All dogs love to play. But some play harder than others. Hey, don’t hate the player. Whether you want a loyal canine companion to tag along on outdoor activities or a tireless playmate for the kids, these ten most playful dog breeds offer fun-loving dispositions, boundless energy, and cheerful enthusiasm as active participants in all family activities.
10. German Shepherd Dog – Playful Dog Breeds
The German Shepherd Dog is perhaps best known as an intelligent, working dog. But, when the German Shepherd isn’t working hard, it’s playing hard.
German Shepherd Dogs have great instincts and active minds. Lots of activity and exercise will make your doggy happy, but tracking, obedience, and agility games — or any task-oriented activity — will make it even happier. A bored German Shepherd Dog may resort to chewing furniture, digging up flowers and other mischief to help it burn off some underutilized energy reserves.
One of the happiest hounds on Earth makes for an ideal playmate for all members of the family.
Originally developed to hunt in packs, Beagles closely bond to their people.
These playful dogs want to join the fun at every opportunity. But this scent hound may not be the fastest hiking partner, as it intensely sniffs its way along the trail. The Beagle’s motto is “let my nose be my guide.”
8. Dalmatian – Playful Dog Breeds
Best known for the smooth coat of white with black spots, the Dalmatian possesses an energy reserve that never seems to deplete.
Once used to run alongside horse-drawn carriages and firefighting coaches, the Dalmatian enjoys romping alongside family members as they jog, skate or ride their bikes.
This dog is bred for endurance and has a bone structure that makes them excellent runners. Their near endless stamina also gives them tireless enthusiasm, which makes them one of the most lovable and playful dog breeds.
The Dalmatian is eager to learn to perform tricks and agility feats. No matter what the activity may be, the Dalmatian is a friendly dog that is happiest when playing with its family.
If dogs ran businesses, the Australian Shepherd would be the CEO. This loyal and hardworking breed makes a loyal companion and can thrive in a variety of environments.
Australian Shepherds are incredibly playful for most of their lives. So, if you are seeking an active dog for years to come, this one might be the right dog for you.
Despite the name, Australian Shepherds were actually first bred in the United States in the late 19th century for sheep herding, which they can still be found doing today, as well as being general ranch and farm dogs.
The Aussie was bred to work in extreme conditions like high altitude and remote locations. As a companion dog, this breed’s smart but sometimes dominating personality can be best stimulated by a fun session on the agility course or other dog sports.
6. English Springer Spaniel – Playful Dog Breeds
The English Springer Spaniel is known for having plenty of energy and a love for playing outdoors.
Cheerful, playful and energetic, English Springer Spaniels were bred for hunting tirelessly under difficult conditions. And, they are built for strength and endurance and can be a bit overly enthusiastic if not exercised daily, preferably outdoors or with some active dog toys. Their friendly personalities make them an ideal companion for an active family.
Try activities like hiking, fetching, agility training, and tracking.
5. Jack Russell Terrier / Parson Russell Terrier
Spunky, mischievous, highly intelligent, and very lively, the small but mighty Jack Russell Terrier is a playful character that needs vigorous playtime every day to burn off some of its almost inexhaustible energy.
Jacks and the related Parson Russell Terriers enjoy hiking and running after playful children. They have a strong instinct to dig, which can be helpful if your child is trying to see if you can really dig to China or if you need the soil in your garden bed tilled.
Because these Terriers always need something to do, they make excellent candidates for agility and other canine sports activities.
American’s most popular breed is also one of the most playful dog breeds. The Labrador Retriever is an animated athlete that never tires of games. The Lab is friendly with everybody. This sporting breed is an excellent companion for outdoor activities such as hiking and hunting, and its love of water makes it an excellent companion for boating and fishing.
While the Golden Retriever is a different breed, it shares the Lab’s love of play, along with many other characteristics. So, for the purpose of this video, I’ll lump them together. You can check out the differences in Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever.
Like the Labrador, a happy disposition and willingness to romp and play make the Golden Retriever a popular choice for families with children.
3. West Highland White Terrier – Playful Dog Breeds
The wee white terrier with the prick ears is always primed for a good time. The spunky and confident West Highland Terrier is the smallest dog on this list, weighing between 15 and 22 pounds, making it a fun-sized playmate whose exuberance won’t knock small children down. Although it certainly has the energy to keep up with them.
These agile and playful dogs also excel at canine sports.
I’m just going to say Corgi, because anyone that knows Corgis knows that the Corgi breeds share a love for play.
The Corgi, which comes from Great Britain, is a favorite of sitting monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Corgis first appeared in England as cattle herding dogs in the early 20th century. Their short legs and small stature helped them avoid the heavy hooves of the cows they worked alongside.
While cattle farming lands have shrunk, the Corgi’s large amount of energy has not, so it’s essential to give your furry friend plenty of fun playtime. It does still need to burn off that exceptional energy.
If I had gotten to number one without including the Boxer, I’m pretty sure I would have been ripped to shreds in the comments. One of the defining characteristics of the Boxer is a refusal to grow up and its goofy, if not awkward, fun-loving personality.
These Playful Dog Breeds are intelligent, high-energy, playful dogs that like to stay busy and prefer to be in the company of their family.
The Boxer has a high need for companionship and exercise. Boxers are ideal for people who want a doggy companion with them all of the time or for larger active families with homes that are often occupied by someone.
Know what other dogs are playful? Shelter dogs. Mutts. Let’s hear it for dogs of questionable lineage who boast a quirky mix of breeds. You can find one or two at your local animal shelter. You’ll be rewarded with a loyal friend who will eagerly join you on every adventure. There’s no better outdoor companion than that.
If you can’t adopt a dog, you can volunteer at the shelter to play with the dogs to help socialize them and get them ready for their forever homes.
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