberian Husky

Related Content:

Is Your Dog Exercising Enough? How Much is Enough and What’s Too Much?
Down, Boy! Training Your Dog Not to Jump on People (Training Video)
How To Tell if a Child is Ready for a Dog

The Final Word

I’m not really sure if it’s fair to lump any breed of dog into the “hyperactive dog breeds” category. Some dogs are just more active than others. Much of the time, too, it depends on how the dog is raised. Janice and Leroy are very placid dogs, and I was really surprised to see Boxers come up on so many lists of supposedly “hyperactive” dog breeds. I really think that, most of the time, it has to do with the way they’re raised. Some breeds might be more prone to hyperactivity, but with proper training, the tendency can be corrected.