Dogs that are active and that are good with families

Want to know more about dogs that are active and that are good with families? See all the dogs that fit this criteria and learn more about what it's like to have these dogs as pets.

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  • breed group: terrier
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, high prey drive, hot weather tolerant, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, white, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tuxedo, black and tan
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: friendly, willful, outgoing, playful
Russell terriers are incredibly intelligent, endlessly sociable, and unquestioningly adorable. Learn about their temperament, level of care, and more to decide whether this breed is right for your family.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: extra large (101 lbs. or more)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, high potential for weight gain, cold weather tolerant, good hiking companion
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, red, gold / yellow, cream
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, playful
Prodigiously strong yet famously gentle, the German-born Leonberger is possibly the largest “companion dog” on the planet.
  • breed group: terrier
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, tendency to chew, hot weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, fawn, black, blue
  • patterns: brindle, sable
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
Courageous, smart, and fiercely loyal, the American Staffordshire terrier (AmStaff of Staffie for short) can be a wonderful family pet as long as he is socialized from an early age, and well-trained. These energetic dogs are always up for a good outdoor adventure with their human friends. 
  • breed group: none
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, highly territorial, high prey drive, apartment-friendly, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, brown / chocolate / liver, white
  • patterns: bicolor, merle
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: willful, outgoing, playful
American bulldogs might surprise you with their devotion, task management, playfulness, and courage. They’re terrific guardians and working dogs—but they also have a sweet, sensitive side that makes them good family dogs.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: good hiking companion, strong loyalty tendencies, easy to groom, cold weather tolerant, high prey drive, easy to train
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: medium, wiry
  • temperament: gentle, aloof, willful, playful
The Chesapeake Bay retriever, the only American-bred retriever, is a loyal family dog who loves a job, whether that’s hunting, hiking, or splashing around in the cold water of his namesake. 
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, highly territorial, high prey drive, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, fawn, gray, brown / chocolate / liver, red
  • patterns: bicolor, brindle
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: willful, aloof, protective
The cane corso is a large, dignified Italian breed that is extremely loyal and excels at being a guard dog. Learn more about living with the cane corso.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, tendency to chew, highly territorial, loves water, apartment-friendly, hot weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red
  • patterns: sable
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful, protective
Smart, active, and super loyal, Vizslas are a friendly breed that enjoys burning their energy outdoors, whether hunting or jogging with their owner. Learn more about living with the people-oriented Vizsla.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, highly territorial, high prey drive, high potential for weight gain, cold weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, cream, black, white
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, tuxedo, black and tan
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: willful, playful, aloof, protective
Small but mighty, Shiba Inus are an ancient Japanese dog breed that walk to the beat of their own drum. They’re completely satisfied roaming the house without much human attention, but they still love to entertain and make their owners laugh.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, tendency to chew, highly territorial, high prey drive, high potential for weight gain, cold weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: white
  • patterns: sable
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: friendly, willful, outgoing, playful
Loyal, intelligent, cuddly, and more than a little sassy, Alaskan malamutes apply a dedicated work ethic to everything they do—even playtime! If you’re eager to have one, learn more about their unique personality and needs.  
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, loves water, cold weather tolerant, hot weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
One of a small number of AKC-recognized breeds to be wholly developed within the 20th century, the Boykin spaniel is a brilliant, energetic, all-American dog with an eye toward hunting and water retrieval.
  • breed group: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, prone to health issues, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, black, gray, blue, white, fawn
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, brindle, merle, black and tan, liver and tan, blue and tan
  • coat length/texture: short, long
  • temperament: gentle, anxious, playful
Chihuahuas are charming, smart, and sassy. Small in size, but big in personality, Chihuahuas are beloved by owners for their unique appearance and entertaining attitudes. Learn more about living with this pint-sized breed.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, requires lots of grooming, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: white, cream
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: short, curly
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
Intelligent, affectionate, and incredibly cute, the bichon frise could easily be mistaken for a child’s toy. This happy-go-lucky breed originated in the Mediterranean islands, which could be why they’re so easygoing and fun-loving. Bichons are the perfect companion for families, elderly couples, and everyone in between.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, requires lots of grooming, tolerates being alone, low prey drive, loves water, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, hot weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, red, gold / yellow, cream, black, white
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: long, medium, curly
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, outgoing, playful, protective
A friendly, loving family dog who's easy on the allergies makes Labradoodles one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These dogs love activity, just not as much as they’ll love you.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, highly territorial, high prey drive, hot weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: white
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: friendly, willful, outgoing, playful, aggressive
Few animals balance fierce protection with friendly playfulness quite like dogo Argentinos. They’re loyal, independent, high-energy dogs that rely on their human companions for support and guidance. Learn how these sporting dogs respond to family life.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, good hiking companion, hot weather tolerant, apartment-friendly, easy to train, easy to groom, high prey drive, strong loyalty tendencies, loves water
  • colors: gray, blue, cream, white, fawn, red, brown / chocolate / liver, black
  • patterns: merle, tricolor
  • coat length/texture: medium, curly, long
  • temperament: outgoing, friendly, playful, willful, gentle
An intelligent, athletic crossbreed with oodles of love to spare, Aussiedoodles could be a terrific choice for active pet parents who want a low-allergen pooch.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, loves water, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, hot weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: red, cream, black, blue, white, gold / yellow, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, merle
  • coat length/texture: long, curly
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
With the intelligence of a poodle and the loving nature of a cocker spaniel, it’s no surprise the cockapoo is one of the most sought-after crossbreeds in America. They are a low-shedding, easy-to-love dog that comes in a myriad of colors and sizes to please any family.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, loves water, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, white
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: medium, curly
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful, protective
The sheepadoodle is a cuddly, fluffy cross between an old English sheepdog and a poodle. Learn more about living with sheepadoodles.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, tendency to chew, high prey drive, loves water, hot weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: blue, gray
  • patterns: sable
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, outgoing, playful, aloof
Weimaraners are friendly, fearless, and obedient with a striking appearance—thanks to their unique silver-grey coat—that draws a lot of attention. Highly energetic and affectionate, this breed needs just the right family fit. Learn more about living with Weimaraners.
  • breed group: herding
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, high potential for weight gain, cold weather tolerant, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, fawn, black, brown / chocolate / liver, white
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, sable, saddle / blanket, black and tan
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: friendly, willful, outgoing, playful, protective
The Pembroke Welsh corgi is an active, intelligent, and beloved breed that has become extremely popular in recent years. Find out why people love corgis (and their little legs).
  • breed group: terrier
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, easy to groom, tolerates being alone, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, cream, black, gray, white
  • patterns: brindle
  • coat length/texture: short, wiry
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, playful, anxious
Cairn terriers are loyal, intelligent, and playful little dogs who are just as happy snuggling on our laps as they are accompanying us on hikes. Learn more about cairn terriers’ behaviors and traits here.