Best Active Dog Breeds for Open Spaces – But Which Breeds?

Guest Post by Jane Meggitt.

The best active dog breeds for open spaces is a big group! If you are an active person who enjoys open spaces, you need a dog who can keep up with you – or vice versa.

Fortunately, you have a broad range of breeds from which to choose.

Just remember that these high-energy breeds require many daily exercises – they are not just weekend warriors.

Best Active Dog Breeds for Open Spaces

Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler, Queensland Heeler)

This dog from Down Under was developed to herd cattle through the outback. The breed boasts some dingo blood. They are also known as Blue Heelers or Queensland Heelers.

The Australian cattle dog had to work independently in harsh conditions, so he has a mind of his own. He needs an alpha leader but makes a beautiful companion for someone who likes regular, vigorous exercise.

Border Collie

Border Collie

The Border Collie is arguably the smartest and most energetic dog on the planet. For the right person, the bond with a Border Collie is a partnership like no other.

While they were bred to herd sheep – and will herd other animals and people if given the opportunity – this breed just loves to work.

Give your Border Collie a job, even if it consists of accompanying you on daily jogs, and you will have a happy camper.

A bored Border Collie will find an outlet for all that energy, and the results are not pretty.



This famously spotted canine was originally bred as a coaching dog. They followed horse-drawn coaches for miles, posting a guard at inns and other stops and keeping stray dogs away from the equines.

Later on, they became firehouse mascots, performing some of the same duties for horse-drawn fire equipment. When any variant of the “101 Dalmatians” movies come out, the breed receives a sharp uptick in popularity – and shelters are soon full of this friendly but very energetic breed.

If you enjoy horseback riding over considerable distances, this is the dog for you, but he is also a great companion on hikes. The Dalmatian excels in agility and other canine sports.

English Pointer

English Pointer

The English Pointer is a very old breed, dating back to around the 1650s in England. Originally used in hunting hare (pared with sight hounds such as Greyhounds), they came to be used in game bird hunting after the invention of a reliable gun.

There have energy to burn, and need plenty of exercise. With a soft, gentle nature, they are well suited to family life, but preferably with enough space to run.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Perhaps the most versatile of all breeds, the German Shepherd excels in virtually any canine activity. His ancestors were herding dogs, and German Shepherds make ideal farm and ranch dogs.

Not only do they herd, but they protect the property. These gallant dogs a great deal of physical and mental stimulation, and are readily trained to accompany their owners on all sorts of adventures.

Golden and Labrador Retriever

Both golden and Labrador retrievers are easy to train and love to accompany their people outdoors. To read more about the Golden Retriever, click on the button below.


Retrievers bred from working rather than show lines are particularly active.

The former are leaner, more athletic and faster. Unless you also hunt or show your retriever, choosing between working and show lines is a matter of personal taste. To read more about the Labrador, click on the button below.

Irish Setter and English Setter

Irish Setter
English Setter

Perhaps there’s no more beautiful dog on earth than an Irish Setter or English Setter enjoying a romp in the country.

These gorgeous dogs love people – the Irish or English Setter has never met a stranger. Along with his energy comes his joyful personality. Setters possess puppy enthusiasm until well into middle age. So, if you want one of the best active dog breeds for open spaces AND a lot of puppy passion, you can’t go wrong with an Irish or English Setter. Just click on the button below to read more.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

If you prefer a smaller dog, the Jack Russell terrier – or Parson Russell terrier if he is registered with the American Kennel Club – fills the bill.

They have long been an equestrian favorite, as they not only can run all day but do an excellent job ridding barns of vermin.

They are tough little canines – make sure your pet does not try to take on a dog three times his size. Click on the button below to read more!

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to hunt lions, and spend a long day running. They have great stamina, and will keep up with whatever activity you are involved in. Click on the button below to read more.



The Hungarian Vizsla is another breed with boundless energy and a love of big wide open spaces.

There are lots of other breeds who are not couch potatoes and love the outdoors. The breeds pictured on this space are just a few of the best active dog breeds for open spaces.

Field sports are synonymous with open spaces, so dogs bred for those pursuits – pointers, retrievers, setters, spaniels- are well-suited for an active, outdoor lifestyle. Click on the button below to read more about the Vizsla!



The Whippet was bred for chasing small game and for racing. It is about half the size of a Greyhound, and can achieve up to 35mph on the flat.

This breed loves to get out and enjoys running games. However they do not need hours of exercise. And afterwards they love to sleep on the sofa!

by Jane Meggitt, Guest Author

Author Bio

Jane Meggitt is a Writer for Animal Connection, a holistic pet care store in Charlottesville, VA. Jane’s work has appeared in The Daily Puppy, Paw Animal Nations, eHow Pets, The Nest Pets and many other publications. She is also a nationally known equine journalist.

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