From Labrador to Chihuahua: The five most and least active dog breeds – see full list

If your New Years’ resolution was to ‘get fit’, ‘walk more’ or ‘train for a marathon’, then why not get the dog involved too?

For some of us, the thought of leaving the house to lift weights or run on a treadmill at the gym is not overly appealing.

Most dogs, however, love dashing out for some good exercise, and only need to hear ‘do you wanna go for a…’ before bounding around in excitement.

Dogs can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle, heading out on daily walks and adventures – but some are more up to it than others.

And if you’re considering getting a dog to be your training buddy and running partner, it’s important to do your research and say, not get bichon frise.

That said, while all dog breeds need exercise, some require more physical activity than others, and Viovet have pulled together a list of the most physically active dogs who will relish the opportunity to join you on your outdoor activities.

Here are five of the most active breeds that love nothing more than a good run or two:

Labrador/Golden Retriever

A Labrador enjoying a walk at Hadrian’s Wall



Hands down one of the most loved and popular dog breeds, the Labrador is a very friendly dog that requires a lot of physical activity.

Alongside frequent walks by the beach or in the countryside, it also enjoys playing fetch and splashing about in water.

Similarly, golden retrievers have a soft spot for swimming too. Both very active and clever, they can easily engage in strenuous activities – so make sure you make allowances for that.


Dalmatians were once ‘carriage dogs’


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Dalmatians are great exercisers and ideally need two hours of physical activity per day. Once used as ‘carriage dogs’ to guard the passengers and reassure the horses in the stable at night, running long distances is in their DNA.

While not the quickest of sprinters, Dalmatians have tonnes of energy.

They will truly benefit from long trots in the countryside and mentally stimulating activities.

Siberian husky

Huskies need around two hours of exercise a day


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There is no hiding that it is difficult to tire out a Siberian husky.

Usually bred to pull heavy sledges and travel long distances in challenging climates, this dog breed has buckets of energy.

A Siberian husky that is not adequately exercised may cause some mischief in the home.

Therefore, it is important to schedule a daily two-hour walk or run and allow them to enjoy some satisfactory physical activity.

German shepherd

The German Shepherd


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Bright, strong and obedient, it’s no wonder that German shepherds are often used in police forces.

They are very loyal companions that are not well-suited to apartment life and require at least a couple of hours of exercise every day.

Get them stuck in engaging and physically demanding activities – you will soon discover that they are great fun to both train and go on adventures with.

Border collie

A Border Collie



If you ever asked a class of dog breeds whether they enjoy working, border collies will be the first to raise their paw.

Often involved in sheep herding, these pooches are always on the move and are quick to complete their tasks.

To keep them physically and mentally stimulated, make sure to provide them with lots of exercise.

With all that energy, it takes quite a while to wear them out.

The five least active breeds

Some dogs simply weren’t bred to be workers or long distance runners, and if this kind of dog suits your lifestyle better, then here are some suitable canine candidates.


Maltese dogs don’t need as much exercise as other breeds


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They may well be intelligent and energetic dogs, but the little Maltese is more than satisfied with a 30-minute walk down the road or a short run in the garden. Indeed, it is plenty of exercise for this adorable dog breed.

Once the pampered babies of noble ladies of the Roman Empire, it is no surprise that the little Maltese enjoys relaxing in its cosy abode.


Chihuahuas prefer a shorter stroll in the park



Tiny and loud, chihuahuas are small dogs with big attitudes and huge personalities.

Weighing just under three kilos on average, it goes without saying that they do not need hours and hours of physical activity.

A stroll in the park will do the job, and they will then be ready to head back home without any complaints.

Bichon frize

More than happy to sit on your lap and be stroked all day, the cloud-like bichon frise is the perfect companion for elderly owners or dog lovers with mobility issues.

A short, half-an-hour daily walk is all the bichon frise asks for, and will quite gladly spend the rest of their day grooming its fluffy curls.

Chow Chow

Famous for their friendly and wrinkly face, the Chow Chow is the perfect cuddly companion for a night in.

They are also good dogs for people who have very busy routines, as they only require one walk per day to keep in shape and to socialise with fellow pooches.

Moreover, they tend to be quite independent.

This means that you do not need to stimulate them as much to keep them entertained.

King Charles Spaniel

King Charles spaniel


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Possibly one of the most regal-looking breed dogs out there, King Charles spaniels enjoy sitting on their throne most of the time.

Due to their generally relaxed nature, there is no need to take them on kilometric walks – short strolls will do just fine.

That said, they also love some playtime and being around both adults and children.

Ultimately, it is vital to always find time for your dogs to engage in some deserved physical activities.

Some friendly companions require lots of exercise; others, not so much.

With this list at hand, you will be able to discover what dog breed suits your lifestyle best without compromising on their all-important daily ‘walkies’.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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