13 Best Athletic Dog Breeds In The World: Sporty Doggos Must-Haves!

October 13, 2022 / Dog Breeds / By: iPupster

"Border collie dog in mid air ready to catch a toy while dock diving into a pool

Athletic dogs come in various shapes and sizes. Some of the smallest dogs breeds have the most stamina while some of the most unlikely turn out to be strong swimmers.

Measuring athleticism will depend on which qualities you are looking for. Today we will go over various breeds that exhibit enhanced agility, speed, endurance, strength, and tenacity.

Our list will cover the most athletic dog breeds under a few different categories.

13 Most Athletic Dog Breeds in The World

Are you looking for a dog that has the energy to keep up with your active lifestyle? Perhaps you want a pet that will encourage you to get off the couch and head outside?

Whatever the reason may be one of these 13 active and athletic breeds is sure to be a good fit.

  • Greyhound
  • Siberian Husky
  • German Shepherd
  • Dalmation
  • Wire Fox Terrier
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • Border Collie
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Jack Russel Terrier
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Small Musterlander

Top 4 Large Athletic Dog Breeds


Firemen keep Dalmatians as the station for good reason. These loyal, obedient, industrious dogs are faithful companions. They are very obedient and loyal to a fault.

They are routinely placed in service work and enjoy being kept busy outdoors. They are very smart so puzzles and mental activities are exemplary ways to keep them happy. 

They are great with children but due to their active nature, they should be watched around small children.


Of all dogs in the world, the Greyhound is the fasted breed on earth. They can run as fast as 45 mph and have an impressive amount of endurance.

They are naturally inclined to chase prey so it is critical that you keep them in a secure area or on a leash when outdoors. 

As fast as they are very gentle animals that are prone to lounging. They are very smart and even-tempered making them perfect for families with older children.

Siberian Husky

Huskies are one of the most distinguished athletic dogs on the planet. They work great as a team with other dogs which is why they make great sled dogs.

They have a high level of endurance and an astonishing amount of strength hidden under all that fur. 

Huskies are good with families and middle ages children. Though they get along with other dogs, they do prefer to get a lot of personal attention.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd has a high level of energy and is naturally protective.

This large breed is extremely loyal, highly intelligent, and naturally obedient. They do tend to have a stubborn streak, so it is important to have them trained at an early age. 

Their athleticism and natural inclination for protectiveness make them one of the tops picks for police departments worldwide.

They are not overly amiable with unknown people, but they are also not aggressive without provocation.

Top 3 Small Athletic Dog Breeds

Jack Russell Terrier

These little dogs are full of life and personality. They have an abundance of energy and are among the most energetic dogs in the world.

They do love to bark and vocalize their feelings so keep that in mind if you live in an apartment. 

They are also naturally fearless, goofy, and prone to biting off more than they can chew. They are devoted dogs that are great for families with adolescent children or older.

Australian Cattle Dog

These small dogs are very loyal and hard-working. The breed was cultivated to herd cattle which is where they get their legendary endurance.

They can stay in the fields all day without tiring. They are very brave and extremely watchful of their family and their territory.

Though they are not naturally aggressive, they do not mix well with unknown dogs or people.

Small Munsterlander

These small dogs are highly attentive and naturally upbeat.

They are strong-willed but with the right training, they can become loyal companions. They possess a lot of energy and massive levels of endurance that is uncommon for dogs of their small size. 

They are attentive, clever, and affectionate, but not suitable for families with small children. They have all of the same qualities as a gun dog which also makes them perfect as hunting companions.

3 Insanely Athletic Medium Dog Breeds

Border Collie

These clever pooches have been working dogs for as long as they have been around, In fact, Border Collies need to live with very active families, or else they will become destructive and depressed.

They have been used to herd sheep and are even trained as bomb experts in many countries. They are very smart and loyal so long as you give them an active lifestyle to burn off their energy.

Though gentle, they are more suited to families with older children or active adults.

American Pit Bull Terrier

These stubborn dogs are highly affectionate and full of energy.

They are gentle enough for families with small children but also do well with active adults who love to spend time outdoors. They are very strong-willed, mainly because they are exceptionally intelligent. 

If you are looking for a dog to take with you when you hit the trail, an American Pit Bull Terrier will be the splendid breed. As fierce as they may look it is important to remember that they are more playful and clownish than aggressive.


Boxers are the Swiss army knife of dogs. They are hard workers but they are also athletes.

There is a lot of intelligence lurking behind their boxy bodies as well. They are perfect for families and love playing games and solving riddles. They have enough energy to run around and play for hours. 

These compliments their happy temperament well since they will frolic and play most of the day. Early training for a Boxer is recommended.

Hypoallergenic Athletic Dog Breeds

Portuguese Water Dog

These dogs are among the most hypoallergenic dogs on our list of athletic breeds. They love to have fun and are generally playful in nature.

They are also very docile with humans but can be quarrelsome when placed with other dogs. 

This intelligent breed has a lot of energy and loves to spend it swimming, running, or jumping around. Its loyalty and playfulness make it a nice choice for families.

Wire Fox Terrier

Despite its fluffy beard and feet, this dog breed sheds little to no pet dander. It is a very bold, alert, and friendly breed, despite its modest size.

It has a lot of energy and can play for hours. Terriers by nature love to exercise and spend time outdoors. 

Their elegant loot makes them a perfect companion for older adults or families with older children.

Peruvian Inca Orchid

This breed is nearly hairless and doesn’t shed any pet dander. It is an active and also very protective breed.

They make for great guard dogs and can run for hours thanks to their endurance levels. 

They are very affectionate and highly alert making them a good fit for families.

The 4 Least Athletic Dog Breeds

Active dog breeds are great for people who like to spend time outdoors. 

However, if you are looking for a lazy companion, you need the polar opposite.

Even if you love the outdoors but prefer a more sedate breed, there are a lot of options to choose from. Here are four dog breeds that are considered the least athletic dogs in the world.

Basset Hound

The sleepy dogs are as lazy as they look. They make great companions for elderly owners because they typically stay in one spot all day.

They are loyal and affectionate, but they won’t go out of their way to get what they want.

It is worth noting that Basset Hounds tend to be very vocal especially if they don’t feel like moving.


These dogs are truly companion pets.

They are happy to sit still and cuddle wherever you happen to be. They are not very active so keep that in mind if you lead an active lifestyle.

They are also very vocal and don't do well if left alone for long periods.

Great Dane

The gentle giants don't need very much energy and love to spend plenty of time sleeping.

They are hard workers and will live longer with physical activity, but they are not the type to go out of their way to be active.

Did you know that adult Great Danes will spend as much as 12 hours a day taking naps?

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