Dog Breeds for Active Families

Congratulations! If you’ve landed on this page, your family is most likely growing by one adorable, slobbery, pain-in-the-butt, four-legged PUPPY!

There’s nothing quite like parenthood. Teenagers, toddlers, newborns, puppies, they’re all the same in my book. You get to watch them grow from tiny, fragile beings into strong, sometimes crazy, adults!

While we love all dog breeds and believe heavily in the nurturing side of the nature vs nurture debate, there are some traits in different breeds that make them more suited, or less suited for certain lifestyles.

The dog breeds we are going to discuss today are great for families who spend their down-time outdoors, like to go on long walks and prefer to take their dog with them whenever possible. So, without further ado, here are our dog breed recommendations for active families!

Golden Retriever

  • Large, Height 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Activity Level: Needs lots of activity

Great with children and other dogs, the Golden Retriever is renowned for their intelligent, sweet, friendly, devoted nature. Although they need a lot of exercise, you will find that most have calm personalities and are always wanting a cuddle. They will always be down for a swim, car ride, hike, or a simple walk around the neighbourhood! Eager to please, training a Golden is easier than most breeds. They are a shedding breed and have a medium coat length that requires weekly brushing. If you hear a Golden barking, they almost always have a reason!

Labrador Retriever

  • Large, Height 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Activity Level: Needs lots of activity

The 1st most popular breed in America, the Labrador Retriever is also renowned as a friendly, active, outgoing, and even-tempered traits. Just like their close relative the Golden retriever, they love to swim and do about just any activity with you. While they have short coat lengths, they still shed and need weekly brushing. Great with children, they are a perfect high-spirited companion with more than enough affection to go around for families looking for medium-large dogs!

English Springer Spaniel

  • Medium, Height 20 inches (male), 19 inches (female)
  • Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Activity Level: Regular exercise

These sweet-faced playful and friendly dogs are always eager to please. They have high energy, great stamina, and are extremely intelligent. This is a breed for families who like to go on frequent runs or have large yards for them to explore as they are a very active breed. They are renowned as handsome, mannerly pets during the week and trusty working dogs on the weekend. This breed is extremely lovable and does best with children when they are raised around them. They have beautiful medium length coats, only shed occasionally, and require weekly brushing.


  • Large, Height 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 70-90 pounds (male), 55-75 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Activity Level: Needs lots of activity

When you get a Weimaraner, you will never be alone again. Known as ‘grey ghosts’ for their sleek, short grey coat and ‘Velcro’ because they never leave your side – even if that means barging into the bathroom with you! They are fearless, extremely loyal, and exceptionally friendly. They are great with kids and enjoy lots of quality time with their humans. They are a very energetic and playful breed, a perfect addition to active families who live in warmer states. However, they are not a breed that does well left alone all day or without any exercise. If you choose to get a Weimaraner and work 9-5, make sure you either run in the mornings and evenings with them or hire a pet sitter or a dog walker to exercise them during the day.

Irish Setter

  • Large, Height 27 inches (male), 25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 70 pounds (male), 60 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Activity Level: Needs lots of activity

Irish Setters are famously good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children. High-spirited but known for their grace, and active, outgoing nature. They are lively, intelligent, and have a great sense for mischief so they require a lot of exercise to become well-behaved family members. They are happy to do anything with you – walking, running, hiking, camping, picnicking, anything where they can get out and stretch their legs! They have a copper-red medium length coat that requires weekly brushing.

Australian Shepherd

  • Medium Height 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)
  • Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Activity Level: Energetic

This breed is playful, easy-going, protective, bold and loyal, extremely intelligent and easy to train. They are always excited to see you, eager to play, eager to please, and up for an adventure. They are great with active children because they never outgrow their playful puppy stage, but at the same time, they have a gentle nature that prevents the play from ever getting rough. They have intelligent guarding instincts and a strong sense of loyalty to their family. They have a beautiful, thick, medium length coat that sheds seasonally and requires weekly brushing. Herding dogs at heart, these guys have been cowboys herding companions for decades. If you’ve got a farm or live on a large amount of land, this is the breed for you!


  • Small, Height 13 inches & under, 13-15 inches
  • Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches & under), 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Activity Level: Energetic

Bred to hunt in packs, Beagles enjoy company and are easy-going. They are excellent companion dogs, known for their ‘happy-go-lucky’ and funny personalities. They are great with children, cheerful and love attention and affection. They are curious and active dogs who love to roam by nature, so they need lots of walks and adventures to keep them happy! Their short coat is remarkably easy to care for and requires minimal grooming and only occasional bathing.

Don’t get us wrong – we know there are plenty of other breeds that are great family dogs that we haven’t mentioned in this article. Hopefully, this blog helped you get a little closer to deciding what breed is right for your family, but if you still want to do some research head over to the American Kennel Club website! You’ll be able to find loads of information about every breed!

What about adopting a dog? It is National Adopt-A-Dog month, so why not head over to your local shelter and see if your new family member is waiting for you there? Mutts make great family dogs too! Giving a pup a second chance at a fur-ever home is something your new family member will never forget.


Like this blog? Why not share with your friends!