Swim! Hike! Run! Small Dog Breeds for Active Owners

Going for a quick run? About to go camping? Planning a hike in the hills? If you want a dog that can keep up with your active lifestyle, you’re in luck. There are plenty of dogs with high energy levels that want to join you on adventures. But not all active dogs are large.

If you’re short on space or prefer smaller dogs, check out these breeds under 50 pounds that will fit your active lifestyle.


Jack Russell Terrier (13-17lbs)

jack russell terrier small active dogs lifestyle

The Jack Russell Terrier is a tiny dog full of energy. This dog isn’t ideal for running, but he’ll keep you active with games of chase and learning new tricks. You’ll want to keep the Jack Russell Terrier well exercised or he may take his energy out on your sofa.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi (22-31lbs)

Dog breed Welsh Corgi Pembroke small active dogs lifestyle

Don’t let this dog’s size deter you, this little guy is a strong and athletic. If you’re looking for a long distance runner, this Pembroke Welsh Corgi isn’t it. This breed’s short legs make it more ideal for light jogging or walking.

Miniature Pinscher (8-11lbs)

Miniature Pinscher Dog breed small active dogs lifestyle

Watch out or the Miniature Pinscher will race right past you! This sturdy pup may only weigh 8 to 11 pounds, but has the stamina of a standard-sized dog. A “Min Pin” would love hiking or hours of play with an active owner.

Shetland Sheepdog (14-27lbs)

Shetland Sheepdog Dog breed small active dogs lifestyle

The Shetland Sheepdog was bred to help farmers, so it’s no surprise that the breed is easy to train and teach tricks. Weighing in at 30 pounds max, this small dog is energetic and needs a job to keep it entertained and stimulated. This dog would be a great running partner.

Beagle (20-24lbs)

Beagle Dog breed small active dogs lifestyle

This dog naps less than the famous Snoopy may suggest. The curious Beagle was bred for hunting and is still a hunter’s companion. This breed will follow its nose, so make sure to keep it on leash when exploring new places.

Shiba Inu (15-24lbs)

Shiba Inu Dog breed small active dogs lifestyle

No, that’s not a fox! That’s the gorgeous Shiba Inu—one of the oldest dog breeds of Japan. With his curly tail and thick coat, the Shiba Inu is an eye-catching dog that is known for his intelligence and agility. Owners of this breed will need a sturdy, high fence to keep this escape artist contained.

Scottish Terrier (18-22lbs)

Scottish Terrier Dog breed small active dogs lifestyle

The attractive, aristocratic Scottish Terrier is better for long walks rather than runs with his short stature. If you’re interested in agility training, this dog is ready to learn. The Scottish Terrier will keep your yard free of vermin, but doesn’t play well with cats or other small animals.

English Springer Spaniel (40-50lbs)

English Springer Spaniel small active dogs lifestyle

English Springer Spaniels were bred as hunting dogs and still retain the need for exercise and athleticism. This dog loves to run, swim and fetch. There’s two types of this breed: show-bred and field-bred. If you want an active dog with high energy, then choose a dog that has been bred for the field.

Papillon (7-10lbs)

papillon Dog breed small active dogs lifestyle

The itty bitty Papillon stands only about 8 to 11 inches tall, but is a fierce competitor. This little pup is well known for its ability in dog sports, especially agility. A Papillon would be great for outdoor activities at home too, especially sprinting and walking.

Whatever outdoor activity you love, there’s a dog out there for you!