Experts Reveal the 15 Fittest Dog Breeds
Keeping yourself healthy is hard enough. Keeping your dog healthy can be even harder. Remove some of the work from the equation by owning a dog known to be one of the fittest breeds. They may not be the easiest dog breeds to own, but they are the fittest. See which breeds are known for being fit, ahead.
Named for a mountainous region in England, Lakeland terriers enjoy being active all day long. Their ancestors spent their days chasing away predators from livestock. Aside from this breed being very fit, they’re a relatively low maintenance breed because they don’t shed, according to Country Living.
Hint: This retriever loves water and walking.
Known as “curlies,” these retrievers are the oldest of British retrievers. They’re highly intelligent, gentle, loving, and enjoy going on walks. But beware their instinct to jump into water. The life expectancy of a curly-coated retriever is 13 to 14 years.
Hint: This dog enjoys long walks, possibly on the beach.
Welsh springer spaniel
Welsh springer spaniels “will thrive on vigorous exercise, gentle training and devoted companionship,” according to Country Living. They’re known for enjoying long walks and showering their owners with affection. They live 12 to 14 years.
Hint: Strong and active, this dog likes to spend time with their owner.
This strong and durable dog is known for pulling heavy cargo across long distances, according to The Active Times. Classified as a working dog by the American Kennel Club, Alaskan malamutes enjoy hiking, swimming, and backpacking with their owners. This breed is perfect for someone with an active lifestyle who wants a furry companion.
Hint: Give this dog a job to do and they’ll be happy and healthy.
Known for being highly energetic and athletic, Australian shepherds need lots of exercise. At least one to two hours a day. They thrive on task-driven activities such as shepherding children, herding livestock, or participating in an obstacle course. As adults, these dogs make excellent companions to runners.
Hint: Couch potatoes, beware of this dog breed.
Border collies are considered to be an extremely active dogs by the American Kennel Club. They require “daily exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a quick romp in the yard.” They’re not for people who prefer watching Netflix every evening. For an alternate activity, take your dog shopping with you.
Hint: This dog is considered a marathon runner.
Siberian huskies are “like the marathon runners of dog breeds,” according to The Active Times. They’re bred to run, which is why they may often run away if they’re not in an enclosed backyard or fenced in area. Similar to other breeds, they’re happiest when they have a job to do.
Hint: If there were dog olympics, this dog would be an olympic swimmer.
Chesapeake Bay retriever
Chesapeake Bay retrievers love the water as much as Michael Phelps. They’re excellent swimmers and you’ll find them sitting in puddles, ponds, or swimming pools. They need plenty of exercise, ideally playing fetch in a body of water.
Hint: From leading horses to making way for fire trucks, this dog loves to exercise.
Known for helping firefighters in the past, Dalmatians are energetic dogs. Without regular exercise, dalmatians can get themselves into trouble. The American Kennel Club warns against strenuous exercise until a Dalmatian has reached the age of 2, because their bones and joints aren’t at their full strength.
Hint: This all-purpose gun dog loves water.
German shorthaired pointer
This breed is great for families with a big backyard or access to water. German shorthaired pointers have what can seem like an endless supply of energy. Ideally, they should exercise twice a day to burn some energy and satisfy their love of the outdoors.
Hint: All but extinct during WWI, this breed made a comeback.
Bred to be hunting dogs, they need to be challenged both physically and mentally. Vizsla require at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Running around without a leash is one of their favorite activities.
Hint: Don’t get this dog unless you enjoy being extremely active.
Jack Russell terrier
Jack Russell terriers require lots and lots of activity. If you like long walks or hiking, a Jack Russell terrier is for you. Their energy is never-ending, requiring owners to keep them active so they don’t bounce off the walls.
Hint: Originally bred to chase lions, this dog loves physical activity.
Compared other dogs who are naturally fit, a Rhodesian ridgeback requires only regular exercise. Nothing drastic like a Jack Russell terrier or border collie. They’ll remain fit with fairly regular walks and playtime. Playtime can be as simple as letting them explore the backyard or playing fetch.
Hint: This breed ended up in the White House during the Eisenhower administration.
“They need an extraordinary amount of exercise and mental stimulation,” JT Clough, a dog trainer and author, told Runner’s World. They make excellent companions for runners because they like to stay close to their owner and need lots of exercise. Don’t get a Weimaraner if you don’t like going on long walks or runs.
Hint: This dog can reach speeds up to 35 mph.
Known as “the poor man’s racehorse,” whippets are sprinters by nature, according to the American Kennel Club. Although they love to run, they only require a regular amount of exercise. Going on walks or playing fetch will make this breed happy.
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