Using Activity Levels to Decide What Dog to Choose

By Gina Spadafori, Marty Becker

You can sometimes gauge a breed’s activity level by looking at the work it was bred to perform — a dog bred to run or hunt needs more consistent physical activity than a guarding breed trained to work only when intruders arrive.

Some breed types tend to be selectively active — active outside, quiet indoors. For example, hunting dogs and their mixes may be active in the fresh air and fields, and content to curl up in the house after their exercise requirements are met.

You can take the edge off the problems high activity can trigger by giving active dogs enough aerobic exercise every day to keep them happy.

“Hyperactivity” and “yappiness” are a matter of individual preference: One person’s watchdog is another’s yappy pest. Training can take the edge off the most undesirable temperament traits, but nothing can turn a peppy, barky Sheltie into a calm, quiet Bulldog.