15 Energetic Small Dog Breeds

Let’s face it. Selecting the dog breed is not a simple endeavor. Are you currently searching for the most energetic small dog breeds?

Look no further because this post got you covered! An active and energetic dog breed is ideal for people who have a lifestyle that embraces the outdoors.

Don’t forget that the outdoors is the dog’s natural habitat. Like humans, a few dogs are far more energetic and active than other dogs. It is essential to understand that a high energy dog will not fit into all lifestyles.

For instance, a high energy dog may not be suitable for you, especially if you don’t have a yard for them to run in or you don’t have the time to walk your dog outside.

However, do you think you can keep up with an energetic and adventurous new best friend?

Let us present you with some of the most energetic dog breeds you can consider. 

Considerations When Choosing a Dog Breed 


Keep in mind that different dog breeds have various requirements.

Surprisingly, a dog’s breed is connected with their genetic code, which has pooches have instincts according to their history. For instance:

  • Big working dogs who historically guarded livestock or pulled sleds are smart and strong. They love to run or swim long distances.
  • Sporting and hunting dogs love an active lifestyle too. Most retrievers love to retrieve stuff. 
  • Hound dogs are smart and curious and need to discover things.
  • Most herding dog breeds are high in energy too. They need to play and run around regularly and more likely to love agility challenges. 

When individuals think of small dog breeds, often the picture of a pampered lapdog riding around in a designer bag comes to mind.

However, keep in mind that not all dog lovers like a lap warmer. Well, at least not always.

There is a broad spectrum of active small dogs they can choose from for those people. 

Are you ready to know the top ten best small active dogs? Without further ado, let’s dive in!

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1. Shetland Sheepdog


Did you know that shelties are extremely smart, playful dogs? They don’t need a huge amount of physical or mental exercise.

They can be sensitive to loud noises and jerky movements, even though they are affectionate. That makes them a good dog for a family with older kids. 

This breed would fit best for families in a rural household that provides enough space for activities and exercise with their heavy shedding and piercing bark.

If you plan to adopt this dog breed, consider plenty of grooming, as they will require frequent brushing. 

2. West Highland White Terrier


This breed has a powerful prey instinct. West Highland White Terriers are among the best active small dogs, which are excellent with kids, even though they may be a poor option for a family with other small pets like a cat.

This dog breed always loves to play. Further, they have the stamina to keep up with highly active people.

They are more likely to be great barkers and may disrupt neighbors. These dogs are perfect for families in a home with enough space to play and run. 

3. Pug 

cute pug puppy

Are you looking for funny and sweet small dogs at the same time? Pugs are the best option for you.

These dogs are strong enough to keep up with a playful pet owner and extremely patient.

Furthermore, pugs love to play but are susceptible to overheating. If you have babies in your home, they are a good option.

They are the definition of lapdogs and extremely gentle with toddlers and babies.

4. Norfolk Terrier


This energetic small dog is extremely pack oriented and will bond with the whole family.

Norfolk terriers are often quiet dogs, making them a perfect match for people living in apartments if they receive regular exercise.

The good thing about this breed is that it’s simple to train. They are playful and would fit perfectly into a home with any number of kids to play and run around with. 

5. Bichon Frise


Are you into a friendly, docile, and affectionate dog? Bichon Frise is the one you need!

This dog is perfect as a family dog, not physically demanding, and only need regular and light exercise to remain fit. 

This energetic dog breed also sheds very minimally. That makes it suitable for individuals suffering from allergies.

Nonetheless, these dog breeds have a reputation for being challenging to train. Hence, they will need an extra bag of patience as pups. 

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6. Chinese Crested


A very unique-looking dog breed, this energetic small dog loves people and being the center of attention.

Chinese Crested is extremely patient and playful with children, and their lapdog characteristics make them excellent for condos and apartments. 

Bear in mind that crested are more likely to bond with their humans and more susceptible to separation anxiety, especially if you don’t get enough attention. It would be suitable to leave them for a very long time.

7. Boston Terrier


Highly affectionate, adaptable, and energetic, Boston Terriers are amazing pets for an active family.

This dog breeds bone closely with one individual in specific, but not in a manner that makes them aggressive toward other people. 

Please note that Boston Terriers are typically in touch with their human emotions.

They will immediately change their behavior to meet their requirements. This dog breed is also highly likely to be loud.

That makes them suitable as guard dogs, but it may lead to neighbors’ complaints in apartment buildings and dense residential neighbors. 

8. Pembroke Welsh Corgi 


Did you know that Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small but no lap dog? They are also referred to as a dwarf dog. 

Bred for herding, these lovely dogs like to stay active and do very well in the outdoors.

Corgis are shockingly athletic and fast irrespective of their very short legs. How cute is that? 

9. Tibetan Terrier


Tibetan Terrier is the personification that you should not let the size fool you.

This active small dog is bred and raised in monasteries two thousand years ago and makes a perfect outdoor companion. 

These dogs are also kept as watchdogs and good luck charms, originally employed for herding sheep and retrieving items, which fell under mountainsides.

In short, Tibetan Terriers are great in the snow, always love to climb, and very agile.

10. Jack Russell Terrier


Small but mighty, this energetic small dog breed has unlimited energy and could run for a long period!

Are you searching for a more compact yet long-distance companion? Then the Jack Russell Terrier got you covered. 

11. Miniature Pinschers 


This dog breed lacks in size and makes up for in energy. Bear in mind that these strong puppies were bred in Germany to look for vermin.

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They can be active for an average of 72.85 minutes every day. 

12. Chihuahua


You are pretty much aware of how this dog can be as small as it gets. Small but fierce, their characteristics have a lot in common and terriers.

Their head is formed identical to an apple. Their eyes are big, like their always-erect ears.

Take note that chihuahuas could express plenty of emotion, like irate ferocity, deep-brown eyed affection, and inquisitive curiosity.

Their overall features are fin, not to mention their tails are crescent-shaped. 

13. Beagle


Beagles are one of the best dog breeds for kids. They are a curious and affectionate breed.

Such dogs are patient with small ones and have the strength to keep up with them.

Beagles also have a signature wolfhound dog baying howl and might be a bit loud to fit apartments.

These dogs always love to explore outside and would be perfect in rural residences with enough yard space. 

14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 


Simple to train and well-behaved, King Charles Spaniel is truly one of the best breeds for people who want active dogs.

They are small and do well in any setting where they’re showered with affection and love.

Remember that this breed is very adventurous and playful.

The only drawback is that they are prone to anxiety without enough attention and exercise.

They are an excellent option for any family size, which will involve them in their adventures.

15. Havanese


The Havanese is originally bred to become companion dogs. They are easy-going and likes to entertain.

This small dog breed is very energetic and active but has less interest in spending much time outside. 

Havanese need minimal exercise, too, apart from play, making them a great fit for apartments.

Just note that these dogs require regular grooming to keep their fur free of matting and healthy.

Apart from that, he’s a good dog for people looking for an energetic small dog. 

There you have it! These are some of the best energetic small dogs you can consider.

Which of these dog breeds do you prefer? Whatever you pick, all of them will surely overwhelm you with love and energy. 

Share your thoughts with us by leaving your comments below. 

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