7 Most Athletic Dog Breeds

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and some are definitely more athletic than others.

If you’re looking for a pup that loves to stay active, then you may want to consider one or more of the most athletic dog breeds!

From Schnauzers to Shepherds, these dogs were made to run, jump and play. So if you’re looking for a workout buddy, look no further than one of these athletic dog breeds!

#1 Greyhound

The Greyhound is an excellent pet! It is a clean and loving friend, which is also good around children. But, a Greyhound is also the fastest dog breed with a lot of energy.

There is actually an entire sport dedicated to the speed of these dogs – the greyhound racing!

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These lovely dogs can run at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

If you decide to get a greyhound, ensure enough space for the dog to stretch and practice sprinting. But keep in mind that even though these dogs love to run, they are also happy around people.

Greyhound is an easy dog breed to train, but they don’t respond well to punishment.

You need to be consistent and ensure a consistent walking schedule, and you won’t have problems with your Greyhound! Provide a nice fetching toy for your dog to keep him in shape and playful!

Greyhounds can adapt to apartment living, and they won’t bark too much or make noise. But, this dog breed doesn’t enjoy being alone. If you are ready to be around your dog for a lot of time, consider a Greyhound dog.

Many Greyhound dogs become house pets once their athletic season is over. Still, even a retired Greyhound is in good shape!

Interestingly, in the past, people grew Greyhound dogs for hunting. They were great at chasing foxes and hares.

#2 Boxer

Don’t get fooled by the cute appearance of boxer puppies! These cuties grow up to be fast and agile dogs in their adult years. They can jump high and far and run almost as fast as greyhounds.

Boxers also make excellent candidates for canine competitions which focus on pace and athletic performance.

Boxer dogs are some of the most intelligent dogs out there. They are also patient, playful, friendly, and a perfect choice for families with children.

Boxers love physical exercise but won’t mind spending time cuddling with the owner on the sofa.

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A Boxer is also a great running companion! They can run short distances quickly, but you can also jog with a boxer dog for quite a few miles.

A Boxer dog is strong and muscular and needs appropriate training. Luckily, training a Boxer is as exciting as it is necessary.

You need to socialize the dog and ensure plenty of physical activity.

A reward system works great with boxer dogs, and in no time, you will be happy with the training results.

However, don’t forget to cuddle with your dog outside the training sessions!

#3 Siberian Husky

A dog that can pull sleds in extreme conditions must be on the list of the most athletic dog breeds.

The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog with a distinctive athletic personality. Even though Siberian huskies might prefer winter sports, they need workouts year-round.

These dogs are full of energy, strong, resilient and loyal.

Siberian Huskies love swimming and can be a perfect companion if you are training for a marathon.

white and black siberian husky as an athletic dog breed
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Huskies are known for their endurance and running capabilities. But, before you run long distances with a Siberian husky, you’ll need to train the dog properly.

Training a Siberian husky is an exciting experience, and you should remember to never get angry at your dog.

If you get angry, your husky will get upset too. So, the training will be ruined. Training a husky is challenging because the breed is very independent, but it is definitely worth it!

Huskies make excellent pets for those looking for athletic companions and ones searching for friends!

#4 Border Collie

Here is a surprise for some people, Border Collie is actually one of the most agile dogs. A charming Border Collie is a vigorous runner, and it can do whatever you need him to do!

The dog has strong bones and is known for its exceptional stamina.

The average speed an adult Border Collie can achieve is 30 miles per hour, which is very impressive. In fact, Border Collie has announced the most agile dog breed at multiple championships and Grand Prix.

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It is also one of the most common sheepdogs in Great Britain, and it is a reliable and friendly dog breed.

Border Collie is an excellent choice for families, especially active ones who spend a lot of time outdoors. But, only pick him if you have a lot of space for the dog to train and stretch.

Border Collie is an intelligent dog and easy to train. These dogs are loyal and attached to their owners, and they don’t enjoy being alone and bored.

They have a lot of energy, so spending time outdoors playing frisbee or a similar game is a great way to socialize.

You can also teach your dog many words and commands and give him tasks, which he will be happy to fulfill every day!

#5 German Shepherd

The German shepherd is a vigilant and athletic dog. But, it is a wise and obedient one, too!

Despite their mildly scary appearance, German shepherds are loyal and easy to train, as well as very friendly, if the situation doesn’t demand otherwise!

German shepherds have a strong body and a lot of endurance. You can safely jog with your dog, but you have to make sure to pick shorter distances.

The best thing? These dogs are praised for their talents. They are protective and great with children.

Additionally, in their nature is the need to please, so you won’t have a problem with your dog misbehaving and disobeying your commands.

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Tracking is one of the most popular sports for German shepherd owners. It tests how well the dog follows the scent and sets tracks in various environments.

But probably the most common sport for German shepherds is Schutzhund. It refers to multiple disciplines related to police and military work.

The German shepherd is valuable for police and the military because of its exceptional abilities, and it will deal well with most activities you set for him.

Also, the dog is an excellent protector, and can easily become an irreplaceable part of your family!

#6 Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a typical cattle dog, meaning it is tough, intelligent, alert, and obedient.

You can easily train the dog to obey various commands and become your loyal partner in all activities. The dog responds well to physical training and can be a perfect friend for running.

Australian shepherds love task-driven sports. They are excellent in flyball and combination training. But, you can also take them for long walks and family hiking trips.

australian shepherd puppy on white wooden cage
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These cute dogs are friendly, and they show special affection to children. Also, Aussies are great at socialization. So, if you have other pets, you can count on your new dog to get along with whatever pet you have, quickly.

Because of their distinctive intelligence, these dogs are also easy to train, even from inexperienced owners.

If you decide to get an Australian shepherd, give the dog plenty of space to play, stretch and run.

Aussie Shepherds are known to bark a lot, but you can train them to stop at some verbal commands.

Also, Australian Shepherds shed a lot, so cleaning around them might be difficult.

Australian shepherds don’t mind being alone, unlike some other highly athletic dogs.

They can be the perfect athletic dog for busy owners who work long hours!

#7 Jack Russell Terrier

Here is the smallest dog on the list – Jack Russell Terrier! Despite their small size, it is a vigorous dog that can easily outrun larger dogs.

Centuries ago, the Jack Russell terrier was grown as a hunting dog. Guess why? Well, because it excelled in chasing animals and catching them.

Nowadays, Jack Russell has a reputation as a favorite family dog because of its super-friendly nature.

jack russell terrier is an athletic dog breed
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Even though Jack Russell has tiny legs, it can easily reach a speed of 20 miles per hour.

Its compact and muscular body can survive various physical challenges. You can also take your Jack Russell along for a nice jog!

Though Jacks have pretty small bodies, that isn’t really at the cost of their energy, meaning that these dogs are quite energetic and sometimes even hyperactive!

To keep the dog happy and maximize its skills and capabilities, you need to provide suitable training. Provide the dog at least half an hour of exercise and off-leash running each day.

Some people might find the lively energy of Jack Russells too much, but they will fit well with people that have active lifestyles!

They are brilliant in flyball, but you can teach your Jack Russell a variety of commands and tricks to use in other sports.

#8 Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an excellent dog for adventures!

Ridgebacks love to run and have exceptional hunting skills. Additionally, these beautiful and muscular dogs are also fast and agile!

Adult Rhodesian Ridgeback can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. It is also a great dog for running long distances because of its excellent endurance.

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Some people even go as far as to compare Rhodesian Ridgeback with a running horse!

However, these exceptional running capabilities only applied to well-trained and exercised dogs.

Standard family dogs can run significantly shorter, but they make excellent athletic dog breeds.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has the genuine protector instinct. They are good as family dogs, but maintaining authority might be a bit of a struggle.

If you are an owner of a Rhodesian ridgeback, you need to ensure the dog knows who is in charge at every moment.

If you manage to position yourself as the alpha, you won’t have too many problems training your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

They are smart and quick learners, but their independent nature might make you lose patience soon!

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is excellent in a lot of dog sports. They are great in tracking, lure coursing, obedience and agility.

If you don’t want to participate in dog sports, you can hike and jog with the dog, and he will be equally as happy!

#9 Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is one of the most active dog breeds. The dog has natural instincts to jump, run, swim, and has a lot of energy. Therefore, this breed might be an excellent choice for active families!

The Malinois is also one of the breeds typically used by police and military forces because of its strength, endurance, obedience, and intelligence.

belgian malinois military dog
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These dogs can also compete in conformation shows, herding livestock, even running agility championships.

The average speed Malinois can reach on a short distance is around 35 miles per hour. But, the Malinois jumping abilities really amaze people. These dogs can jump up to eight feet in height!

They are also great at climbing and protecting people because of their outstanding alertness.

The Belgian Malinois is a perfect working dog. Or, it can become a lovable family member in active families. They can look after owners and their children, but unfortunately, won’t do well with other pets.

Belgian Malinois also doesn’t socialize well with small pets and is suitable to be the only household pet.

Suitable training is essential because Malinois can be dangerous and aggressive in case of poor training.

Keep in mind that with this breed, sometimes, it is better to consult a professional dresser to ensure great results.

#10 Rottweiler

Lastly, the list cannot be complete without the Rottweiler. This dog is strong and alert. It can participate in many sports, including nose work, tracking, dock diving, barn hunt, herding, agility.

Rottweilers need at least two hours of active play or exercise per day to remain happy and well trained. You can practice some exercises together or find the ones specifically tailored for Rottweilers.

rottweiler dog breed
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The Rottweiller isn’t a suitable dog for long-distance running, despite its athletic nature.

These dogs have explosive strength but lack endurance. However, with proper training, you can make them capable of running the extra mile. Still, don’t expect them to run for more than several minutes!

When needed, however, a rottweiler can run at up to 25 miles per hour until he reaches his target! The exact speed of your Rottie depends on its fitness level.

Additionally, the Rottweiler is a loyal and caring dog.

Because of the potential aggressiveness, Rottweilers need a steady arm for training and a consistent approach.

The dog is committed to the owner but may come as a high-maintenance dog as well. Therefore, they might not be a dog for everyone because of the needed responsibility.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. The most athletic dog breeds in the world!

We’ve dissected their personalities and traits to find out which ones would be best for your household.

If you want a friendly companion who will go on adventures with you or just enjoy lounging around by your side all day, these breeds are perfect choices!

Whatever breed you choose to welcome in your family, always treat it with respect, feed it well and make sure to exercise with it regularly!

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