There are hundreds of established dog breeds throughout the world and new cross-breeds evolving all the time. With so many types to choose from, making a decision about which dog is perfect for you can be quite difficult. While most dogs are easily adaptable, some owners prefer a dog that is more suited for their particular lifestyle.
In order to find the right dog, you must keep in mind what type of person you are. Some people prefer a low maintenance pet but others are more than willing to put time and effort into having a dog as a companion evolving their lifestyle as a new dog owner.
Emily Tronetti delves in finding ten of the best breeds for owners looking for dogs to match their active lifestyle.
Some would-be dog owners are looking for a dog to cuddle with on the couch while others are looking for a running partner. For this more active type, there are a number of breeds that would love to accompany their owner on a run. Although most dogs benefit from an active lifestyle, there are some specific breeds that are perfect for this way of life.
So, what do you do once you’ve narrowed your list down to breeds that fit in with your activity level? There are other factors to keep in mind before you make your decision. For those people that love exciting games of fetch and a daily stroll in the park, here are some possible matches for you to consider.
The German Short-Haired Pointer
The German Short-Haired Pointer was bred to be an “all-purpose dog”, and is to this day extremely versatile. Originally the “GSP” (as some breeders abbreviate) was developed to point, retrieve, trail, hunt all sizes and types of game, and to also be a family companion.
The breed is considered a medium sized dog, with a build that is neither stocky nor lean. The markings and colour of the dog are quite unique, with some having small white markings the are often referred to as “ticking”, but there are also solid liver and black versions of the German Short Haired Pointer. Grooming is minimal, but some work may be required weekly to reduce shedding.
With this dog being bred for purpose, they tend to have a high level of energy that needs to be channeled. As long as this breed receives a significant level of outdoor exercise, it will do great in the house. The German Short Haired Pointer is ideal for active families. GSPs are “eager to please and willing to learn”.
The Standard Poodle
An elegant dog that is often thought of as naturally kind, the Standard Poodle is a great dog for a family home. This breed has been known throughout Western Europe for over 400 hundred years, and although France is said to be the founding place for the breed, the exact origin has brought on some controversy, with many experts citing Germany as the more likely nation of origin.
Even so, the Standard Poodle was originally used as gundog and waterfowl retriever. Eventually, because of the Poodle’s trainability, intelligence, and showmanship, the French began to use the Poodles as circus performers!
The Standard Poodle was bred down in size, but all three sizes are considered the same breed. It is said though, the larger variety of Poodle tends to be more composed and relaxed than the smaller. Like many large dog breeds, the Standard Poodle is prone to hip dysplasia, and other common concerns including cataracts, allergies, and skin conditions.
Although most commonly used for companions and show dogs, the Standard Poodle can adapt to nearly any environment or task. The Standard Poodle is content with living in a small household or apartment, and does not require a large amount of daily exercise, but is a great family pet and will actively be involved with those who are willing. They love being outdoors, going for walks, and playing games. The breed is on this list for it’s behaviour, adaptability, and it’s reputation as a great family dog.
The Miniature Schnauzer
The Schnauzer is a loyal and devoted breed that dates back to the 14th century. The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular of the three Schnauzer breeds, and is full of spunk. This dog is often referred to as a “big dog in a small dog’s body”. Never be put off by the Miniature Schnauzer’s size. The breed is a vermin hunter and excellent guard.
Generally, the Schnauzer is a healthy breed with a long life span. The Miniature Schnauzer has the longest of the three sizes and can live up to 15 or more years. Some problems the Miniature Schnauzer may encounter include hyperlipidemia, diabetes, bladder stones, and eye problems.
The Schnauzer is a very trainable and intelligent dog. They have a very high energy level and they enjoy challenges and diversity while training and playing. This breed thrives on a stable environment and most importantly love and devotion. The Schnauzer has an intense desire to apart of your life and apart of your family.
The Weimaraner is an active dog known for it’s rambunctious attitude and sleek look. Bred in the 19th century to hunt big game like deer and wolves, the breed has a good sense of smell, is fast, intelligent, and has no fear.
While some owners admit that Weimaraners may not be the most cooperative dogs when it comes to commands, it is proven that this may not be so if one maintains a strong will and provides the time to train, socialize, and play. Not a good breed for apartment living, this dog loves open spaces, a yard to play in and plenty of exercise. Weimaraners are known to be gentle and kind but also independent and somewhat unpredictable.
Some health problems that are common in Weimaraners are hip dysplasia, tumors, and immune system disorders. They may also bloat, so keep in mind that it is best to feed them several small meals a day as opposed to one big meal.
The Weimaraner has a strong personality and a beautiful sleek coat. The dog has a high energy level and an intelligent mind. This breed is most perfectly matched with active singles and people that enjoy hunting and hiking.
The Portuguese Water Dog
Eager to please and intelligent, the Portuguese Water Dog is ideal for families, fishermen, and experienced dog handlers. Often compared to Poodles for their appearance and temperament, they are said to be “energetic workers and calm playmates” and are acutely loyal to their family.
Some possible health concerns for Portuguese Water Dogs are distichiasis, Addison’s disease, and hip dysplasia. Other less common concerns are hair loss, irritable bowel syndrome and seizures.
Originating along the coast of Portugal and used by fishermen, Portuguese Water Dogs are dependable and vigorous. Surprising to some, these dogs are exceptional therapy and hearing assistance dogs. The Portuguese Water Dog is medium-sized, sturdy, and strong, with thick coats that don’t shed. Their look is said to be “gallant yet robust”. A rare breed, their personality and other qualities have caused an increase in popularity during recent years.
The Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is known for its grace and Northern heritage. At average the breed stands about 22 inches tall and can weigh about 50 pounds. This medium-sized dog is built to work hard and its form creates a balance of power, speed, and endurance.
This breed is known to live up to 12 to 15 years with proper care. Generally, most health issues in the breed are genetic defects of the eye. If the Husky is used for sled-racing they are also prone to gastric disease, among some other health issues.
The Siberian Husky is alert but friendly, and is outgoing as well as eager. Their mischievous spirit and intelligent mind complete the dog’s classic beauty. Many owners trust this breed in the deepest way, with their house and even their young children. The Husky is devoted and loyal and truly loves it’s family. This is a breed for those who enjoy the outdoors and it is ideal for cold weather conditions. The Siberian Husky is a great pet, and a companion for life.
The Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog usually weighs less than 20 pounds and tends to be timid toward strangers. But this breed is also known for it’s protective instincts and hard work. Bred originally in Scotland as herd dogs the Shetland Sheepdog is quick and docile. They often make perfect farm works, guard dogs, or hiking pals.
Some health problems this breed faces are eye problems, hip dysplasia, hemophilia and hypothyroidism. The breed can live up to 15 years with proper care. The Shetland Sheepdog needs daily brushing and regular grooming, especially during their shedding seasons.
This breed is not necessarily well-suited for apartment living because of their need for a considerable amount of exercise. They enjoy training and are eager to learn. Some owners are surprised with the Shetland Sheepdog’s ability to read their moods and their keen sense of intelligence. With a nice yard, proper care and training, the Shetland Sheepdog will make a devoted and loving companion.
The Border Collie
Often considered the most intelligent breed, the Border Collie originated in England and Scotland as herding dogs. The breed’s deepest instincts lie in herding, and can be trained to respond to simply a whistle at long distances.
They are still frequently used in livestock work but have also become popular as a pet and in dog agility competitions. Their speed and stamina has led to their dominance in activities like flyball and disc dog competitions. Another skill of the Border Collie is their ability to track. They have made great Search and Rescue dogs in many areas.
Some health problems Border Collies are genetically prone to are collie eye anomaly, canine hip dysplasia, seizures, and progressive retinal atrophy. The dog will also need to be brushed regularly but does not need to be taken to a groomer very often.
The Border Collie is a hard worker and always playful. Many owners are amazed by their intelligence. It is often mentioned how sensitive they are as well. The Border Collie is very affectionate and loving to their owners, and require someone who is very involved and willing to spend time with their dog. The breed enjoys running, swimming, fetching, and they don’t mind settling down to watch television with you on the couch after a long day.
The Field Spaniel
The Field Spaniel is an independent yet docile and loving breed that is bound to win over most. Originating in England from the Cocker Spaniel, they were bred originally for competition and companionship. Modernly, they are using for tracking, hunting, and retrieving as well as a companion.
In order to maintain a healthy mind and body, the Field Spaniel must get a lot of exercise- daily walks and a free run in an enclosed outdoor area are ideal. This dog is very outgoing and affectionate and would love spending time with their family outside. Some health issues that are common in Field Spaniels are ear infections, eye problems and hip dysplasia. The breed is known to live up to 10 to 12 years.
The Field Spaniel is said to have the one of best personalities of the Spaniels. They are very friendly and will get along with everyone in the family. The Field Spaniel is smart, vigorous, and playful. Although some may be stubborn and withdrawn when it comes to rough play or pestering children, the breed tends to maintain their calm temperament. Like with any pet, socialization is extremely important. The Field Spaniel is a great walking partner, watchdog, and a great addition to an active lifestyle.
The Samoyed is known to be a loyal, understanding, and hardworking dog, and is active and playful for it’s entire life. Creating a deep bond with it’s master, but showing love and affection to everyone, including children, this breed makes a perfect family dog.
The Samoyed is most suited for cooler climates, and enjoys daily walks and keeping busy. This breed can live up to 14 years and is susceptible to health problems such as hip dysplasia, skin allergies, and an eye problem called progressive retinal atrophy. The Samoyed also has a fluffy coat that requires a daily brush and occasional bath.
Although this dog would be perfectly happy in an apartment, it is a working breed and requires plenty of time outdoors. The Samoyed originated in Siberia, where it pulled sleds, and was a companion of many. This breed in known as “an age-old helper and a dependable friend.” The Samoyed is an ideal family dog and will be loving and loyal to all.
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