Small Dogs With High Energy Levels

If you live a high-energy lifestyle then a high-energy dog may be perfect for you! If a “couch potato” companion would better fit your style of life then steer clear of Terriers!

Terriers and working dog breeds are among the highest energy level dogs out there and they need lots of mental and physical exercise to relax them. Walking, hiking, jogging, playing games and running at the dog park are just some of the activities you can can do with your canine companion to help run down his batteries.

If you are considering adopting a high-energy dog you might want to choose a name that captures his high voltage personality like “Sparky” or “Wild Thing.”

1. Affenpinscher

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The Affenpinscher, also known as the “Monkey Dog” (“affen” means “ape/monkey” in German, and “pinscher” means “terrier”), is small but feisty, full of spunk and energy. Find out more about the Affenpinscher.

2. Australian Terrier

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The Australian Terrier was developed in Australia, as his name implies. Bred to hunt and exterminate rodents and snakes, Australian Terriers were also prized as watchdogs and companions. Read more about Australian Terriers. 

3. Border Terrier

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This alert, good-natured dog was originally bred to assist in foxhunts, driving foxes out of their hiding places and out into the open for the hounds to chase. Find out more about Border Terriers.

4. Boston Terrier

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Known as the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is lively, smart, and affectionate with a gentle, even temperament.  Read more about Boston Terriers.

5. Cairn Terrier

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The Cairn Terrier dog breed is a small working terrier developed on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Farmers used him to rid their property of vermin, and they needed a dog with courage, tenacity, and intelligence — characteristics still found in today’s Cairn. Read more about the Cairn Terrier.

6. Fox Terrier

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Fox Terriers were originally bred to flush foxes out of their hiding places during fox hunts. Today they’re primarily family companions and show dogs, although you’ll occasionally find them in the hunt country of the northeastern United States, still performing their traditional role. Read more about Fox Terriers.

7. Jack Russel Terrier

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Developed in England some 200 years ago to hunt foxes, the Jack Russell Terrier, also known as the Parson Russell Terrier, is a lively, independent, and clever little dog. More about Jack Russel Terrier.

8. Lakeland Terrier

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The typical Lakeland is bold and friendly. He’s described as having a “cock of the walk” attitude, but he’s neither overly aggressive or argumentative. All terrier, he’s curious about everything, intelligent, and entertaining. Learn more about the Lakeland Terrier.

9. Manchester Terrier

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A Manchester Terrier adores his people and likes to be with them. A social creature, he is not well suited to being alone all day — he just wants to hang out with you.
Learn more about the Manchester Terrier.

10. Miniature Pinscher

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There’s good reason the Min Pin is called the King of Toys. He has a spirited, confident personality that both delights and exasperates his owners. He’s fearless, intensely curious, and always ready for action. More about the Miniature Pinscher. 

11. Miniature Schnauzer

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A Miniature Schnauzer is full of life. An extrovert, he loves to be in the thick of the family action. He may even run up to you while you’re sitting down and throw his paws around your neck. Learn more about Miniature Schnauzers.

12. Norfolk Terrier

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If you’re seeking a lively canine companion who is fearless, yet affectionate, the Norfolk Terrier may be the breed for you. Learn more about Norfolk Terriers.

13. Norwich Terrier

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The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest of all the terriers, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in personality and drive. This active terrier is a wonderful companion for an active individual or family. Read more about the Norwich Terrier.

14. Pocket Beagle

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Beagles are gentle and sweet, smart and funny. They will make you laugh — that is when they’re not making you cry because of their often naughty behavior. Beagle people spend a lot of time trying to outthink their dogs, and are often forced to resort to food rewards to lure their hounds into a state of temporary obedience.
Learn all about Pocket Beagles.

15. Poodle (Toy & Miniature)

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Despite his regal appearance, the Poodle has a goofy streak and loves to play — he’s always up for a game of any kind. Learn more about Poodles. 

16. Schipperke

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Curious and clever, the Schipperke dog breed is often nicknamed LBD, for little black devil. He’s fearless and devoted, always on guard to protect his family from harm. Read more about the Schipperke.

17. Schnoodle (Toy & Miniature)

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What a pistol! Smart, active, and adorable, the Schnoodle has become a popular hybrid dog breed. Read more about Schnoodles.

18. Scottish Terrier

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This short-legged wonder was originally bred to hunt prey such as badgers and foxes, and he has therefore developed into a self-directed and opinionated companion. Learn more about Scottish Terriers. 

19. Silky Terrier

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The Silky Terrier is a friendly, intelligent, spirited, and self-assured. True to his hunting roots, he loves to chase small animals, and won’t back down from a fight.
Read more Silky Terriers.

20. Welsh Terrier

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He may look like a small Airedale, but the Welsh Terrier has his own personality. It’s certainly a strong personality, and no wonder — he was bred to hunt badgers, foxes, and otters. Although not many folks hunt badgers these days, hunting cookies in the yard is a solid alternative. Learn more about Welsh Terriers.

This is just a short list we compiled of small, high energy dogs. If you are considering adopting, do a little research. There are so many to choose from. Finding one to fit your lifestyle should not be too difficult. Please check your area for breed specific rescues. There are so many amazing dogs just waiting to find their forever homes.