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Published: Nov 29, 2012

Dogs are some of the best companions you can have for an active lifestyle. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can encourage you to get out and exercise more, and will require their own fair share of fitness. However, some canines are more active than others. Here are the most energetic dog breeds, and what you need to know before you get them.

Most energy award goes to...
Almost all working dogs will have a high energy level, because they were originally bred to have the stamina to last throughout a day in the field or on the farm. That means retrievers, shepherds and hunting dogs like pointers and Weimaraners fall into this category, as do the Siberian Huskies and border collies.

Just how active are they?
Because these dogs were bred to run for hours on end, they will need adequate exercise in order to prevent obesity in dogs as well as to keep their behavior in the home in check. While some smaller breeds may only need a 20-minute jaunt each day, more energetic breeds need at least two 20-minute outdoor play sessions daily. The Dalmatian, one of the most active dogs, makes a great jogging partner, while herding dogs like the Australian shepherd and border collie need mental and physical stimulation to meet their energy requirements, Animal Planet reports.

What are some disadvantages?
In addition to needing adequate exercise, these dogs need plenty of space. They are better suited to live in a house with a yard where they can run and be outdoors, as opposed to a small apartment. While many highly energetic dogs are great for active families with kids, they can become rambunctious, which may be overwhelming for small children.

Additionally, energetic canines can have serious dog behavior problems if you are not giving them a challenging "job" or outlet for their energy each day. Becoming "bored," they may scratch, chew or get into other trouble around the house. They can also be hard to train. However, all of these cons are alleviated as long as the owner is able to provide the dog with adequate exercise.

You should get an active breed if you spend much of your time outdoors during the day and will be able to take your dog with you. Runners, hikers and other athletes may find an active breed to be a rewarding companion throughout their fitness adventures.