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The Most Playful Dog Breeds

Whether you desire a loyal canine companion to tag along on outdoor recreational outings or an exuberant playmate for the kids, the most playful dog breeds offer fun-loving dispositions, boundless energy and enthusiasm for being active participants in any activities alongside their family members.

Labrador Retriever

American’s most popular breed is also one of the most playful dog breeds. The Labrador retriever is an exuberant athlete that never tires of fetching a ball. The Labrador retriever weighs between 55 and 80 pounds and wears a smooth coat that may be black, yellow or chocolate in color. The Labrador retriever is friendly with everybody. The sporting breed is an excellent companion for outdoor activities such as hiking and hunting, and the Labrador retriever’s love of water makes it an excellent companion for boating and fishing.

Golden Retriever

Tagging closely behind the Labrador retriever in popularity is the golden retriever, identified by its longer coat of golden locks. Also eager to make friends with everyone it meets, the golden retriever is another outdoor enthusiast that will happily join its owners for long walks and camping expeditions. The golden retriever weighs between 55 and 75 pounds. A happy disposition and willingness to romp and play make the golden retriever an excellent choice for families with children.


One of the happiest hounds will also make for an ideal playmate for all members of the family. The beagle weighs between 20 and 35 pounds. Originally developed to hunt in packs, beagles are closely bonded to their families. These playful dogs want to join the fun at every opportunity, but the scent hound may slow hikers down as it intently sniffs its way along the trail.


Known as the grey ghost, the Weimaraner is so nicknamed for its desire to stick to its owner like Velcro and shadow all activities. Weimaraners weigh between 55 and 90 pounds, and they are clad in a smooth coat that is silvery in hue. The Weimaraner is one of those playful dogs that has copious amounts of energy and stamina, and it will never tire of hunting, hiking, splashing in the water, fetching with the kids and competing in canine sports.

West Highland Terrier

The little terrier with the prick ears and white coat is always up and ready for a good time. The spunky and confident west highland terrier weighs between 15 and 22 pounds, making it a downsized playmate whose exuberance will not knock smaller children down. These agile and playful dogs enjoy participating in canine sports.

Border Collie

The border collie is highly intelligent and has plenty of mental and physical energy to burn. These dogs require plenty of play time on a daily basis, whether it is catching a Frisbee for hours or learning new skills for a canine sport activity. Border collies weigh between 30 and 45 pounds, and their coats come in a variety of colors. Border collies are herding dogs, and they are closely bonded to their human family members. These dogs will often attempt to herd their loved ones.

Portuguese Water Dog

Stepping into the White House spotlight under the Obama administration, the Portuguese water dog has grown in popularity as a beloved family member. These intelligent dogs weigh between 35 and 60 pounds and are covered in curly coats that may be any color. Portuguese water dogs have plenty of energy and are thrilled to expend some of that energy by playing in water. This is an ideal companion for families that spend their leisure time at shoreline beaches or lakes.


Best known known for the characteristic smooth coat of white with black spots, the Dalmatian possesses an energy level that never seems to deplete. Once used to run alongside carriages and horse drawn firefighting coaches, the Dalmatian will enjoy romping alongside family members as they jog, skate or ride their bicycles. Once upon a time, the Dalmatian was also utilized as a circus performer. It is eager to learn and perform tricks and agility feats. No matter what the activity of the day may be, the Dalmatian is a friendly dog that is happiest when playing with its family members.

Jack Russell Terrier

Spunky, mischievous, highly intelligent, very lively and another one of the playful dog breeds, the Jack Russell terrier is a playful character that needs vigorous playtime every day to channel its energy. Jack Russell terriers enjoy hiking, and running after playful children. They have a strong instinct to dig, which can be helpful if your child is wiling away an afternoon in the sandbox or if you need the soil in your garden bed tilled. Jack Russell terriers make excellent candidates for agility and other canine sports activities. Jack Russell terriers weigh between 13 and 17 pounds.

Fox Terrier

Another good hiking companion is the curious and cheerful fox terrier. This little dog weighs up to 18 pounds, and the coat may be smooth or wirehaired. The fox terrier enjoys the company of children and is an enthusiastic playmate. Like the Jack Russell terrier, the fox terrier belongs to the category of playful dog breeds that must receive ample physical activity daily to expend some of its energy. Fox terriers are intelligent and quick to learn new tricks.

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