Spirited Jack Russell on a brisk day. Photo by Emery Way, license CC 2.0 via Flickr

7 High-Energy Dog Breeds That Are NOT for Couch Potatoes

Some people stay very active — they run, play sports, and enjoy staying on the move. However, some of us enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. Now, some dog breeds don’t mind periods of inactivity, heck, some even welcome it. Today, we are definitely not talking about those breeds.

Couch potato?

My little Daisy girl is definitely no couch potato. She’s turbocharged all the time, day or night. She’s a Jack Russell (I think), and you will never hear these tenacious little dogs described as “chill.” It’s kind of like having my own four-legged bottle rocket around the house — much to the consternation of some of my rather sedate cats. It’s amazing when you think of it because Jack Russells have famously stubby legs. Those short legs don’t cramp their style, however.

I almost managed to get her to sit still. Almost. Photo courtesy of the author.

Here’s a list of some high-energy dog breeds

I decided I needed to see which dog breeds have more bounce for the ounce so I did my research. Here’s what I came up with, thanks to The Animal Rescue Site and BarkPost.

Labrador retriever

Labs are just one of many very active dog breeds
Like this handsome golden lab, for instance. Image by bigvicente, license CC NC SA 2.0 via Flickr

Labradors are the most popular dog breed in the U.S. It’s easy to see why. They are handsome, lovable and great with kids. Originating in Newfoundland, the dogs have a fascinating history, the American Kennel Club notes. Because labs have short, dense, water-resistant fur that repels ice, they accompanied fishermen helped them to retrieve fish.

Rhodesian ridgeback

Young ridgeback pups playing ball. Photo by Markus, license CC ND 2.0 via Flickr

Originally, hunters bred these beautiful golden-eyed dogs to hunt lions — yes, lions! Named for a small strip of backward-facing fur along it’s back, ridgebacks became famous for tracking and baying at lions in their native Africa, the AKC notes. This is one breed that needs a lot of exercise, and may not be suitable for novice dog owners.

Australian shepherd

This Australian shepherd is really beautiful! Photo by Phae, license CC NC ND 2.0 via Flickr

Australian shepherds are herding dogs, but according to the AKC, their name is something of a misnomer. These dogs actually originated in Europe near the Pyrenees mountains. Basque sheepherders, the indigenous people living in the borderlands between France and Spain, bred them for centuries. Since they are working dogs that have now transitioned to companion animals, Aussie shepherds need plenty of exercise.

Boston Terrier

Believe it or not, Boston Terriers are one of the active dog breeds
This Boston Terrier looks like it’s ready for some fun. Photo by Suzanne LaGasa, license CC 2.0 via Flickr

These terriers might be small, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in energy. They are a great running partner and also love long walks. And Bostons are definite people lovers and are natural hams, the AKC reports. If you’re up for a walk in the park or a trip to your favorite cafe, this cute pooch might just be the dog for you.

Catahoula leopard dog

Catahoula leopard dog. Photo by Krystal Hamlin, license CC 2.0 via Flickr

Their fur is beautiful, and they have very distinctive large, black spots — Catahoulas. According to the AKC, Catahoulas are agile, dedicated working dogs with a playful nature at home. Derived from the Choctaw language in Lousiana, Catahoula means “sacred lake.” Like Australian shepherds, they are a herding dog and farmers use Cathoulas to herd wild pigs as well as errant cattle.


Inquisitive dalmatian. Photo by Leo Hidalgo, license CC NC 2.0 via Flickr

This is a dog with a lot of stamina. Along with their distinctive spots, dalmatians are very intelligent and friendly. They’re not just the protagonists for 101 Dalmations they are the dogs we most associate with fire departments. Originally bred to guard horses and coaches, dalmatians can be a bit aloof with strangers, but they make excellent watchdogs, the AKC reports. Strong and athletic, they are a great dog to take along on walks or hikes.

And yes, the Jack Russell Terrier

Did someone say “squirrel?” Photo by Emery Way, license CC 2.0 via Flickr

Some 200 years ago, folks in England wanted a dog that would be perfect for hunting foxes. They wanted a quick-witted, brave and athletic little dog DogTime reports, and that’s why we now have the Jack Russell Terrier. But like the Rhodesian Ridgeback, a novice dog owner should think twice about a Jack Russells. You see, these dogs get bored very easily — and you won’t always like the outcome. They are, however, a wonderful family dog and they love nothing more than a good romp or a game of catch.

These seven amazing dog breeds aren’t for couch potatoes

But they are excellent for active families and anyone who’s looking for a buddy to take along on a good walk, run or hike. If you’re looking for a dog, here’s to hoping that you find one that’s a good fit for you and your family.

Featured Photo by Emery Way, license CC 2.0 via Flickr

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