One of the things we love about dogs is their playfulness. But some breeds are generally more playful than others. So, in the spirit of a good time, we combed through our
breed profiles to find the dog breeds that tend to be the most fun loving.
important to keep in mind that most of these breeds are not couch potatoes or
shrinking violets and, in fact, usually need lots of mental and physical stimulation so they
don’t become bored. And you should remember that all dogs are individuals — not all Labs are obsessed with playing fetch, and there are probably even some Portuguese Water Dogs who don’t like water. And, of course, with any of these breeds, a dog’s health and age will influence his level of liveliness. So even with these breeds, you should have a veterinarian examine your dog to make sure there are no underlying conditions before initiating any exuberant activities.
And now, here are our top 15 playful dog breeds. Did we miss any?
Tell us in the comments below.
English Springer Spaniel
A lively and versatile breed, the English Springer Spaniel generally has
plenty of energy and usually enjoys a good play session — especially if it’s
with his family. Encourage his playful nature through activities like fetch,
hiking, agility, flyball and tracking.
West Highland White Terrier
The Westie might look like a cute little dog who will spend
time in your lap, but this fun-loving terrier is probably way too busy for that. The
typically energetic and clever breed lives to dig, hunt and run. Don’t let him get bored, though,
or he could become restless and excavate your backyard or bark incessantly at
There are many reasons Labrador Retrievers are so popular,
but their typically fun-loving and playful demeanors are certainly part of it. Get creative when it comes to games and activities to
try with this breed. Whether you want to go for a run or need a first mate for
your next boating trip, the Lab is probably happy to do it.
Small, smart and spunky, the Papillon needs to be
entertained — or she’ll find a way to amuse herself. Tire out this energetic pup
through quality time at the dog park or long walks through the neighborhood.
She even generally excels at dog sports (and looks adorable doing it).
Known for his signature greeting, the “Beardie bounce,” the
Bearded Collie is usually a boisterous and exuberant breed who will entertain you with
his clownish antics. That being said, families with toddlers might want to look
at other breeds; this spirited dog can easily knock over a small child.
Generally smart and energetic, the Brittany is usually happy to do
anything you want to do, as long as it’s active. Engage her mind and energy
through dog sports, daily walks, hiking, jogging or by playing games like fetch
and tug-of-war. But if you want a buddy who will snuggle on the couch with you
all day, then this breed is not for you.
Portuguese Water Dog
As you may have guessed, the Portuguese Water Dog usually
loves to play in the water. You don’t have to have a pool if you own this dog,
but if you do, he’ll probably be very appreciative. Porties also tend to love
playing with children, but they can sometimes be a little too rambunctious for small
Often called the Peter Pan of dogs for his easygoing and
cheerful attitude, the Flat-Coated Retriever is a people-pleasing pup who is
usually an enthusiastic runner, retriever and swimmer. Just be ready to have
sore arms much of the time, because you’ll likely be throwing the ball for your Flat-Coat a
As a breed who is led by his nose, the Beagle likes to have plenty of opportunity to use his powerful sniffer. That
can be as simple as your hiding treats around your house or taking him on long,
meandering walks outdoors. Just remember, the Beagle’s nose can lead him to
trouble, and if he catches a whiff of something good, he could run away or eat
As a member of the Working group, the Schnauzer
usually needs a job to do. His work could include greeting visitors, helping you get the
mail or playing in the yard — nothing too fancy is required. The typically brainy and lively breed
just needs to be doing something or
he’ll find a way to occupy himself (most likely at your expense).
Thanks to his heritage as a coaching dog and circus
performer, the spirited Dalmatian usually has plenty of energy to spare. If you are
active and love to go on long runs, then this could be the dog for you. But if that’s
not your idea of fun, look elsewhere, because the rambunctious breed usually needs
daily, vigorous exercise.
The Golden Retriever generally loves everyone she meets, but
she’ll love you even more if you keep her occupied with fun mental
and physical activities. Long walks and hikes, trips to the beach and marathon
fetch sessions are just a few ideas. Brain games like food puzzles and
learning tricks will also help keep her entertained and happy.
Toy Fox Terrier
Toy Fox Terriers tend to be fun dogs. Fans of the TFT, as he’s
called, say he’s the perfect blend of terrier exuberance and lap lover. He’s generally happy to play fetch, but he can also be fond of quality
snuggle time. Of course, he’s not a perfect dog, and if left to his own devices he
can become bored and destructive.
Typically smart, versatile and energetic, the Australian
Shepherd usually needs an active life to be happy. Channel his mental and physical energy
into interesting tasks or games like fetch, bringing in the newspaper, helping in the garden, doggie soccer, agility and obedience. Really, if you can
think of something for your Aussie to do, he can probably do it.
With his goofy smile, charming personality and boundless
energy, the Berger Picard is generally an entertaining and lovable breed that will
do anything to get you to laugh. He
can be intelligent, but that also means he can get bored easily. Mix up your
play and training sessions with different activities so he stays engaged.