Active and smart dog breed ideas

Finding a smart and active dog can be difficult. This article helps sort through many popular breeds by categorizing the dogs by size.


You might be a jogger.  You might have a large yard. 

You might have a lot of free time.  Aside from everything else, you must be a dog lover.  If you have any of the previously mentioned characteristics, you might be in the market for a dog.  But not just any breed.  You want an intelligent and energetic dog.

A characteristic of all smart and active dog breeds is the tendency to be destructive when left alone for too long.  If you are determined to obtain one of these wonderful dogs, make sure you have plenty of time to spent playing and exercising.  Of course, if you enjoy filling holes in the backyard or chasing your “fugitive” pet down the street, you may not need to dedicate so much time to your dog.  A smart dog is the same thing as a dog that needs something to do all the time.  

There are many breeds that can be classified smart and active.  It is more than likely that you have an idea what size dog you want or need; therefore, the easiest way to break down several of the most popular breeds is by size.

Small Dog

Border Terriers are active and easy to train.  Generally, they get along well with children, but will have problems with non-canine pets due to their ingrained hunting instincts.   Border Terriers should be brushed weekly and groomed by a professional at least twice a year.  This breed rarely sheds and is great for those who suffer from allergies.

Another terrier with a reputation for being smart and overflowing with energy is a Jack Russell Terrier.  Jack Russells are not as easy to train as the Border Terrier, but with firm training will do just about anything you request.  This breed requires minimal grooming.    

Miniature Schnauzers are another popular pick in the small dog category.  They are very playful and alert.  While they are easy to train, they will demand almost constant companionship, so be prepared to have a new bosom buddy.  While the short, wiry hair of a Miniature Schnauzer proves to be great for allergy sufferers, it needs to be brushed daily to avoid matting.  Also, the dog’s coat should be clipped, by a professional, twice a year.

Medium Dog

The famous firehouse dog, the Dalmatian, is a very playful and intelligent breed.  Highly trainable, the spotted beauties make great jogging partners as they need lots of exercise on a daily basis.  Although the Dalmatian has a short coat, it sheds heavily twice a year.  However, the breed does enjoy being clean and will go out of its way to stay that way.

Border Collies are the consummate escape artist.  If you opt for one of these lovable geniuses, be aware that a Border Collie will discover new and (sometimes) destructive ways to amuse themselves if left along for long periods of time.  The long coat of this breed needs regular brushing and combing, with extra attention at the start of warm weather when shedding is high.  


Not only smart and energetic, American Bulldogs also make great watch dogs.  They get along well with children, and often exhibit their protective instincts.  Early training will keep this breed in line.  Although occasional droolers, the American Bulldog’s short, coarse coat is easy to care for.

In direct opposition to the guard instincts of the American Bulldog, the Golden Retriever is really too friendly to rely on for protection.  However, this breed makes a wonderful family dog, and needs to have plenty of room to burn off energy.  A Golden should be brushed regularly, but aside from occasional baths, needs few intense groomings.

Another retriever, the Labrador, is a little more independent than the Golden.  Also a good family pet, the Labrador will resort to digging and other destructive behaviors if left to its own devices for too long.  This breed is a smart and good-natured animal.   Their short coat is easy to maintain.

A Weimaraner is a breed for the dominant dog owner.  This dog is very independent and sometimes stubborn.  Regardless, the Weimaraner is very trainable, protective and loving.  This breed loves a rowdy romp with its owners and has minimal grooming requirements.

Hopefully, the preceding information had helped in your decision to obtain a smart and active dog.  Good luck with your new friend and keep up your energy!